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Sunday 18 December 2011

Need To Revisit The Role Of Nuclear Power

Need To Revisit The Role Of Nuclear Power
For India 's Energy Security

By Buddhi Kota Subbarao Ph.D

15 December, 2011

While the social and political implications of the movement against
Koodankulam nuclear power plant in southern India are being discussed
nationwide, a Special Essay appeared in The Hindu, November 6, 2011 by
Dr. A.P.J. Abudul Kalam & Mr. Srijan Pal Singh claiming “Nuclear power
is our gateway to a prosperous future.” Abdul Kalam, former President
of India, is qualified in aeronautical engineering and has experience
in missile technology. Srijan Pal Singh has been working in the area
of sustainable development.

A large section of the Indian public has no information or only a
meagre information at their command, to know the claims and arguments
of former Indian President Dr.Kalam are all ill founded. The face
value of Kalam comes in the way of Indian public discovering that the
enormous investment in nuclear power being advocated by Dr.Kalam and
people like him is going to impoverish India and India is sure to face
internal and external wars on water resources which would remain
undeveloped and under developed on account of the disproportionate
energy budget flowing towards the nuclear power research and
installation. Hence this detailed Analytical Essay to counter the long
Special Essay of Dr.Kalam.

Koodankulam context

People's movement against nuclear power in India has recently been
intensified with the sustained peaceful movement from the people in
and around Koodankulam nuclear power plant, in Tamilnadu State in
southern India . The plant with its two Russian VVER 1000 reactors of
1000 MW each, located on the east coast of India next to the Bay of
Bengal Sea , is ready for commissioning.

Opposition of people in and around Koodankulam to the nuclear power
plant has been continuing right from the beginning. Public debate
questioning the need for Koodankulam nuclear power plant was quite
wide spread from the inception. [1] & [2]. The worldwide
reverberations from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that was
crippled in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, had its effect at
Koodankulam too.

The crisis at Koodankulam nuclear plant raises the fundamental
question - whether India needs nuclear power as an essential component
to attain its energy security? It also raises the question - why the
people of India should be condemned to dangers of nuclear radiation
and loss of livelihood, while India , unlike Japan and France , is
blessed with rivers, sunshine and wind to harness energy?

According to National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC), a Government of
India Enterprise, India is endowed with economically exploitable and
viable hydro potential assessed to be about 84,000 MW at 60% load
factor (1,48,701 MW installed capacity). In addition, 6780 MW in terms
of installed capacity from Small, Mini, and Micro Hydel schemes have
been assessed. Also, 56 sites for pumped storage schemes with an
aggregate installed capacity of 94,000 MW have been identified.
However, only 19.9% of this entire massive hydro potential has been
harnessed so far. [3].

The geographic location of India makes it a strong candidate for
harnessing solar energy. With about 300 clear, sunny days in a year,
India 's theoretical solar power reception, on only its land area, is
about 5 Petawatt-hours per year (PWh/yr) (i.e. 5 trillion k Wh /yr or
about 600 T W). The daily average solar energy incident over India
varies from 4 to 7 kWh/m 2 with about 1500–2000 sunshine hours per
year (depending upon location), which is far more than current total
energy consumption. For example, assuming the efficiency of PV (Photo
Voltaic) modules were as low as 10%, this would still be a thousand
times greater than the domestic electricity demand projected for 2015.

However, at present solar energy produced in India is less than 1% of
the total energy demand. The grid-interactive solar power as of
December 2010 was merely 10 MW. [4]

The Ernst & Young's report stated that India 's gross renewable energy
potential (up to 2032) is estimated at 220 GW. "Clearly, with a
renewable energy capacity of 14.8 GW i.e, 9.7% of the total installed
generation capacities of 150 GW (as on June 30, 2009 ), India has
barely scratched the surface of a huge opportunity. However, given
that in the last couple of years itself, the share of renewable energy
in installed capacity has grown from 5% to 9.7%, India is definitely
looking to make up for the lost time rapidly,'' stated the report.

People's movement in southern India has now halted the commissioning
of the Koodankulam nuclear plant. What made the movement more visible
is the sensible step the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu Ms. Jaya Lalitha
has taken to ask the Indian Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh, who is
directly in-charge of the Department of Atomic Energy, to assuage
people's fear of nuclear radiation and to attend to the issues raised
by all those who are pursuing a sincere, informed, sustained, peaceful
and democratic movement against the Koodankulam nuclear plant. This is
certainly a notable response of Tamilnadu Chief Minster Ms. Jaya
Lalitha to the people's movement against nuclear power plants in the
east coast, compared to the harsh response of Maharashtra Chief
Minister Prithviraj Chauhan against people's movement opposing
Jaitapur nuclear power plant in Maharashtra State on the west coast
where it is proposed to construct 6 European Pressurized Reactors
(EPR) designed and developed by Areva of France , each of 1650
megawatts , thus totalling 9900 megawatts .

It appears, Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant is destined to reset the
nuclear priorities in India . Decisions on the Russian origin
Koodankulam nuclear plant on the east coast in Tamilnadu would shape
the things for the French origin Jaitapur nuclear plant on the west
coast in Maharashtra and American origin proposed nuclear plants in
other parts of India . Consequently, the people in India agitating
against nuclear power are bound to face the wrath of the nuclear
business corporations from all corners of the world. It is well known,
like the Oil Majors, the Nuclear Majors are very powerful and
influential and their sole aim is business and profit.

India is now at the crossroads to decide - to go or not go for
building and commissioning further nuclear power plants. If careful
and in depth scientific analysis done with due intellectual honesty to
arrive at a reliable balance-sheet of the advantages and disadvantages
of nuclear electricity, were to point out in the direction that India
should avoid the nuclear as a component in the energy mix, then there
should be no hesitation to abandon not only the Koodankulam nuclear
power plant but also all other proposed nuclear power plants.
Abandoning Koodankulam nuclear plant need not be and will not be a
reflection on the Russian nuclear technology if it is a national
policy of India to avoid any further investment in nuclear
electricity. Loss of Rs.13,615 Crores in abandoning a ready to
commission Koodankulam nuclear power plant of Russian origin will be a
pittance compared to the loss that is bound to accrue from flooding
the country with nuclear power plants of French, American, and other

Energy and economy

Dr.Kalam and Singh are right in pointing out that there is a known
correlation between the industrial growth of a nation and the per
capita consumption of electricity. At the same time it is necessary to
point out there is a direct relationship between the health of the
people and the availability and quality of drinking water. Therefore,
the most prudent energy policy of a developing country, while it
commits its scarce funds, should be to harness first its rivers so
that not only electricity but also additional benefits including
irrigation and drinking water are realised. India is blessed with many
rivers, sunshine through out the country, and winds to and fro land
and sea. Energy planners should at first take into full consideration
these available natural resources. India 's future will be bright if
hydro, solar, wind and other alternate sources of energy are harnessed

In the Indian context, while discussing electricity production, it is
a gross misrepresentation to claim, as claimed by Dr.Kalam and Singh,
‘Nuclear power is our gateway to a prosperous future.' of India .
Kalam's ardent advocacy and intense enthusiasm for nuclear power is
rooted more in rhetoric and less in scientific base. Kalam's Special
Essay contains contradictions as well as unsubstantiated assertions
and ill founded hopes.

