Editor’s Note: Dr. EAS Sarma is India’s former Union Power Secretary. He has made important public interventions since the Fukushima accident about the IAEA’s complacency as well as the Indian government’s imprudence in pursuing nuclear power. Regarding IAEA’s role in Fukushima, he wrote letters earlier which we have published on these pages. Here is his latest open letter to the General Secretary of the International Atomic Energy Agency:


Mr. Yukiya Amano
Director General

Dear Mr. Amano,

I write this letter in continuation of my previous three letters dated 27th July 2013, 24th August 2014 and 19th March 2017 on the subject. Copies of my letters are forwarded here.

Apparently, IAEA is yet to take any tangible steps on my letters!

The latest reports from Fukushima are disturbing. Large quantities of radioactive water are being released every day into the Pacific Ocean. The prospect of immediately containing the melt down at the reactor site appears dim.

I have come across a report, “Japan to ‘drop tanks’ full of Fukushima nuclear waste directly into the ocean”(copy enclosed) which indicates that, in the absence of any better solution, a large number of radioactive waste water tanks which have accumulated at the site will be dumped in the Pacific ocean. This should raise a global alarm.

As a world body dealing with atomic energy and its implications for the people, I expect IAEA to respond to this report, take the world community into confidence and mount a global mission to tackle this problem. It is time that IAEA sets up a high-level global technical team to analyse the options so as to find a solution that minimises the damage.

It is important that the IAEA commissions a comprehensive study of the impact of the continuing release of radioactive water into the ocean and its future trajectory so that a plan of action to face the consequences may be put in place.

I hope that the IAEA makes a public disclosure of what it intends to do on Fukushima.


Yours sincerely,

E A S Sarma
Former Secretary to Government of India
10th May 2017