Speakers at a meeting on the first anniversary of the Fukushima tragedy on Sunday were of the firm opinion that nuclear power generation, while necessary, should be made with an extremely vigilant regulatory mechanism and the support of people.
Hosted by the Indo-Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Sunday, the meeting, which underlined the need for energy security for India, cautioned the administrators and scientists not to go overboard in pursuit of nuclear power.
B.S. Raghavan, former civil servant, lamented that transparency had been in short supply in trying to set up nuclear power plants in the country. At the same time, he said “extremes are no good—totally for or totally against.” There could always be a golden mean and experts should think out of the box.
Apart from natural calamities that hit Fukushima, he asked whether anyone had thought of the “variety of man-made contingencies like sabotage and are we prepared for them?”
Referring to the “lessons learnt” from Fukushima, he wanted India to take the lead in forming a consortium of brains trust to compile a report on the “quintessential elements” identified by various countries which could be followed universally.
K. Balu, former director, Nuclear Recycle Group, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), said India should not be thinking of mere “energy generation” but strive for “energy security.” Explaining the positives and also the negatives of various sources of generation, he admitted that there was no source that could be deemed cent per cent safe and perfect.
L.V. Krishnan, former Director, Kalpakkam Atomic Power Plant, emphasised the need for a vigilant regulatory authority to avert the situation that had befallen Fukushima. He was happy to note that India also had the capability to predict the radiation level. At the same time, he lamented that not much information is given to the public regarding such projects.
D.S. Rajan, former diplomat, who asserted that nuclear energy was very important for the development of the countries like India, said nuclear proliferation was a serious issue. K. Fukukawa, Japanese Consul in Chennai, thanked India for its unstinted support to her country immediately after the tragedy struck. She was happy to point out that normality had been more or less restored there.