The fundamental contradiction is to claim on one side, “ we and we
alone will decide what is the best needed action for our economic
prosperity, based on our context and resource profile.”; and at the
same time ignore ‘our context and resource profile' and adapt the very
model that was recklessly resorted to by the U.S. President Dwight
David Eisenhower to pursue nuclear electricity ignoring completely the
sound advice contained in the report of a special commission. A bit of
history needs to be recalled.

By the end of Eisenhower period, the key pieces in the pattern of
private nuclear reactor development were in place. All that remained
was to translate enthusiasm into plants. Yet, with hindsight, there is
a final irony in the five-volume study of America 's natural resources
that was on the President's desk when he took office in January 1953.
The document was the report of a special commission headed by CBS
chairman William Paley. Forecasting to the year 1975, the study
predicted oil shortages and concluded: “Nuclear fuels, for various
technical reasons, are unlikely ever to bear more than about one-fifth
of the load …. It is time for aggressive research in the whole field
of solar energy- an effort in which the United States could make an
immense contribution to the welfare of the world.” [ 6 ., p. 164]

In the intervening years, some $200 billion have been spent throughout
the world in attempts to develop nuclear power. Solar has received
perhaps one-thousandth that amount. At the end of the 1970s, solar
technology was still regarded as “futuristic” and nuclear technology
as ‘mature”. Nuclear advocates like Dr.Abdul Kalam continue to talk as
if there had never been a choice about what to do first, as if there
was a natural order for the sequence of human discovery.

Mikhail Gorbachev , the Soviet premier at the time of the Chernobyl
explosion, wrote in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 's March/April
2011 issue, " it is necessary to realize that nuclear power is not a
panacea , as some observers allege, for energy sufficiency or climate
change. Its cost-effectiveness is also exaggerated , as its real cost
does not account for many hidden expenses. In the United States , for
example, direct subsidies to nuclear energy amounted to $115 billion
between 1947 and 1999, with an additional $145 billion in indirect
subsidies . In contrast, subsidies to wind and solar energy combined
over this same period total l ed only $5.5 billion. ” [7]

Thus one could see not only enormous amounts were allocated for
research to develop nuclear power, starving funds for research in
solar and other sources of energy, but also huge amounts as direct and
indirect subsidies were given to build and operate nuclear power
plants. With mutated nuclear renaissance in the air, the same story is
now repeating, by having people with face value like Dr.Abdul Kalam to
sing systematically in praise of nuclear electricity. When Business
and Profit but not human welfare is the priority, the people worldwide
are bound to be condemned to continue their fight against horrors of
nuclear contamination.

Yes! now and then, we do hear the clarion call like the call from
Gorbachev , “To end the vicious cycle of “ poverty versus safe
environment ” , the world must quickly transition to efficient, safe,
and renewable energy, which will bring enormous economic, social, and
environmental benefits. As the global population continues to expand,
and the demand for energy production grows, we must invest in
alternative and more sustainable sources of energy - wind, solar,
geothermal, hydro - and widespread conservation and energy efficiency
initiatives as safer, more efficient, and more affordable avenues for
meeting both energy demands and conserving our fragile planet. ” [7]

International Scenario on nuclear energy

A key argument of Dr. Kalam and Singh for India to elect nuclear
electricity as a necessary prominent component of its energy mix is,
“The study indicates that most of the prosperous nations are
extracting about 30-40 per cent of power from nuclear power and it
constitutes a significant part of their clean energy portfolio,
reducing the burden of combating climate change and the health hazards
associated with pollution.”

It is helpful to look at the context and compulsions of the United
States , France and Japan in harnessing the atom for electricity. To
meet their energy demands, the United States in the past had a choice
to avoid nuclear electricity but it chose not to. In the present also
the Federal Government has a choice to call off further reliance on
nuclear electricity but they continue the policy of massive subsidies
to nuclear electricity. What guides this policy? - it is the desire of
the United States to retain its nuclear supremacy as well as the
pressure from the private Big Nuclear Power Industry. Whereas, the
compulsions for France and Japan to hang on to nuclear electricity are
primarily the lack of adequate other alternate energy sources, which
is not the case with India .

In 1949 nearly 91% of America 's total primary energy came from coal,
oil, and natural gas. The balance came from renewables, including
hydropower. By 2008 the market share for coal, oil and natural gas,
along with nuclear, had grown to 92.5% of total primary energy in the
U.S. with the remainder coming from renewables. The U.S. nuclear power
industry currently comprises 104 licensed reactors at 65 plant sites
in 31 states and generates about 20% of the nation's electricity [8].

Canada, having the potential to harness the atom for electricity as
much as the United States, chose to remain modest with its nuclear
electricity and invested to derive sixty percent of its electricity
from hydro power by harnessing its rivers. Hydropower has enabled
Canadians to meet their need for energy, making life easier and safer.
Having opened up remote regions, attracted industries, stimulated
economic growth, nurtured innovation, and created world-class
expertise, hydropower has founded a modern economy. Drawing on the
renewable resource of water, hydropower has contributed all of this
without adding to air or water pollution. Norway generates 99% of its
electricity by harnessing its rivers and lakes.

Indian Energy Planners should come out of their obsession with nuclear
power which is grabbing maximum share of energy investment and
starving other sources of energy, and should take notice of the data
compiled by World Atlas & Industry Guide, 2007 and U.S. Energy
Information Administration, on worldwide hydro power cultivation and
installed capacities and generation, China 130,000 (MW) & 440
TWh/year, Canada 70,858 (MW) & 355 TWh/year, Brazil 73,678 (MW) & 351
TWh/year, USA 90,090 (MW) & 270 TWh/year, Russia 46,100 (MW) & 168
TWh/year, Norway 28,691 (MW) & 119 TWh/year and India 35,000 (MW) &
105 TWh/year. India has harnessed less than 20% of its huge hydro
potential of 1,48,701 MW. The writing on the wall is clear. India is
going to face wars, internal as well as external, if it fails to
harness on a war footing its water resources in harmony with its
energy security.

