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‘Kalam`s statement on nuclear power improper’

Director of Center for Environmental Studies, GITAM University, Prof Shivji Rao has opposed former president Dr Abdul Kalam`s view on nuclear power that it not be abandoned for the risks it poses to man.



Rajahmundry: Director of Center for Environmental Studies, GITAM University, Prof Shivji Rao has opposed former president Dr Abdul Kalam`s view on nuclear power that it not be abandoned for the risks it poses to man.

Prof Rao argued that the nuclear technology in India faces higher levels of failures and risks,"since even advanced economies like USA, Japan and Germany have failed to master the nuclear safety problems".

On Sunday, while interacting with the students of an engineering college at Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu Dr Kalam had said that nuclear power could not be abandoned for the risks it poses to man just "as aircrafts and automobiles have not been abandoned following accidents."

However, in a statement Prof Rao said, "This statement is highly improper in view of the Indian ethos. While automobile and aircraft accidents kill individuals and harm the interests of only one generation, the damaging impacts of nuclear power can ruin interests of several generations of human beings and other forms of life, on which man depends for his survival."
"Since even advanced economies like USA, Japan and Germany failed to master the nuclear safety problems, India should refrain from starting new major reactors at Jaitapur in Maharasthra, Bhavnagar in Gujarat and Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh to avoid turning India into a nuclear grave yard," he added.

"Hence the contention of Dr Kalam that India cannot abandon nuclear power because of the safety concerns is highly unethical and immoral and it is opposed to the Gandhian ideology that establishes that science without human concerns is a social evil like knowledge without character and commerce without morality," he said.

Prof Rao said that "there is ample evidence from the nuclear disasters at Three Mile Island in USA, Chernobyl in Ukraine and Fukushima in Japan that operational practices are prone to electrical, mechanical and human failures, because the operational practices are not only monotonous and also are not easy to change."
"Moreover, operators almost never follow instructions and written procedures exactly all the time and the violations of rules appear to be quite rational under the given actual work load and timing constraints, under which, the operators must do their job sometimes under the fatigue," Rao said.

"Nuclear technology in India faces higher levels of failures and risks, because the developed countries are rushing to join the nuclear reactor development race without the necessary infrastructure, skilled personnel, relevant regulatory framework and safety culture, as evidenced by the several nuclear incidents and minor accidents that caused serious health problems to hundreds of those living near the nuclear plants in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu," he said.

"The Greenpeace has presented a comprehensive report on alternate energy resources in place of nuclear power for the European countries, which is a model for other countries like India," he stated.

PTI

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