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Updated: May 17, 2012 01:23 IST

‘Giving up nuclear power will be harmful'

Aarti Dhar
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh: “We must keep the option of having nuclear power as an additional source of energy open
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh: “We must keep the option of having nuclear power as an additional source of energy open". File photo

There will be no compromise on the safety of atomic plants and it will be harmful to close the additional source of energy. It will be harmful for the country to pass ordinance on denial of nuclear power, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asserted in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Dr. Singh was replying to supplementaries during question hour.

After the Fukushima accident in Japan in March 2011, the Prime Minister said, he ordered a complete review of the 20 operating nuclear reactors across the country and none of them reported any incident.

“Our view is that when it comes to safety, there will be no compromise.”

Dr. Singh said India was not in a situation like Japan, where a large amount of power came from nuclear plants. He pointed out that Germany, which had announced that it would close down all its all nuclear plants by 2022, bought electricity from France, a country that relied heavily on atomic energy.

“Radiation levels minuscule”

Earlier, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy said the radiation levels in the areas surrounding the nuclear plants in the country were minuscule, compared to the upper limits prescribed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) had taken steps to create awareness about atomic energy by issuing booklets and publicising such matters through television and radio.

Requests had been received for acquiring land in the sterilised zone of the Kaiga nuclear power plant and the rehabilitation and resettlement of the people residing therein.

“The lands already acquired are in line with the stipulations of the relevant AERB Code and there is no need for acquiring additional land in the existing sterilised zone or extending the limits of the sterilised zone,” Mr. Narayanasamy said.

After Fukushima, the Prime Minister held a review meeting with atomic energy officials and ordered, especially the NPCIL, to review the safety measures adopted in nuclear power plants. Twenty nuclear reactors were functional in the country and all of them were very safe. Not even one incident had happened. Nineteen were in operation and one was under maintenance, he said.

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It's not right to say that we do not need nuclear energy. And energy
generated by nuclear power plant is one of the most sustainable energy
keeping in the view of space needed for solar, hydro or any type of
energy, as India has a huge population to accommodate. Also as far as
Japanese going away from Nuclear energy is concerned, they are right
at their place. Japan is situated at the convergence zone of 5
tactonic plates which makes it much more vulnerable to earth quake
related disaster which may trigger nuclear disaster as in Fukushima.
Indian sub continent is a bit more stable as Indian and Eurasian
plates converge in Himalayas. So the sub continental part is secure.
What needed is that assurance of safety even in the worst case and
also any liability must be shared by manufacturer and supplier besides

from:  Jitendra Gupta
Posted on: May 16, 2012 at 18:00 IST

1. The problem of radioactive waste and how they would affect generations to come is usually glossed over in most reports.
2. Countries like Germany, Italy have decided to end all nuclear power and have started reducing their dependencies on it due to public opinion.
3. In Japan, presently no nuclear plants (out of 50) are running though nuclear lobby is trying hard to influence public opinion, but failing badly.
4. An area of 30 kms radius around Fukushima will be inhabitable for decades and the land in this area will be a ghost town for foreseeable future.
5. If govt like that of Japan - that REALLY cares for its citizens - keeps lying about the damages and health risks due to nuclear lobbies, can we expect our govt. (which is supine when it comes to MNC's, looking at Bhopal) to do any better in case of disasters?
6. When calculating costs of nuclear power, costs of damages (in various forms) and resulting compensation etc. are not included in calculations thus biasing the results.

from:  Amit Thakur
Posted on: May 16, 2012 at 17:20 IST

Why don't you just pass another bill in parliament about nuclear safety? Just like the
right to education bill, overseas university bill and hundreds others, pass another
bill. Natural disasters will follow your whims and fancies, Dr MM Singh!