In such facts and circumstances, it is not a prudent policy for India
to emulate and cite “prosperous nations are extracting about 30-40 per
cent of power from nuclear power”, and insist that India should also
commit its investments to aim at that much percentage of nuclear in
its energy mix. It is certainly not a prudent policy for the Indian
Energy Planners to give back seat to the abundant hydro, solar, wind
and other alternate resources India is blessed with. Furthermore, it
cannot be forgotten that the reasons for the 30-year halt in U.S.
nuclear plant orders included high capital costs, public concern about
nuclear safety and waste disposal, and regulatory compliance costs.

In the fifties to promote nuclear electricity business, Eisenhower
administration used two slogans - ‘atoms for peace' and ‘too cheat to
meter'. At present Obama Administration cleverly labelled nuclear
electricity as a ‘clean source' to combat global carbon emissions. At
all times, the United States avoided adequate investments to pursue
research and develop of solar and other alternate sources of energy
and relegated those alternate sources to secondary position.
Therefore, in the energy planning, the American model or similar
models, cannot be a benchmark for any developing country including
India with abundant resources of hydro, solar and wind.

The Obama Administration submitted a $754 million FY2012 funding
request for Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear energy research and
development on February 14, 2011 . Including advanced reactors, fuel
cycle technology, and infrastructure support, the total nuclear energy
request is $21.9 million above the FY2011 funding level and it was
approved by Congress on April 14, 2011 . The FY2011 level is $37.5
million below the FY2010 appropriation. Those totals exclude funding
provided under other Defence Activities for safeguards and security at
DOE's Idaho nuclear facilities, for which $98.5 million is being
requested for FY2012. [ 9 , p.1]

President Obama's State of the Union Address on January 25, 2011,
called for nuclear power to be included in a national goal of
generating 80% of U.S. electricity “from clean energy sources” by
2035. Along with nuclear power and renewable energy, “clean energy”
would include “efficient” natural gas plants and clean coal
technologies, to the extent that they reduced carbon emissions from
conventional coal-fired plants. The President's proposed Clean Energy
Standard could provide a significant boost to U.S. nuclear power
expansion. The Big Nuclear Industrial Conglomerates and Military
Industrial Complex have their ways to make US President appear
patriotic when he paves ways for their smooth and massive business.

President Obama committed a blunder to recognise nuclear power as a
clean source of energy. It is a blunder because it ignores the price
the United States is already paying for its nuclear supremacy. [10] .
A supremacy which resulted in irreparable massive nuclear
contamination of its soil, waters, underground water tables and rivers
around many of the nuclear installations in the United States. The
town of Hanford in Washington State is one such example. “In the
thirteen year period from 1944 when B reactors went into operation,
530,000 curies of iodine-131 were released into the atmosphere. Buried
for decades in secret files, this fact was only made public in 1986,
along with equally shocking revelation that in 1949, as an experiment,
radioactive material had been deliberately been released into the
surrounding area.” [ 11 , p.20]. As part of that experiment known as
Green Run experiment, in which radioactive material was deliberately
released into the surrounding area of Hanford on December 2 and 3 of
1949, the quantities released are – xenon: 20,000 curies; iodine-131:
7,780 curies. Dispersed over an area 1,200 by 400 miles. [11, p.22].
According to Martin, a scientist who had been involved in the Green
Run, “the total amount of radioactive material released into the
atmosphere over the thirteen years from 1944 almost reaches Chernobyl
proportions. The total for 1944 and 1945 represents sixty percent of
the whole amount, or 340,000 curies.” [11, p.23].

The blunder of recognising nuclear power as a clean source can also be
noticed from the inability of the United States Government up till now
to find a permanent location to bury the spent nuclear fuel problem.
Today, the United States faces a contamination problem for which there
appears to be no immediate solution. Under increasing pressure from
the public, the United States is beginning to count the cost of being
at the fore front of nuclear technology.

One of the most controversial aspects of nuclear power is the disposal
of radioactive waste, which can remain hazardous for thousands of
years. This problem has become quite acute in the United States . Each
nuclear reactor produces an annual average of about 20 metric tons of
highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel, for a nationwide total of about
2,000 metric tons per year. U.S. reactors also generate about 40,000
cubic meters of low-level radioactive waste per year, including
contaminated components and materials resulting from reactor
decommissioning. [12]

The federal government is responsible for permanent disposal of
commercial spent fuel (paid for with a fee on nuclear power
production) and federally generated radioactive waste, while states
have the authority to develop disposal facilities for most commercial
low-level waste. Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act ( NWPA ) (42
U.S.C. 10101, et seq.), spent fuel and other highly radioactive waste
is to be isolated in a deep underground repository, consisting of a
large network of tunnels carved from rock that has remained
geologically undisturbed for hundreds of thousands of years.

As amended in 1987, NWPA designated Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the
only candidate site for the national repository. The act required DOE
(Department of Energy) to begin taking waste from nuclear plant sites
by 1998—a deadline that even under the most optimistic scenarios will
be missed by more than 20 years. DOE filed a license application with
NRC for the proposed Yucca Mountain repository in June 2008.

However, the Obama Administration “has determined that developing the
Yucca Mountain repository is not a workable option and the Nation
needs a different solution for nuclear waste disposal,” Therefore, DOE
filed a motion with NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) to withdraw
the Yucca Mountain license application on March 3, 2010. An NRC
licensing panel denied DOE's withdrawal motion June 29, 2010 , and the
matter is now before the full Commission. [13]

Alternatives to Yucca Mountain are being evaluated by the Blue Ribbon
Commission on America 's Nuclear Future which was formally established
by DOE on March 1, 2010 . The Commission is expected to issue a draft
report in the summer of 2011 and a final report six months later.

The Yucca Mountain project faced regulatory uncertainty even before
the Obama Administration's move to shut it down. A ruling on July 9,
2004 , by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit overturned a key aspect of the Environmental Protection
Agency's ( EPA 's) regulations for the planned repository. [14]

The three-judge panel ruled that EPA's 10,000-year compliance period
was too short, but it rejected several other challenges to the rules.
EPA published new standards on October 15, 2008 , that would allow
radiation exposure from the repository to increase after 10,000 years.

