Nuclear energy is not the solution to India’s power crisis Clean, renewable technologies should be used to combat global warming

K Srinivas, Climate and Energy Expert, Greenpeace reacts to the leakage from a nuclear power plant in Japan following the earthquake

Press release - July 18, 2007
BANGALORE, India — Citing the example of the current fire and radioactive leakage from the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, Greenpeace reiterated that nuclear technology can pose a serious threat to the environment and population. Greenpeace termed the Indian Prime Minister’s proposal to harness nuclear technology to combat Global warming and meet the Nation’s growing power needs alarming.

"The leakage from the nuclear power plant in Japan is a grim reminder of how natural disasters and terrorist attacks pose a big challenge to nuclear power stations and can lead to very serious accidents, the impacts of which would be felt not just locally," said Srinivas Krishnaswamy,  Climate and Energy Expert, Greenpeace.

He added "the Japanese and Global nuclear industry has been marred by a series of accidents and cover-ups. A similar incident occurred at the German nuclear power plant Krummel in June this year. It was first claimed that the fire had no impact on the safety of the reactor. In reality, the fire caused the reactor to malfunction and according to the German nuclear regulators, directly threatened its safety. In December 2004, the Kalpakkam Atomic Energy Plant had to be shut down due to flooding of the pump house (which controls the flow of sea water used to cool the power plant) caused by the Tsunami. The Kalpakkam facility escaped major damage; however it was evident that the consequences of a natural calamity were not factored in while planning the nuclear plant in that area. In the light of the hazard that even a minor accident at a nuclear power plant can cause, the major budget allocations to build various new nuclear reactors in India is rather alarming". .

"Nuclear power undermines the real solutions to the power crisis and climate change by diverting precious resources away from the development of clean renewable energy sources the world urgently needs.

For further information, contact

K Srinivas, Climate and Energy Expert, Greenpeace - +91-9845112130

Ruchira Talukdar, Greenpeace Communications- +91-9900264127

Notes to Editor

Note 1: The Japanese nuclear industry have been exposed in a number of serious incidents and cover-ups in recent years, including:

1. March 2007 - It was discovered that the Hokuriku utility had not informed the public or nuclear inspectors about a serious incident at Shika nuclear power plant. On July 18th, 1999, failure of control rods had resulted in an uncontrolled chain reaction in this plant.

2. April 2006 - A radioactive spill of 40 litres of liquid containing plutonium occurred in a brand new reprocessing plant in Rokkasho-Mura.

3. August 2004 - A pipe rupture in Mihama nuclear power plant killed five workers. TEPCO utility - was forced to shut down its 17 reactors when it was discovered that it had faked documents about safety inspections.

Note 2: In India

1. January 2003: A leak that affected workers at the Kalpakkam Reprocessing Plant was dealt with in complete silence. However after persistent media reports and pressure from eminent scientists and public persons the DAE acknowledged the accident six months after the event.

2. March 1999: A leak of heavy water occurred at Kalpakkam. The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), dismissed the incident by saying that ”the release to the environment is maintained well within the limits specified by the AERB.”