India has hundreds of seismic zones and earthquakes are very very likely--maybe
some foreign geologist is needed to tell you that. You will never listen to your dying
breed of scientists. Rest of the population should worship crickets and bollywood
and pay daily visits to cinema.

from:  venkat
Posted on: May 16, 2012 at 16:36 IST

Both Japan and Germany has substantial share of their energy needs coming from nuclear energy and both are technically more advanced than India.they feel nuclear energy is a dangerous bet and shut their reactors.our dependance on nuclear energy is nil so far and large part if India is in seismic zone,still our leadership cant say no to nuclear energy because they cant say no to our supplier.... uncle sam!

from:  vinay sharma jammu
Posted on: May 16, 2012 at 16:23 IST

IAEA constituted global expert fact-finding mission stated on the
regulatory environment in Japan states: “Japan has a well organized
emergency preparedness and response system as demonstrated by the
handling of the Fukushima accident. Nevertheless, complicated
structures and organizations can result in delays in urgent decision
making.” The inability to foresee such extreme scenarios is a
forewarning to countries that are expanding nuclear capacity at a
frenzied pace. However, India, after the incidents of 1979 and 1986
in Three Misle Island and Chernobyl, constituted safety audits BUT
ACTION ( in the words of Mr.A Gopalakrishnan, former Chairman, AERB).

If our PM is so sure, let him declassify these safety audit reports so
that independent experts assess the same.

from:  vc sekar
Posted on: May 16, 2012 at 15:49 IST

If Germany and Japan have closed the door for nuclear energy, it is not because
they were by any stretch of imagination, less worried about safety. There must
obvious be valid and serious concerns about dealing with the aftermath of an
unforeseen accidents and natural calamities,much beyond any possible built-in
safety interlocks, for these countries to give up this option, in the light of recent
experiences. The ability (or the lack of it) of the disaster management systems to
deal with such unforeseen situations must have been another important reason for
their decision. In India, there is no dearth of rules and regulations, but what is
lacking is in its implementation. Even on a far simpler issue of management of
vehicular traffic in road intersections in the capital, the chaos resulting from failure
of traffic lights or from heavy downpour, is a nightmare for everyone. It is
doubtful, our disaster management systems are capable of handling a fallout from
a major nuclear accident.

from:  KS Raghunathan
Posted on: May 16, 2012 at 15:43 IST

There is considerable time to re-think the strategy to address the
growing energy needs of the country. Ensuring safety of Nuclear power
plants and the cost of Nuclear fuel will itself going to be a financial
burden on the government , rather if we use Solar power which has a
,much wider scope in our country(especially on barren terrain) will
prove to be much clean and cheaper method of power generation.
Just Re-think Manmohan !!!

from:  Gaurav Pruthi
Posted on: May 16, 2012 at 15:15 IST

Not agreed Sir! There is no way anyone in India can ensure safety of
Nuclear power plants. We have so much of solar energy to tap for the asking and wind energy in mountains that we shall never need nuclear energy, if we focus on these two. In fact developing solar powered vehicles including aircraft will be a far more advantageous technical initiative! Cure for everything going wrong is 'HONESTY' in governance and that Sir is woefully lacking in our nation. Toeing US line has become so miserably obvious that I hardly feel I live in a free country!

from:  Sudhir Chaitanya
Posted on: May 16, 2012 at 13:04 IST

Do you mean Japan had compromised on the safety? Why dont you follow the example Narendra Modi has set? Japan has announced that it will give up nuclear energy as a source. You think they are fools? Your reviews can never simulate natural disasters.
What will happen if the epicentre of Latur-like earthquake happens to be at the nuclear energy site? don't believe the leaders of our country can be such dim-wits.

from:  Karthik
Posted on: May 16, 2012 at 13:04 IST

After all why do we need Nuclear power plants? USA is clever it is using other sources for power generation. We Indians are fools to allow nuclear facilities to come up around us and waste lands which will never be of use later when the reactor becomes old. Now world has developed so much that there are alternative resources for power generation. Wake up, India! Do not be puppets in the hands of foreign nationals.

from:  Rathish ahluwalia
Posted on: May 16, 2012 at 12:58 IST
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