The State of Nevada has filed a federal Appeals Court challenge to the
EPA standards. (For more information on the EPA standards, see CRS
Report RL34698, EPA's Final Health and Safety Standard for Yucca
Mountain , by Bonnie C. Gitlin.).

The budget sought by Obama administration for the FY2012 and approved
by Congress on April 14, 2011 , includes 6 billion dollars for the
nuclear contamination clean up of defence and non-defence
installations. [ 16 . p.36]. Similar problems and burdens are
confronting all other nations engaged in nuclear pursuits.

While such are the hard problems of the nuclear waste disposal,
spanning issues of nuclear contamination, environmental protection,
people's health, with social, political and legal dimensions, that are
confronting successive US Governments, how could President Obama
recognise nuclear power as a clean source of energy? How could those
issues be overlooked in democratic India , or for that matter in any
other country, while trying to flood the country with nuclear power

Nuclear risks

While most of us reflect on the fate of those affected by 1986
Chernobyl accident in USSR, of the victims of 1979 Three Mile Island
in USA, and of the highly covered-up Windscale fire of 1957 in U.K,
and now in March 2011 of Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear
power complex, we may be tempted to believe the suggestion such as the
suggestion of Kalam and Singh in their Special Essay that such
disasters are isolated and unlikely to occur in Indian context
especially with the claim that the new reactors now coming to India
are of the latest fourth generation and not of the forty year old
Fukushima Daiichi type.

But we must bear in mind that the nuclear accidents Chernobyl and
Three Mile Island resulted from human error. All the four accidents
mentioned above, do have a common factor of inadequacies of design and
insufficient grasp of safety requirements. The consequences of a
nuclear accident are far too serious to be ignored. People living next
to nuclear installations in USA , U.K. , France , Russia , Japan ,
India and elsewhere, have been living on a razor's edge for decades.

Beyond these horrifying scenarios, a large number of people are at
present exposed to emissions from nuclear installations of different
sorts – that contaminate the air we breath, the food we eat and even
consumer products in our homes – and all these in order to assure the
survival of an industry whose very raison d'etre is unjustifiable on
environmental, social and economic grounds, and whose survival would
have been inconceivable without vast government subsidies, both direct
and indirect.

Very recently, on September 12, 2011 , a nuclear waste site in
southern France had an explosion that killed one person, seriously
burned another and slightly injured three others. The place of the
accident, Centraco, is located on the 300-hectare Marcoule site, which
also houses a research centre and four industrial sites, including one
that makes Mox, a fuel made from plutonium and uranium.

The material at Centraco comes from nuclear sites and therefore is
mildly radioactive, spokeswoman Carole Trivi said. She said the site
treats mostly waste from EDF's own power plants, as well as a small
amount of material from hospitals or medical research labs. The cause
of the blast was not immediately known, and an investigation has been
opened, Trivi said. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) called
for details on the accident. [17]

France is the world's most nuclear-dependent country in the world,
with the lion's share of its electricity coming from the 58 nuclear
reactors that dot the country. France is also a major exporter of
nuclear power, treats nuclear waste from around the world, and
state-owned nuclear giant Areva is one of the country's most prominent
companies. India signed agreement with France under which Areva
supplies the nuclear power reactors for the proposed Jaitapur nuclear
complex on the West Coast in the State of Maharashtra .

France has stuck firmly to its pro-nuclear policy, and the kind of
soul-searching about using nuclear power that swept the world
following Japan's March 11 tsunami and the disaster at the Fukushima
nuclear plant have been largely absent in France. In June, 2011,
President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged that France will stick to a plan to
invest euro1 billion ($1.37 billion) in future nuclear reactors.

By contrast, neighbouring Germany reconsidered its position, took
eight of its older reactors off the grid in the wake of the Japanese
disaster and lawmakers have voted to shut the country's nine remaining
nuclear plants by 2022.

Kalam and Singh tried to ridicule the experimentally derived and long
held opinion from the field of genetics that radiation exposure can
cause genetic mutations in living organisms and the effects of
mutation could be hereditarily passed on to the next generations. They
wrote, “Another argument which surrounds the nuclear debate is that
nuclear accidents and the radiation fallout as the aftermath would not
only harm the exposed generation but also continue to impact
generations to come. If available facts and scientific inquiry was
given more weightage than mere conjectures and comic-bookish
imagination, this argument will in all probability be proved a myth.”

The authors rely on a statement in the report prepared by the U.S.
government Atomic Bombing Casualty Commission (ABCC) established in
1946 to assess the late-effects of radiation among the atomic bomb
survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and subsequently reconstituted in
1974, as a joint venture between the U.S. and Japan under the name of
Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF). The statement in the
report quoted by Kalam and Singh is, , “ Our studies have not found
thus far any inherited genetic effects from parental radiation
exposure among the children of Abomb .”

Robert Jay Lifton who spent considerable time with Japanese hibakusha
(victims of radiation) writes in 1992 in his Foreword to the book
EXPOSURE [11] “Survivors have been haunted by a life long fear of
invisible contamination (nuclear contamination), a fear that could
extend over generations. During recent trips to Hiroshima , people
would tell me of their relief that studies show no significant
increase in abnormalities in the next generations, but would sometimes
add that they are still worried about what could happen to the third
generation and the ones after that.

Anyone who is familiar with genetics knows that Mendelian inheritance
(or Mendelian genetics or Mendelism ) is a scientific description of
how hereditary characteristics are passed from parent organisms to
their offspring; it underlies much of genetics . Thomas Hunt Morgan
and his assistants later integrated the theoretical model of Mendel
with the chromosome theory of inheritance, in which the chromosomes of
cells were thought to hold the actual hereditary material, and create
what is now known as classical genetics , which was extremely
successful and cemented Mendel's place in history. [18]

A chromosome is an organized structure of DNA ( Deoxyribonucleic acid)
and protein found in cells . It is a single piece of coiled DNA
containing many genes , regulatory elements and other nucleotide
sequences . Chromosomes also contain DNA-bound proteins, which serve
to package the DNA and control its functions. [19] .

The crucial point is, genes are regulatory elements that contain
genetic information based on which the development of fertilised egg
in the womb takes place to become the child that is born in due
course. Nuclear radiation (alpha, beta and gamma rays) alters genetic
information and the regulation mechanism. When altered, the corrupted
information in the altered gene can give rise to birth defects. The
body cells have certain amount of regenerative capacity to correct the
altered genes. But if alteration of gene remains uncorrected, the
corrupt information is bound to have its consequences if not in one
generation but in subsequent generations. The probability of mixing
the genes from father and mother in the fertilised egg follows the
Mendel's laws which are known as, the Law of Segregation (The “First”
law) and the Law of Independent Assortment (the “Second Law”), also
known as "Inheritance Law". [18]. It is because of these laws, the
individual characteristics can show up even after a few generations as
determined by the genetic information.

