Safety

…the possibility, however remote it may be, of human error, systems failure, sabotage, earthquake and terrorist attacks leading to the release of radioactive matter in the public domain, cannot be entirely ruled out.

 

Guidelines on Management of Nuclear and Radiological Emergencies

National Disaster Management Authority

Govt of India

All nuclear power plants are inherently dangerous.  They are vulnerable to any combination of natural disaster, human error or design failure.  In India, institutional faults make that risk a little bit greater.  Yet these dangers are routinely and emphatically downplayed by the nuclear establishment.

There’s a myth propagated that nuclear power has become safer in recent years.  It’s now toted as the answer to climate change – an “environmentally-friendly” option that guides us away from the looming crisis of peak oil.  The truth is that even a significant increase in nuclear power would only lead to a negligible CO2 reduction 1, and that nuclear reactors are no safer than they were in the 20th Century.  If anything, as they become more powerful, the possible consequences of an accident become even more terrible.

Mistakes do happen.  The nuclear sector is replete with chilling stories of incidents, accidents and near misses.  There’s a story or more for every day of the year - all 365 of them.2 Accidents happened before Chernobyl.  They happened after Chernobyl.  Only the explanations and excuses get tailored anew each time.  The industry is known to have manipulated safety and inspection data, in certain cases, in order to avoid costly repairs and lengthy shutdowns.3 The secrecy that blankets the Indian nuclear power sector shields it further.

Yet even under normal operations nuclear power plants regularly discharge radioactive materials into the air and water.  Nuclear waste, the deadly by-product of nuclear power for which there is no real long-term solution, remains radioactive for generations.

Proponents of nuclear power want it discussed and evaluated on the same factors as other methods of power generation.   This can only be done if the risk factor is set aside altogether as being irrelevant, if the horrific, long-lasting consequences of an accident on huge populations is considered an acceptable price to pay. At Greenpeace, we don’t think it is.

Alternative power sources exist, such as solar, wind or micro-hydro energy.  They can be combined with energy efficiency to deliver India’s electricity needs, fast.  They won’t exacerbate climate change like fossil fuels, and nor do they leave a radioactive legacy or carry the unacceptable risk of a radiological accident, like nuclear energy.  India needs to stop gambling with the health of our children and our land by investing in nuclear power.



Sources
1 Energy Technology Perspectives 2010, IEA/OECD, June 2010
2 http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publications/reports/nuclearaccidentscalendar/
3 “Complacency, negligence threaten nuclear industry, WANO warns". Nucleonics Week, vol. 44/ Issue 42, Oct. 16,2003

The latest updates

 

Why We Need Clean Energy To Have Clean Air

Blog entry by Lauri Myllyvirta | February 20, 2018

The present-day system of producing and consuming energy is problematic. As our populations continue to rise, the demand for energy-intensive lifestyles is also increasing. Since we need energy for a thriving economy, but don't produce...

The Indian Airpocalypse

Blog entry by Grace Saji | February 6, 2018

ow many times must civil society organisations, residents and children pay a visit to the Environment Ministry of India until something is actually “done” about the air pollution crisis? As a country, we’ve already seen more than a...

Three Years of Ecological Agriculture Has Changed Kedia Forever

Blog entry by Ishteyaque Ahmed | January 24, 2018

As I write about a small village called Kedia in the Jamui district of Bihar, and some of its very significant achievements, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to say how much has changed since I first visited the village. As I...

The Perils of Throw-Away Economy

Blog entry by Manjari Sharma | January 10, 2018

The Plasticky Problem 500,000,000,000 per year. Wondering what that figure is? It’s the number of plastic bottles produced by the beverage industry around the world every.single.year. 500 billion bottles lovingly filled with...

Concerned citizens demand a Clean Air Action Plan

Image | January 10, 2018 at 6:21

Concerned citizens demand a Clean Air Action Plan

People Power Wins!

Blog entry by Grace Saji | January 2, 2018

A new year has begun. And many promises have been made. Only time will tell if they will be kept or broken. But our health, our forests, and our oceans cannot wait. Our governments and the big corporations must know that we are aware...

The MoEFCC Has Spoken: A National Clean Air Programme for India

Blog entry by Nandikesh Sivalingam | December 20, 2017

Amid all the bad news on air quality, there is a ray of hope. After two years of incessant public demand for a comprehensive national action plan to tackle air pollution, the government has finally stated in the parliament that they...

MoEFCC: For People Or For Thermal Power Plants

Blog entry by Diya Deb | December 18, 2017

Last March, my family forced me to pay a visit to our doctor at Chittaranjan Park in Delhi for a diagnosis of my dry cough. It had been lingering for over two months. The doctor gave me a concerned look from behind his specs and asked...

1 - 10 of 3942 results.