“It seeks to set up a body which is captive to government”

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Wednesday urged the government to scrap the Nuclear Safety Authority Bill and bring in a fresh Bill, saying some clauses in it would affect the independent functioning of the proposed regulatory authority.

Referring to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's promise to bring in legislation to set up an independent Nuclear Safety Authority following apprehensions about the safety of nuclear reactors in the wake of the disaster at Fukushima in Japan in March, the CPI(M) Polit Bureau said the Bill, introduced in the Lok Sabha, “goes contrary to the assurance and seeks to set up a body, which is captive to the government.”

The Bill sought to establish a Council of Nuclear Safety comprising the Prime Minister, five or more Cabinet Ministers, the Cabinet Secretary and experts nominated by the government. “It is this council that will control and virtually direct the regulatory authority. One requirement is that it should function in a manner that is consistent with the ‘international obligations of India'. This means the regulatory authority will have to accept all imported nuclear plants and not question any features of the same, which have been arrived through international agreements, ” it noted.