Only because no inheritance defects are noticed in one generation from
survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki one cannot make it as a scientific
finding that radiation affects are not inherited. Moreover, Kalam and
Singh did not show from the report, that chromosomal alterations were
noticed in the affected Japanese parents who had no abnormal children.
If chromosomal alterations are noticed, the effect may show up in
subsequent generations if not in the immediate generation. In many
villages of India , one still hears the elders saying that when you
look for marriage alliance of young boy or girl, enquire about seven
generations on both sides. Perhaps, Indians long ago somehow had an
intuitive understanding of inheritance laws, even before the
meticulous Monk Mendel propounded his laws from his experiments on

There is a direct experimental evidence of radiation effects getting
transmitted through inheritance. The experiment was done by the

The screwworm fly was persistent molester of cattle in the south
eastern United States until it encountered the power of the atom. In
1958, some enterprising government officials started a screwworm fly
factory in Florida and bred millions of the nasty black insects. They
then irradiated them with gamma rays, making them sterile, and dropped
them from aircraft on Florida , Alabama , and Georgia .

Over a period of eighteen months, two billion of the sterile flies
were allowed to complete with their virile brothers and sisters in the
natural breeding process. Sterile males were soon outnumbering virile
males by nine to one. By the end of 1959, the screwworm fly was all
but eradicated from the three states.

The conclusions of the study on the survivors of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki require careful examination. The method generally used to
relate the doses received by people to the measured effects is based
on the experience of a sample of the survivors of the atom bombs
dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. These survivors were
rounded up some five years after the events and became the object of a
“Lifespan Study” on which the calculation of radiation risk factors is
based. These people had survived because they were either too far away
from the explosions to be atomised, incinerated or to suffer terminal
cellular disruption. The dose they received was nevertheless a big
one, it was mainly external and it was a single dose. So their
experience was not of much use for estimating the effect of continual
small doses over long period, many of which are derived from internal
radiation, which is the case with people living near Sellafield in UK
or other nuclear installations.

In addition, there is no way that doses received by the survivors of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki could have been measured properly. They were
roughly estimated. Nevertheless they were related to the cancers that
subsequently appeared in the population on the basis of current
assumptions. A straight line was drawn on some graph paper from a
point corresponding to the maximum dose received, and no attempt was
made to estimate the effect of any internal dose received from
fallout. It is this straight line that is still used to predict the
cancer levels caused by expose to radioactivity. The large, single,
acute flash is still assumed to have exactly the same effect as a long
succession of small exposures.

However, the doses received by the inhabitants of the area around
Shell field are at least 100 times lower than those to which the
survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were subjected. At such high
doses, cells are killed rather than mutated - giving rise to a
disproportionately lower increase in the cancer rate. Yet this is not
taken into account. The official position is totally unacceptable for
another important reason: it does not distinguish between external and
internal radiation. Now we are exposed to radiation in two very
different ways – Externally as with solar and cosmic radiation and X-
rays, and internally, largely by inhaling or ingesting unstable
radioactive atoms called isotopes.

Opportunity cost of nuclear energy

According to Kalam and Singh, we should not miss the opportunity to
prosper from nuclear power, lest we should pay in the future heavy
cost for missing it. This is at best an academic proposition not
applicable to India . India is already paying heavily for placing
undue importance on the nuclear power.

The geographic location of India makes it a strong candidate for
harnessing solar energy. But we are missing it because maximum chunk
of our energy budget goes to nuclear power.

India is blessed with immense amount of hydro-electric potential and
ranks 5th in terms of exploitable hydro-potential on global scenario
with economically exploitable hydro-power potential to the tune of 1
48 700 MW. The basin/rivers wise assessed potential Indus Basin
(33,832 MW), Ganga Basin (20,711 MW), Central Indian River system
(4,152 MW), Western Flowing Rivers of southern India (9,430), Eastern
Flowing Rivers of southern India (14,511 MW), Brahmaputra Basin
(66,065 MW) with a total of 1,48,701 MW. In addition, 56 number of
pumped storage projects have also been identified with probable
installed capacity of 94 000 MW. In addition to this, hydro-potential
from small, mini & micro schemes has been estimated as 6 782 MW from 1
512 sites. Thus, in totality India is endowed with hydro-potential of
about 2 50 000 MW. However, exploitation of hydro-potential in India
has not even crossed 20%. [3]. It is so, because the energy budget of
India is heavily loaded in favour of nuclear power.

There are other alternate sources of energy in India waiting to be
harnessed, but we are not able to harness them fully and promptly,
only because the energy budget of India is heavily loaded in favour of
nuclear power.

Safety issues of nuclear power

Entering the discussion on the safety issues of nuclear power, Kalam
and Singh refer to “four major incidents of plant failure — the
Kyshtym accident in fuel reprocessing in 1957, the relatively smaller
Three Mile Island meltdown (United States), the much bigger Chernobyl
accident (USSR, 1986) and the recent Japanese incident at Fukushima.”

Then they strenuously argue and arrive at the conclusion, “the
occurrence of four failures in six decades cannot be made out as a
case for completely disbanding the technology — which is one of our
foremost keys to graduating beyond the fossil fuel-based low-end
energy. “ The premise and conclusion are both wrong.

The evolution of opposition to nuclear power is gradual and steady
since the seventies. For the first time in the seventies, ordinary
citizens began to reshape nuclear decisions and limit choices
available to the nuclear decision making quarters. It is now, the
ordinary people in and around Koodankulam in southern India agitating
and causing the Indian Nuclear Establishment to reconsider some of its

Needless to say, the ‘experts' of the Nuclear Establishment have never
ceased to assure us that nuclear radiation is quite safe, save at very
high doses, to which we would rarely, if ever, be exposed. The experts
sitting in the International Commission on Radiological Protection
(ICRP) set safety levels that reflected this assumption.

