To,

Mr. Yukia Amano
Director General
International Atomic Energy Agency
Vienna International Centre
PO Box 100
1400 Vienna, Austria

Dear Sir,

In regard to the ongoing inspection visit of the IAEA to the Rawatbhata Nuclear Power Station (RAPS) in Rajasthan(India), and the Indian government’s attempt to sell your report to the general public and to the potential nuclear suppliers as a proof of safety of the Indian nuclear industry, we would like to submit the below mentioned facts to you:

1. In Rawatbhata, the IAEA team is visiting reactors no. 3 & 4 as per the media reports, whereas the tritium leaks also happened in June in reactor no. 5 in which 34 casual workers were exposed to high doses of tritium.

2. These casual workers, who are not provided with any health benefits, are the most vulnerable part of the nuclear industry. That the NPCIL seniors force them to work in unsafe zones and intimidate them to hide radiation exposures from media and the larger society has been well documented by independent observers.

3. In Rawatbhata, we came to know that these contractual workers have been asked to take leave for next 15 days or work only in night shifts until the IAEA team is there. The Rawatbhata contractual workers have been struggling for proper wages, health benefits and independent radiation check-ups. (reports enclosed)

4. Dr. Sanghamitra Gadekar and Dr. Surendra Gadekar have done an independent health survey around Rawatbhata reactors which has exposed high incurrence of cancer, leukemia and other diseases (attached). This study was published in a reputed and peer-reviewd medical journal but the NPCIL has conveniently ignored it.

5. The Government of India has not done any independent safety review of its nuclear facilities after Fukushima, as it has been done in most other countries. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), the government operator, hastily did internal safety review last year within 3 months and has given a clean-chit to itself. The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) in India, which has no independence and is due to be replaced by a new regulatory body currently under discussion in the parliament, has in the meanwhile given only very general recommendations on safety. We urge you to press the Government of India to do a thorough safety review under independent experts.

6. We also urge you to ask for a moratorium on new constructions and commissioning until such an independent review takes place. People on the grassroots and independent experts have raised serious safety issues in Koodankulam, Jaitapur, Mithivirdi, Chutka, Fatehabad, Kovvada etc. where intense mass struggles are underway to oppose these nuclear projects.

7. The nuclear industry in India does not publish data about radiation releases in its nuclear facilities. Nor does it do any periodic health survey of the population around its facilities. For instance, despite the government officially disallowing people living near Hyderabad’s nuclear fuel complex (NFC) to drink ground water, no proper mechanism to ensure transparency on radiation health has been put in place and the establishment lives in complete denial of health hazards caused by radiation.

After Fukushima, the safety of nuclear energy projects has come under serious questions globally, forcing most of the governments to go for transparent and independent safety review. The IAEA must encourage the same in India and should not allow its team’s visit to be publicised as a blanket clean-chit on nuclear safety to the Indian nuclear industry.

For CNDP

Achin Vanaik
Anil Chaudhary
Praful Bidwai
Amarjeet Kaur
N D Jayaprakash
Admiral L. Ramdas
Lalita Ramdas
P K Sundaram