nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

India’s nuclear industry not really safe – new book

In recent years, some of the crucial Russian suppliers of components to the plant have been detained in Russia and indicted for shoddy business practices. 

read-this-wayA new book, The Power of Promise: Examining Nuclear Energy in India by Princeton University physicist M.V. Ramana, takes a sober—and sobering—look at the fantasies and perils attached to this mirage, and finds the promise of nuclear energy empty in every way: environmental, economic and technological.

The more disturbing parts of Ramana’s book deal with the neglect of safety by the nuclear establishment. Recounting various alarming “incidents” in recent decades, he inspires little confidence in India’s ability to avoid a major disaster such as Chernobyl or Fukushima. 

Abe,-Shinzo-nukeflag-indiaIndia shouldn’t buy what Japan is selling, Live Mint, 4 Nov 13, Materials of substandard quality have already been installed in Kudankulam plant, says former chairman of AERB   Pankaj Mishra Mail Me An obsession with nuclear power makes many political elites secretive, ruthless and delusional, even as their cherished projects threaten millions of people with disaster. But the egregious examples I have in mind here aren’t Iran, Pakistan and North Korea. They are Japan and India, two countries with democratic institutions.

Last week in the south Indian city of Pondicherry, I met a friend who had managed to penetrate the security lockdown around Kudankulam, the Russian-built nuclear power station in Tamil Nadu that began partial operations late last month despite strong protests from local villagers.
Kudankulum lies only a few miles away from a coastline that was ravaged by a tsunami in 2004. Opposition to the plant intensified after another intense earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 caused meltdowns at three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.
Since then, Indian police have deported the few journalists who have tried to report on the protests, sequestered entire villages and levied criminal charges against tens of thousands of locals, some of whom have been accused of sedition and “waging war on the state.”
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who invested much political capital in a nuclear deal with the US in 2008, resorted to an Indian political ploy from the 1970s: blaming an unspecified “foreign hand” for the protests. (Never mind that the much-despised foreign hand helped build the Kudankulum plant, along with much of India’s nuclear infrastructure.)
Nuclear mirage
Certainly, the protesters at Kudankulum have much to be worried about. In recent years, some of the crucial Russian suppliers of components to the plant have been detained in Russia and indicted for shoddy business practices. According to A. Gopalakrishnan, former chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), “equipment, components and materials of substandard quality” have already been installed in the plant. Their “deficiencies and defects are dormant today, but these very same shortcomings may cause such parts to catastrophically fail when the reactor is operated for some time.”……
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also been busy vending Japan’s nuclear industry around the world, including to seismically active Turkey and India, countries that have even less institutional oversight than Japan.
In India, Abe’s path is smoothed not only by the customarily powerful stakeholders in a multibillion-dollar industry but also by the superstitious faith invested in nuclear energy in a country where a large part of the population suffers from long power outages almost every day. Pro-nuclear advocates propose nuclear energy as an answer to India’s power shortages and crippling reliance on imported oil. A new book, The Power of Promise: Examining Nuclear Energy in India by Princeton University physicist M.V. Ramana, takes a sober—and sobering—look at the fantasies and perils attached to this mirage, and finds the promise of nuclear energy empty in every way: environmental, economic and technological……
Great hallucination
…….. Ramana explains how India’s Department of Atomic Energy first acquired its present political clout, and how the Atomic Energy Commission, which reports directly to the prime minister, achieved its immunity to public scrutiny despite repeated failure to meet India’s nuclear-energy needs. In recent years, problematic reports from government bodies such as the comptroller and auditor general have had no impact on the functioning of the nuclear establishment. On occasion, even elected members of the Parliament have been frustrated by its nontransparency.
Chronicling the march of folly, Ramana notes each one of the nuclear establishment’s many dismal milestones, the outlandish targets that were set in continuous defiance of actual results. For instance, the target for the year 2000 (set in 1984) was 10,000 megawatts; the result was a mere 1,840 megawatts. Undeterred by such poor performance, Prime Minister Singh now expects India to have 470,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity in 2050—a figure from science fiction that assumes India will annually increase its nuclear capacity by 11,500 megawatts until 2050 (which is on average 2.5 times the entire nuclear capacity added by the country over the last four decades).
The more disturbing parts of Ramana’s book deal with the neglect of safety by the nuclear establishment. Recounting various alarming “incidents” in recent decades, he inspires little confidence in India’s ability to avoid a major disaster such as Chernobyl or Fukushima. http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/pll6bU0OeLabWyTEYBAtIJ/India-shouldnt-buy-what-Japan-is-selling.html
About these ads