The very ‘experts' who are believed to be all knowledgeable in setting
those standards have systematically altered over the years the
standards of safety levels for people exposed to occupational
radiation – it was 73 rem in 1931, 50 rem in 1936, 25 rem in 1948, 15
rem in 1954, 5 rem in 1977 and 2 rem in 1990. [ 20 , p.398]

Thus the ‘acceptable level' for people exposed to occupational
radiation reduced six times since 1931, and is now more than 36 times
lower than it was then, while the acceptable level for the general
public has been reduced from 0.5 rem per annum in 1977 to 0.1 rem per
annum in 1990. By the end of the seventies, the public image of the
experts had been seriously devalued: it had become abundantly clear
that they had not known what they were doing. Citizens affected by
radiation from having worked with it, lived near it, or were part of
the growing environmental movement were angry that they had been

The new sense of alarm called for new standards of exposure and
intensified the search for a “threshold dose” –some definitive proof
that exposure to radiation below a certain level did not harm. The
equally horrific problem of the latent effects of radiation poisoning
received added attention as the number of radiation-linked cancers

In fact, evidence has been piling up for years that there is no safe
dose of radioactivity – a fact that even the National Radiological
Protection Board ( NPRB ) of U.K. conceded in 1995, 100 years after
Roentgen's discovery of radioactivity. In the words of NRPB “There is
no basis for the assumption that there is likely to be a dose
threshold below which the risk of tumour induction would be zero.”
[20, p.398]

No single event caused the erosion of public confidence in the
experts. It was the result of several seemingly unrelated incidents
that surfaced wherever radioactivity was found. Those affected
included the uranium miners, the victims of fallout from weapon
testing in the Pacific and near the Nevada test site, hospital
patients treated with X rays, and workers in the atomic factories and
nuclear power plants.

The nuclear establishment, a closed but visible elite, presented its
critics with a single and easily identifiable target. Small groups of
concerned citizens, especially scientists, began to question specific
aspects of nuclear expertise. At first formed on a local basis, these
groups quickly spread nationwide. Before long, there was a worldwide
set of antinuclear groups. As theses groups successfully forced more
information from the secret files of institutions like the US AEC
(Atomic Energy Commission), it became clearer how far the nuclear
community had been prepared to go to protect itself- and how far it
might be prepared to go in the future.

Nuclear zealots faced a barrage of allegations of cover-up, lies,
deceit, and wilful suppression of important evidence. Many of these
allegations were true. Open hostility broke out between those
scientists who worked for the nuclear establishment and those who
worked out side it, especially when it was discovered that some on the
inside had broken the scientists' tribal code of honesty in research
and agreed to suppress data.

America's open government system provided the best examples of this
degenerate behaviour, but there is every reason to suppose that it
happened in each country that was supporting a nuclear program for
either warlike or peaceful uses. At the U.S. AEC, the hardening of the
institutional arteries gave way to a phase of total intellectual
corruption. Expertise was no longer regarded as process of free
inquiry and debate; scientific results were subjected to a test of
loyalty to the institution before they were checked for accuracy.
Information both inside and outside the AEC became acceptable only if
it enhanced the commission's narrow institutional goals-especially the
goal of expanding nuclear power. It was only a question of time before
some of the scientists on the inside found they could no longer abide
the dishonesty and preferred to defect. The decade of the sixties saw
the first of the radiation experts become whistleblowers of the
nuclear age. [6, p.311].

The first of several debates that eventually breached the self
confident image of the nuclear establishment actually started in the
late fifties over a question of fallout, not from bombs, but from an
accident in a nuclear power plant. The 1957 reactor fire at Wind scale
in U.K had first drawn attention to the radioactive isotope
Iodine-131. A short-lived substance with a half life of eight days,
Iodine-131, when ingested, concentrates in the thyroid gland, where it
can cause cancers.

The amount of Iodine 131 released from the Windscale plant in U.K. was
tiny compared with the amount released from bombs exploded at Nevada
test site in USA , but the British found the levels in local milk
samples so high they destroyed two million liters.

Two years after the Windscale accident, in 1959, the US AEC became
concerned over a report that significant amounts of Iodine 131 had
been found in milk samples in the St.Lous area, over one thousand
miles due east of the Nevada test site. One US AEC (Atomic Energy
Commission) analyst reported, “All things considered, it seems to me
more difficult to conclude that levels of Iodine 131 in milk
comparable to those measured following Windscale did not occur in many
places following several of the early tests than it is to conclude
that they did occur.”

By 1962, it had become clear that one of the most important dangers of
the Nevada bombs- Iodine 131- had been totally ignored in the early
years of testing: the AEC monitoring teams around the Nevada test site
had not looked for Iodine 131: they had measured the external gamma
radiation dose. Armed with the new evidence from Windscale and St.
Lous, researchers tried to determine the relationship, if any between
the external gamma dose and the Iodine 131 content. These
retrospective calculations were disturbing: they suggested that
children who had drunk the milk from cows grazing on the ranches of
southern Utah might have received very large doses indeed.

Surprising concentrations of radioactivity were found. For example,
fish had Iodine 131concentrations thousands of times greater than the
water they lived in and some birds had concentrations tens of
thousands of times the amount measured in the air they breathed. But
calculating average doses was a real problem: radioactive isotopes do
not come down to earth in an even pattern from a fallout cloud. The
AEC was faced with the same problem as the statistician who drowned in
a river of average depth of three feet. Fearing a public outcry over
Iodine 131, the AEC engaged in some of clearest examples of
suppressing information.

It was not until the late 1970s, when many of the earlier AEC
discussions on the health aspects were declassified, that the actual
adverse health effects of the Nevada testing became clear. By that
stage, the dishonesty of the official nuclear community was well
known, and a second breach in its armour had already been made. This
involved the first step in the nuclear fuel cycle: the mining of
uranium. In the early 1960s, between10 and 20 present of 6,000 US
miners who had been employed in the post-war American uranium mining
boom discovered they were going to die from lung cancer. No one now
doubts that the prime cause of their cancers was lack of ventilation
in mines, which meant the miners inhaled harmful quantities of the
radioactive products called “radon daughters”.

In any deposit of uranium in the earth's crust, the natural decay of
the mineral through radioactivity produces a radioactive gas called
radon. When inhaled, the gas produces its own decay products called
“radon daughters.”. They emit alpha radiation. If these particles
become lodged in lung tissue, they can, over a period of several
years, cause cancers. The miners were told not to worry unduly about
the gas. Their employers advised them, erroneously, that an hour after
they had finished work all the radioactivity would have cleared from
their lungs. The US , government was no more helpful. Regulation of
the mines was so lax that surveys of radon gas present in the mines,
most of which were located on the Colorado Plateau, did not begin
until 1949, and the “radon daughter” particles were not measured at
all until 1951, Even then, surveys were used purely for information
purposes, not to devise a measure of health control. That would not
emerge until the 1960s when the first of the deaths occurred.

