What do social scientists Romila Thapar, Ramachandra Guha and Jean Dreze, dancers Leela Samson and Malavika Sarukkai, former bureaucrats/diplomats SP Shukla, Nirupam Sen and EAS Sarma, retired Navy chief L Ramdas, writers Arundhati Roy and Nayantara Sahgal, scientists MV Ramana and PM Bhargava, artists Krishen Khanna and Vivan Sundaram, and former vice-chancellors Mushirul Hasan and Deepak Nayyar, have in common? The answer is, concern about the safety of nuclear power, highlighted by the still-unfolding disaster at Fukushima in Japan. This impelled these eminent individuals to sign a statement demanding a thorough and independent review of India’s nuclear power programme, and pending it, a moratorium on further nuclear projects.
Tag - Japan
March 30, 2011
Dear Editor/News Editor/Chief Reporter,
For immediate publication
The grave nuclear crisis in Japan has highlighted the issue of safety in atomic installations the world over, including in India. It has also prompted the demand for a thorough safety review of nuclear installations.
More than 60 eminent citizens from different walks of life have signed the following statement calling for an independent safety review of nuclear installations in India, and pending it, a moratorium on further nuclear activities.
The prominent signatories include former Chief of Naval Staff L Ramdas, Indian Institute of Science Bangalore director P Balaram, former Planning Commission member SP Shukla, former vice-chancellor of Delhi University Deepak Nayyar, former Atomic Energy Regulatory Board chairman A Gopalakrishnan, former Ambassador to the United Nations Nirupam Sen, historians Romila Thapar, Sumit Sarkar, Mushirul Hasan and Ramachandra Guha, economists Amit Bhaduri and Jean Dreze, psychologist Ashis Nandy, scientists PM Bhargava, Satyajit Rath and MV Ramana, writers Arundhati Roy and Nayantara Sehgal, painters Krishen Khanna, Gulam Shaikh, SG Vasudev and Vivan Sundaram, dancer-choreographer Leela Samson, veteran journalist Kuldip Nayyar, and many other social scientists, scholars and activists, including Aruna Roy.
The full list of signatories appears at the bottom.
In view of the critical public importance of the issue, could you please carry the statement in full in your paper, channel or wire service? Publication of the entire list of signatories on your website would be greatly appreciated.
Best regards, Praful Bidwai
PS: In case you want to contact or interview any of the signatories, please contact the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace at (011) 26517814 and 65663958.
As the global nuclear industry's fate hangs in the balance, India must rethink its nuclear power expansion plans and impose a moratorium on new reactors.
The colossal hubris, ignorance and smugness of India’s nuclear czars take one’s breath away. The day Japan’s crisis took a decisive turn for the worse, with an explosion in a third Fukushima reactor and fresh radiation leaks, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) secretary Sreekumar Banerjee declared that the nuclear crisis “was purely a chemical reaction and not a nuclear emergency as described by some section(s) of media”. Nuclear Power Corporation chairman S.K. Jain went one better: “There is no nuclear accident or incident. It is a well-planned emergency preparedness programme which the nuclear operators…are carrying out to contain the residual heat after…an automatic shutdown”.
Fukushima in Japan is the global atomic industry's worst crisis since Chernobyl, and the first nuclear catastrophe watched by the global public almost in real time. We in India must be alarmed: the Tarapur reactors are also Boiling Water Reactors designed by General Electric, the same as Fukushima's, only smaller and one-generation older, probably with weaker safety systems. We must discard the 'It can't happen here' approach and introspect into our nuclear safety record, with embarrassing failures like a 1993 fire at the Narora reactor, the Kaiga containment dome collapse, frequent cases of radiation over-exposure at numerous sites, unsafe heavy-water transportation and terrible health effects near the Jaduguda uranium mines and the Rajasthan reactors.
A mere 16 kg of uranium dioxide was enough to cause what has been acknowledged even by the global nuclear industry and its UN lobby, the International Atomic Energy Agency, as the world’s fifth worst nuclear disaster. There are many lessons for us in India in Tokaimura—and in the Wolsong reactor leak in S. Korea, which followed.