Prof. Dhirendra Sharma

The Indian government has announced its long-term nuclear commitment to generate 40,000 Megawatt by nuclear power by 2030. It had entered into nuclear deals with several countries, including the United States and France, costing the nation more than US$ 150 billion. It takes 10-15 years to build a nuclear power plant but the designed life of a reactor is just about fifty (50) years. There after the entire structure, plant area, equipment and the radioactive waste pose serious engineering and financial problems for their safe-keeping for hundred years.

All post-Chernobyl (1986) studies and recent Fukushima scientific reports, have warned us against Nuclear Power. In Europe tens of thousands of animals, helicopters, vehicles, buildings, machines, tools, roads, soil, trees, and forests were destroyed or abandoned. The Atoms for Peace and Atoms for War are Siamese twins that cannot be separated. “For inherent in the nuclear arsenals stockpiled are thousands upon thousands of potential disasters” concluded Dr. Mould in The Chernobyl: The Real Story.

The US National Academy of Science’s Committee for Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation and the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effect of Atomic Radiation had cautioned against long-term epidemiological radiation effects. The Kyoto Protocol had, therefore, excluded nuclear power from the Clean Development Mechanism.

Nuclear Power is on downward trend world wide and “the largest nuclear builders in the world AREVA NP has turned into financial fiasco”. (World Nuclear Industry Status Report, August, 2009). The European Union and German Nuclear Safety Act 2002 plans “To phase out the use of Nuclear Power.”

The Editor-in-Chief and Head of the IAEA Information, Mr. Lothar Wedekin says “Challenges are formidable, the future of Nuclear Power is uncertain but one thing looks clear – the next generation of (nuclear) plants will not be Made in the USA”. (The IAEA Bulletin, vol.49/1, 2008).

In view of the present recessions prevailing in the nuclear industry in the US., Russia, and France, and now Japan, all of them trying to dump their old nuclear reactors and stock pilled fuel in India. Mr. Hans-Holger Rogner, Head, Planning and Economic Studies Section of International Atomic Energy Agency( IAEA), had confirmed that ‘the arguments against the nuclear power deserve an objective assessment.’ In the US., long-term safe-keeping and management of nuclear waste of decommissioned reactors and cleaning up of the contaminated sites had posed serious engineering problem. And the Obama administration had refused to provide $80-100 billion required for the management of the nuclear waste.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, world wide demand in 2030 would be 16.9 Terawatt (TW). According to Energy policy paradigm, it is now confirmed that non-nuclear sustainable water, wind and solar (WWS) Power will be available by 2020. . Solar energy alone offers 6,500 TW. (“A Plan for a Sustainable Future, WWS by 2030,” in the Scientific American: India, November 2009, pp. 38-45, www.sciam.co.in)

No Parliamentary Committee had discussed the reliability and performance of the “peaceful nuclear” program. Since the safer and economical sources of energy like water, wind and solar are available to us, there is no need to mortgage life and liberties of future generations to potentially hazardous nuclear power. Nonetheless, if the Department of Atomic Energy is sure that the Nuclear Power is totally safe and pose no harm to Life and liberties of citizens, we ask the government to provide Life Insurance Policy against the radiation harms to citizens. At present, the Life Insurance Corporation and all other insurance companies deny insurance policy against radiation hazards. There is no insurance policy against radiation damage to property and/or physical harm to animals or humans.

We strongly support the Kudankulam people’s campaign demanding immediate stoppage of entire nuclear power activities.

( Such a memorandum, with 10,000 signatures, had been sent to the Prime Minister and several MPs.)

 

Prof. Dhirendra Sharma, Science Policy Centre, “Nirmal Nilay,” Dehradun 248009.
Convenor, Committee for Sane Nuclear Policy: India..
Author: India’s Nuclear Estate.
Phone: +91-135-2735-627, mobile: 989788 -3741.0r 999 7277 111.