The shocking fact is that the dangers of uranium mining had been known
for more than a hundred years before the Colorado mines were opened.
Uranium and pitchblende miners in the Erz Mountains on the
German-Czech border had a long history of lung complaints. In 1879,
lung cancer had been identified as the main cause of their problems
and of their subsequent deaths. By the 1920s, the source of the
problems, the radon gas, had been identified. By 1939,a German study
showed that lung cancers among the miners were thirty times the
national average. The disease even had a local name: the miners called
it Bergkrankheit, or mountain sickness. [6, p.313]

Dr. Kalam in his Special Essay in The Hindu (Nov 6, 2011) gives a
narrative of how he happened to witness personally, while he was
President of India, the misery of people living near Jharia coal
fields in Jharkhand and the havoc the coal mining has caused to the
humans and other forms of life in that place. It is unfortunate, the
former President of India, has not said even a word about the
miserable state of the people who worked in the uranium mining at
Jaduguda in the state of Jharkhand and how the environment in the
mining area has been affected. Kalam also does not say even a word
about the nuclear radiation affects and occupational hazards inflicted
upon the people and the environment around the nuclear power plants in
India as revealed from scientific studies. Of course there is not even
a whisper about the effects on people and environment in Rajastan from
Pokhran-I and Pokhran-II under ground nuclear tests. What could have
happened to the people in and around Pokhran we have to infer from the
affects of similar tests in other countries.

Dr.Kalam in his Special Essay (The Hindu, Nov. 6, 2011 ) refers to his
participation in the Indian space program and says “I was the Mission
Director of the launch, and we were accused of putting a few crores of
rupees into the sea. We did not wind up our dreams with that one
accident and the criticism. The mission continued and the next year we
were successful.” When there is a failure in the space program it is
seen by people and nothing could be hidden. That is why, perhaps, the
Indian space program was compelled to march into corrective path to
reach its goal. Whereas, the Indian Nuclear Establishment pushes all
its failures under the carpet and is totally non-transparent invoking
national security.

In their affidavit in reply before the Bombay High Court in a Public
Interest Petition, the Indian Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)
admitted that radiation is found in the fish and marine organisms in
Thane Creek, but the actual levels of radiation cannot be disclosed in
public interest. Located on the edge of Thane creek in the thickly
populated Mumbai, is the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) which
has been discharging its nuclear effluents into the Thane creek for
over forty years, thereby contaminated the creek from where fish is
regularly caught and sold in the market.

In another Public Interest Petition before Bombay High Court, a social
organisation named “Citizens for A Just Society” founded by noted
Gandhian, and Freedom Fighter, Dr. Usha Mehta sought disclosure of at
least the 90 nuclear issues concerning the nuclear power plants in
India compiled by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) in its Report
titled “Safety Issues in DAE Installations” which listed 135 nuclear
issues in all the nuclear establishments. There were six massive
affidavits in reply filed by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) opposing the Public Interest
Petition. An additional affidavit was filed by Dr. R. Chidambaram
himself as the then Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission ( AEC ) and
Secretary Department of Atomic Energy ( DAE ) claiming ‘secrecy' and
‘privilege' and blocked the disclosure of the AERB Report including
the 90 issues pertaining to nuclear power plants. Dr. Chidambaram is
the present Indian Government's principal scientific adviser.

Upon inquiry into the unprecedented collapse of the containment dome
of Unit-I of the Kaiga plant in 1994, there was a report from the AERB
appointed Committee and another report from the NPCIL (Nuclear Power
Corporation of India Ltd.) appointed Committee. Both reports were
marked secret and were not disclosed to the public.

Upon inquiry into the serious accident on March 31, 1993 at Narora
Atomic Power Station (NAPS), there was a report from the AERB
appointed Committee and another report from the NPCIL (Nuclear Power
Corporation of India Ltd.) appointed Committee. Both reports were
marked secret and were not disclosed to the public.

When DAE and NPCIL have shown, all along, such utter indifference
towards public concerns, the people agitating against the
commissioning of Koodankulam nuclear power plant are justified to put
it as a precondition that the radiation levels in and around all our
nuclear installations, in the soil, waters, underground water table,
fish and marine organisms, vegetation should be subjected to
independent examination and the results should be made public, and all
the reports on the nuclear incidents in the nuclear power plants and
establishments should be made public.

Nuclear fuel of the future: Thorium

Kalam and Singh are quite optimistic about the role of thorium. They
express, “It is perhaps the best solution possible in the future and
would be technologically and commercially the best option in another
two decades.” Except making some theoretical pronouncements, they have
not pointed out any genuine and significant research work in India in
support of their optimism.

It is true, India has the world's largest deposits of thorium. Dr.Homi
Bhabha saw these thorium deposits as the foundation stone of energy
independence for a millennium. While the rest of the world
concentrated on thorium, Bhabha adopted a theoretically viable
long-term strategy leading to thorium reactors. The first stage was to
include natural uranium reactors producing plutonium. As part of the
first stage Bhabha chose the Canadian Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor
(PHWR) design which is the basis for India 's nuclear power plants at
Rajathan, Kalpakam, Kakrapara, Narora and Kaiga. The second stage is
to use the plutonium produced in these PHWR reactors to burn breeder
reactors with thorium blanket, producing the less common isotope of
uranium, U-233. The third stage is to use uranium U-233 as fuel in
thorium breeders. The whole plan was an exercise in untested
technology and uncosted investments. The ambition was staggering. Yet,
for many years Western observers were almost unanimous in their praise
for the Indian program under Bhabha's leadership. Under the shadow of
Bhabha, the Indian scientists and technologists acquired positions at
the forefront of international technological development. Indeed,
their achievements were admired particularly because of the nation's
limited resources; few questioned the economic wisdom of the project
and few questioned the ability of Indian scientists selected by Bhabha
to translate his dream to master thorium technology.

The irony is, Bhabha, though internationally reputed theoretical
physicist, was lacking adequate knowledge of nuclear reactor designs,
and it had left void after him, more so because there is no Rickover
(as in USA) amongst the people chosen by Bhabha himself to translate
his dream of mastering thorium technology. It is a long and
complicated story that needs a separate discussion. Suffice it to say,
the very first move of Bhabha did not fit into his three stage program
when he selected the Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) of the General
Electric as the first Indian nuclear reactor at Tarapur. Similarly,
the Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) design of the present Koodankulam
nuclear power plant also will not fit into the three stage program of

It is necessary to mention that though every one else was praising
Bhabha's plans and selections, there was, however, one dissident voice
at the end of 1955, and it came from I. M. D. Little, one of leading
energy economists of the day. Professor Little pointed out that Bhabha
had overestimated the costs of conventional power stations, assumed
optimistic availability factors for untested nuclear plants, and
underestimated the thermal efficiency of modern coal-fired plants.,.
Little said: “To put any of her own capital resources into buying the
early products of this Western research would seem to be a great waste
of the very limited savings of the Indian people. As Dr. Bhabha says:
electricity is in short supply in India . It is likely to go on being
in short supply if one uses twice as much capital as is needed to get
more.” [6. p.178].

