Nuclear accidents in India

An independent regulatory board is supposed to be protecting the health of people and environment, not the nuclear establishment.  So why isn’t it?

The secrecy that shrouds the civilian nuclear industry in India makes it almost impossible for citizens to know accurately the details of accidents that have occurred, or indeed sometimes whether accidents have occurred at all.  Yet the sector teems with rumours and eyewitness accounts of near-misses, leaks, cracks, radiation exposures and safety violations.

The costs paid by Indian citizens, in both health and environment, seem to be far greater than the meager 2.7% of electricity currently provided by India’s civilian nuclear sector (1).  An even greater injustice is that it is often the same factions of society - the nameless day labourers who are not educated in the dangers of radiation - that are brought in to clear up the mess, as are then overlooked when it comes to distributing reliable supplies of electricity.

The frequency and similarity of many of these incidents and accidents is disturbing.  It discredits the Department of Atomic Energy as the head of a nuclear industry, and the ability of the AERB to ensure safety in that industry.

Read about some accidents at nuclear power plants in India dating back to 1991 here.

In addition to all nuclear power facilities the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) must also ensure the safety of India’s 52,000-plus radiological facilities.  These include medical institutions, industrial uses, and research facilities, and safety violations happen at them, too.  The most serious incident to date is Mayapuri in 2010, in which a cobalt-60 source was sold and taken apart in a scrapyard, killing one man and hospitalising seven others.


Notes
1 As of April 2011. Central Electricity Authority http://www.cea.nic.in/

The latest updates

 

Javadekar must come clean on air pollution, says Greenpeace

Publication | July 24, 2015 at 18:20

New Delhi 24 July 2015 - In response to comments made by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar regarding air pollution in Delhi, Greenpeace India Clean Air Campaigner Aishwarya Madineni made the following comment:

RoS SCN notice 16th June 2015 English.pdf

Publication | July 23, 2015 at 11:25

Correspondence with Office of the Registrar

Letter to society of Registrar

Publication | July 23, 2015 at 11:15

Letter to society of Registrar

Review of GP India’s handling of Sexual Harrassment Complaints 2012-2015

Publication | June 16, 2015 at 20:52

Janet Dalziell, Global HR Director Greenpeace International 15 June 2015: In recent months, ex-staff from Greenpeace India have written to Kumi Naidoo (IED, Greenpeace International) and me to raise concerns about sexual harassment—both...

Letter to Rajnath Singh blocking Aaron Gray Block's entry to India

Publication | June 9, 2015 at 18:34

Letter to Rajnath Singh blocking Aaron Gray Block's entry to India on 6th June 2015

GreenpeaceIndiaStayApplication15May

Publication | May 18, 2015 at 13:38

Why it’s urgent to clean up New Delhi’s polluted air?

Publication | March 9, 2015 at 16:48

The Central Pollution Control Board reported Delhi’s average PM2.5 level in 2013 as 153μg/m3, based on hourly measurements at 6 different stations. This is 15 times the World Health Organization guideline and 3.8 times the national standard.

Priya Pillai files writ petition in Delhi High Court

Publication | January 27, 2015 at 16:15

Following the unfortunate incident with me at the New Delhi International Airport on January 11, I have filed a writ petition in the High Court of Delhi challenging the illegal and arbitrary nature in which I was ‘offloaded’ on my trip to the UK.

FCRA Receipts and Utilisation 2013 - 2014

Publication | December 22, 2014 at 16:52

Summary of Receipts and Utilisation of Foreign Contributions for the financial year 2013 - 2014 (Greenpeace India Society).

1 - 10 of 330 results.