Why the DAE and AERB should monitor the situation at Taishan and place pause on India’s own EPR project: Dr EAS Sarma’s open letter

The reported radiological leak at the EPR-design Taishan nuclear facility in China has caused widespread concern, with the US, France and other countries closely monitoring the unfolding developments. Yet, the Indian government remains tight-lipped. India’s former Union Power Secretary, EAS Sarma who has been consistently drawing attention to the many concerns with regard to India’s own proposed EPR project at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, has written another letter addressed to the DAE and AEC, Government of India urging them to monitor the situation in Taishan and to consider and address the many questions surrounding the Jaitapur nuclear project. We are reproducing Dr. EAS Sarma’s open letter below:



Shri Kamlesh Nilkanth Vyas
Secretary, Dept of Atomic Energy (DEA) &
Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)
Govt of India

Dear Shri Vyas,

My letters dated 13-9-2019 & 18-12-2019 along with the previous correspondence are enclosed.

I have been cautioning the DAE of the technical problems faced in the operation of EDF’s EPR reactors and the possible risks.

The latest on this are the reported problems with the EPR reactor commissioned at Taishan in China. The enclosed news reports (“French Companies Admit Problems at Nuclear Plant in China” in New York Times and “Nuclear plant in China refutes report of radiation leak warning, says indicators ‘normal’” in Washington Post) refer.

The French and the US nuclear regulators are closely monitoring the radiation levels at the Taishan site. I wonder whether the AERB in India has cared to get detailed reports from them.

From the point of view of safety, since India is going ahead with the purchase of six EPR reactors to be installed at Jaitapur, I feel that the DAE and the AERB should similarly monitor the situation at Taishan.


Yours sincerely,

E A S Sarma
Former Secretary to Govt of India


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