Bhabha never commented on Little's analysis. After the second Geneva
Conference in 1958, the French physicist Francis Perrin added his
voice to Little's criticism, arguing that underdeveloped countries
could not expect the full advantages of nuclear technology until they
had passed through a phase of industrialisation in the traditional
way. Bhabha simply asserted: “I do not believe it.”

Whatever may the optimism of Kalam and Singh about the thorium
technology and its advantages, India has a long way to go, to tackle
the following challenges that arise in attempts to harness thorium for
electricity production and to resolve the following known issues in
mastering thorium technology:


? The melting point of ThO2 (3 3500C) is much higher compared to that of UO2

(2 8000C). Hence, a much higher sintering temperature (>2 0000C) is
required to produce high density ThO2 and ThO2–based mixed oxide
fuels. Admixing of ‘sintering aid' (CaO, MgO, Nb2O5, etc) is required
for achieving the desired pellet density at lower temperature.

? ThO2 and ThO2–based mixed oxide fuels are relatively inert and,
unlike UO2 and (U, Pu)O2 fuels, do not dissolve easily in concentrated
nitric acid. Addition of small quantities of HF in concentrated HNO3
is essential which cause corrosion of stainless steel equipment and
pipings in reprocessing plants. The corrosion problem is mitigated
with addition of aluminium nitrate. But Boiling THOREX solution [13 M
HNO3+0.05 M HF+0.1 M Al(NO3)3] at ~393 K and long dissolution period
are required for ThO2–based fuels.

? The irradiated Th or Th–based fuels contain significant amount of
232U, which has a half-life of only 73.6 years and is associated with
strong gamma emitting daughter products, 212Bi and 208Tl with very
short half-life. As a result, there is significant build-up of
radiation dose with storage of spent Th–based fuel or separated 233U,
necessitating remote and automated reprocessing and refabrication in
heavily shielded hot cells and increase in the cost of fuel cycle

? In the conversion chain of 232Th to 233U, 233Pa is formed as an
intermediate, which has a relatively longer half-life (~27 days) as
compared to 239Np (2.35 days) in the uranium fuel cycle thereby
requiring longer cooling time of at least one year for completing the
decay of 233Pa to 233U. Normally, Pa is passed into the fission
product waste in the THOREX process, which could have long term
radiological impact. It is essential to separate Pa from the spent
fuel solution prior to solvent extraction process for separation of
233U and thorium.

? The three stream process of separation of uranium, plutonium and
thorium from spent (Th, Pu)O2 fuel, though viable, is yet to be
developed as an efficient and economical process .

? The database and experience of thorium fuels and thorium fuel cycles
are very limited, as compared to UO2 and (U, Pu)O2 fuels, and need to
be augmented before large investments are made for commercial
utilization of thorium fuels and fuel cycles.

[ 21 ] Thorium fuel cycle — Potential benefits and challenges , IAEA-TECDOC-1450

From the above mentioned analysis, it is clear that there is no
scientific basis to claim as claimed by Kalam and Singh, “Nuclear
power is our gateway to a prosperous future” of India . The fact is,
India is blessed with rivers, abundant sunshine and winds blowing
between land and sea on three sides and those natural resources, which
remain poorly harnessed, must be harnessed fully and pursuit of
nuclear power neglecting those abundant alternate sources of energy
will ruin India 's future. Therefore, there is a need to revisit the
role of nuclear power for India 's energy security.

The decision on Koodankulam nuclear power plant should not be taken
without an independent examination of the radiation levels in and
around all the nuclear installations, in the soil, waters, underground
water table, fish and marine organisms, vegetation, and without making
public the reports on the nuclear accidents and incident which have
been withheld from the public all these years. India being a
constitutional democracy, its people have every right to be satisfied
that their present and future are safe and secure.

Buddhi Kota Subbarao is former Indian Navy Captain with Ph.D in
nuclear technology from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay . As an
advocate of Supreme Court of India, he successfully argued several
public interest petitions before Indian Courts. His e-mail address:

© Copyright: Author.

[1]       ‘Do Russian nuclear power plants have use for India ?' The
Hindu OPEN PAGE, Tuesday, February 25, 1997 . Buddhi Kota Subbarao.

[2] ‘Koodankulam: the threat of ‘invisible contamination'', The Hindu
OPEN PAGE, Tuesday, May 20, 1997 . Buddhi Kota Subbarao.

[3] Hydro Potential of India ,

[4] Solar power in India


[6] ‘The Nuclear Barons', Peter Pringle & James Spigelman, Sphere
Books Ltd. 1983.

[7] ‘ Chernobyl 25 years later: Many lessons learned' , Mikhail
Gorbachev, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 2011 67: 77,

[8] U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Information Digest 2008-2009 ,
NUREG-1350, Vol. 20, August 2008, p. 32,

[9] Nuclear Energy Policy - Federation of American Scientists RL33558

[10 ] “The price U.S. is paying for nuclear supremacy”, The Hindu OPEN
PAGE, Tuesday, December 22, 1998 . Buddhi Kota Subbarao.

[ 11 ] EXPOSURE Victims of Radiation Speak Out, The Chugoku Newspaper,
Kodansha International Publishers, 1992.

[12] DOE, Manifest Information Management System Average annual utility disposal from 2002
through 2007.

[13] U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Atomic Safety and Licensing
Board, Docket No. 63-001-HLW, Memorandum and Order, June 29, 2010 .

[14] Nuclear Energy Institute v. Environmental Protection Agency ,
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, no.
01-1258, July 9, 2004.

[15] Environmental Protection Agency, “Public Health and Environmental
Radiation Protection Standards for Yucca Mountain , Nevada ,” 73
Federal Register 61256, October 15, 2008 .

[16] Department of Energy FY 2012 Congressional Budget Request , DOE/CF-0064.




[20] ‘Poisoning in the Name of Progress', The Ecologist, Vol. 29,
No.7, November 1999.

[ 21 ] Thorium fuel cycle — Potential benefits and challenges, IAEA-TECDOC-1450

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