November 5, 2013 - Posted by | India, resources - print, safety

6 Comments »

  1. It doesn’t surprise. Their goal is to enslave and kill their people with disastrous technology. SADLY, it appears that the non-proliferation treaty to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. This all is happening just because NPT was majorly bleaked when a country like India has been given a favour out of the blue for a nuclear deal and NSG waiver without coming under the parameters of NPT. And it is not exaggerating to say that the blame can be laid fairly and squarely at the door of one country — the United States.

    Comment by Frank Zane | November 7, 2013 | Reply

  2. A state goes for nuclearization for the three reasons; seurity, prestige or for domestc politics. Indian stance can fairly be determines by its negative intentions, ignition of arms race in he region, striking deal with USA, spending large amount on defense sector, putting at stake the lives of its people is merely for the matter of prestige and also for domestic politics. It is not a shocking experience for the Indian public that nuclear industry of India is not safe. Kudankulam power plant is the example, protests, making living area insecured are the examples which shows that Indian government is not sincere to the lives of its people and also to environmental protection. It just need to fulfill the greed of its becoming a super power.

    Comment by Zoe | November 7, 2013 | Reply

  3. Possessing a nuclear capability is not a mere usual attribute; it involves lots of concerns, worries and essential security framework. India is really contained a fascination for nuclear energy of extreme level. People are not opposed of nuclear energy rather they demand of standardized security mechanisms for nuclear power plants in their country. We had once nuclear explosions on Japanese cities and yet bend of sorting the remnants. Same goes for Chernobyl and Fukushima but they are not simply the historical legacies. We cannot stop any upcoming nuclear disaster but we can avoid it by making standardized arrangements critically not hinge with obsession. On the contrary, now big powers which are more provocative for nuclear power plants are reversing back despite of India nuclear ambition.

    Comment by yusraa2013 | November 7, 2013 | Reply

  4. Several Anti nuclear activists in India protested against most sensitive nuclear power plants. These plants have been build in most vulnerable areas. But unfortunately, non bothered to investigate. Even technology used in such power plants is outdated. No preemptive measures have been taken against any natural mishap. Now the truth has been spoken and IAEA should investigate the indian safety measures.

    Comment by wiji | November 7, 2013 | Reply

  5. There are huge nuclear security issues in India because it is prone to insurgent groups and separatist rebels. According to the Daily Mail’s reports, most of the India’s top nuclear facilities are located in exceedingly Naxal terrorists struck districts of India or in “Red Corridor”. Some of sensitive nuclear installations situated in this “Red Corridor” are, Uranium Corporation Of India Limited, Talcher Heavy Water Plant, Institute of Physics, Ceramatic Fuel Fabrication Facility, Nuclear Fuel Complex, Seha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Atomic Minerals Directorate and many more. Around 90% of the Red Corridor areas are a No Go Zone for the Indian troops and Air Force. The Naxal rebels are in full control and there is no writ of the Indian government in these areas.

    Comment by Bill | November 7, 2013 | Reply

  6. Majority of Indians are against the increasing nuclear plants and ambitions, protesters were arrested. Submarine Incident, IN declaring that they do not have trained manpower to handle advanced technology and developing long range Agni series, concerns about Indian nuclear industry is not safe is justified by these actions. Author raised some value points but the main concern here is India should itself restrict its nuclear program.

    Comment by Nick Holding | November 7, 2013 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 864 other followers

%d bloggers like this: