BARC is pouring an enormous amount of radioactive waste in to the Mumbai sea. Similar thing is happening all over the world at the nuclear installations. This unseen undersea radioactive contamination, is finding its way into the food chain. If one goes around the fish market in Mumbai with a Geiger counter I’m sure that one could detect radiation. Other non nuclear agencies are also dumping radioactive waste in to the sea. Italian mafia is dumping European radioactive waste off the coast of Somalia. Europeans are finding that their raw and finished metal stocks are slightly radioactive and in some cases exceeding 70 microSieverts per hour. Western industrialized nations have been indiscriminately dumping their polluted metal waste material to the emerging world because in country disposal is both hazardous and expensive. Much of that came from decommissioned nuclear reactors that were sold into metal recycling industry
UK nuclear industry revealed many waste disposal sites planned and being used but was kept secret for decades. In US nuclear waste is stored in a salt formation 655 meters under the Chihuahuan Desert near Carlsbad in New Mexico. It has also chosen Yucca Mountain in the Nevada desert as a potential repository for irradiated fuel from reactors. Deep underground repositories are being investigated in Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium and France. The consensus of scientists internationally is that burial in stable geological formations below 300 meters is likely to be the safest method of disposal in the long term. In India we are yet to see the detailed plan for waste disposal.
In the history of reactors three major accidents are counted of. The first happened in Windscale, England, in 1957, the second case was in the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in the USA in 1979. The third and most tragic event occurred in the 4th unit of the Chernobyl power plant in 1986. The 1957 reactor fire at Windscale was possibly the most serious nuclear accident to occur outside the Soviet Union. Large amounts of assorted radio-isotopes were released. Government records altered in cover-up and the name was changed to Sellafield. The accident led to discharges of between 600 and 1,000 TBq of iodine-131, between 444 and 596 TBq of tellurium-132, between 22.2 and 45.5 TBq of caesium-137 and about 0.2 TBq of strontium-90. An estimate of 1369 TBq of Polonium-210 was also released during the fire. It is estimated that due to the fire some 1000 lives were lost due to cancer etc.
Europeans do not consider nuclear energy as an option to tackle the energy supply. There is no more nuclear renaissance in the West. In Bulgaria, Germany, France and Romania the number of people who think nuclear reactors can be run safely has fallen. EU citizens consider that the current share of nuclear energy in the energy mix should be maintained or reduced and they don’t want to increase nuclear power. They feel that there is no security to protect nuclear power plants against terrorist attacks. Another major danger is radioactive waste associated with nuclear energy. Paki terrorists will target our nuke plants and limiting nuclear damages is anti Indian. India should look for green alternates. Placing solar battery panels on the roofs of 10% of houses and buildings and constructing as many windmills at parks and other places as possible could generate 120 million kw, equivalent to the electricity generated by dozens of nuclear reactors.
Human cost and environmental costs are high for nuclear power. Stop the mad rush to nuclear power in India which is capital intensive. After the Three Mile Island accident nuclear power projections were wind down in West. Once the power production is over we have to dismantle the site. Disposal of radioactive waste is a major problem. India has pursued the CANDU type reactors of CANADA. Canada stopped such reactors as these are inherently unsafe due to positive void coefficient and does not meet the 911 safety criteria. CANDU reactors release 20 times more tritium than other type reactors that are in use elsewhere. This result in dangerous discharge of tritium, a highly poisonous radioactive contaminate, similar in toxicity to radon in to the environment. Tritium a low energy beta emitter, and once ingested can damage cells, proteins. Once tritiated water is inside it cannot be detected and result in a slow death. So living near a nuclear power plant in India is not advisable.
Major accidents were seen in Windscale, England, in 1957, the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in the USA in 1979 and the meltdown of the 4th unit of the Chernobyl power plant in 1986. After 30 years of no nuclear power construction USA has no nuclear manpower to decommission its old reactors and want radiation coolies from India and this is the only reason for this agreement. A survey of official records since the Three Mile Island reactor meltdown in 1979 shows there have been more that 23,000 accidents at U.S. nuclear reactors and the number is increasing. In 1986, there were more than 3,000 reported accidents, up 24 percent since 1984. On first January 1992 about four tons of heavy water was spilled at Rajasthan nuclear power plant . On 13 May 1992 the tube leak caused a radioactive release of 12 Curies of radioactivity from Tarapur nuclear power station supplied by America. Thousands of such incidents were never reported. India is sitting on a powder keg nuclear disaster.
NALGONDA URANIUM MINES MY ARTICLE PUBLISHED YEARS BACK
Huge deposits of Uranium were found by the Atomic Minerals Division in about 1337 hectares across Lambapur, Namapuram, Yellapur and Peddagutta villages of Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh. The Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) is planning to set up Rs 600 crore plant in Nallamala region.
Uranium is a nature’s gift to us. We already have Jaduguda uranium mines in Jharkhand which is being operated by UCIL. Uranium is very important for nuclear programme and some Western nations like France have occupied African nations for the sake of uranium deposits. It is very important that we exploit this natural resource urgently and what we should do is to avoid pitfalls we had from such mines at Jaduguda. Our Supreme Court on Aug 30, 1999 issued notice to the Union Government, Uranium Corporation of India; the Atomic Energy Commission and the Deputy Commissioner, Singhbum district of Jharkhand on a public interest petition seeking a direction to take immediate steps to insulate people living in the vicinity of the Jaduguda uranium mine from the hazards of untreated effluents and pollution of uranium mining in the wake of alarming reports that villagers were affected by the radiation from mines. There are environmental impacts for any such uranium opencast mines. One important requirement is to resettle the population in and around the area. It was seen in Jaduguda uranium mines, that women faced reproductive problems like spontaneous abortion, infertility; children are born with physical and mental deformities. Even crops and trees have shown deformities in that area. The Nalgonda district is already facing fluoride problem and this mines will add further difficulties for the population and hence large scale resettlement of population from five to ten kilometer radius of the mining and tailing ponds area is a must. Our lessons at Jaduguda will come a long way to avoid the pitfalls we observed there. It was found that that the radiation from nuclear waste crippled the Jaduguda Tribals. Nuclear wastes should be piped to the treatment area from the mines rather than use drains as this will prevent seepage and consequent subsoil water contamination. As we lack honest civic administration or political administration, such precautions should be implemented under the supervision of AP High court and some retired Judges should be made the chairman of any committee formed for such supervision.
The track record of Dept of Atomic Energy or that of UCIL was bad in safety aspects so far. Newspapers claimed that the biggest radiation overexposure in India occurred at the Kalpakkam Reprocessing Plant in Tamil Nadu on 21st January 2003 to some six staff. This came out in the open after three months back when BFEA, the employee association of this BARC facility gave a strike notice. This claim of biggest radiation accident is not true as the worst accident had happened at Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS) in the seventies, when the whole plant was contaminated with fission products. A stage had come when every employee at Tarapur was overexposed and workers and engineers were sent from BARC and other atomic energy establishments for the repair jobs at TAPS. The radioactive contamination had spread in and around Tarapur and up to the railway station there. Tarapur was the worst in terms of nuclear accidents and yet so far the public is not aware of it. It is no wonder then that the president of BFEA, R.K.Shenoi was transferred to NRG facilities, Tarapur for his trade union activities, by the Department of Atomic Energy.
Radiation exposure is a fact of life and should be accepted as an occupational hazard by those who work in the Nuclear field and it is like the hazard our Jawans face in the war front. What is required is transparency and accountability so that we avoid pitfalls in the future and avoid wasteful expenditure in the name of national interest. Our plentiful Thorium reserves can be irradiated and converted to U233 fuel that can be used in future breeder reactors. France had trained many of our engineers and scientists in fast breeder technology and a research centre was setup by DAE at Kalpakkam. For India this route is a highly wasteful in terms of our precious resources and we should stop funding the fast breeder programme and this could save us some Rs 3200 crores. We should also develop uranium enrichment technologies.
UCIL had claimed that the mining will not cause any adverse impact on environment and public health. I have never heard such a tall claim. They also claimed that the water from mining area will not reach Nagarjunasagar which is located nearby because of impervious granite rock formations. There are always fault lines in such rocks and water can definitely reach the reservoir if not immediately, but in due course, and this probability is further increased as the seismic level in these region is quite high. They also claimed that where the tailings pond where uranium waste would be dumped is 10 meter lower than the Akkampally drinking water reservoir which is quite near. Akkampally reservoir is a drinking water source for Hyderabad city. This is also not a good argument as over time, water bodies at higher levels could get contaminated from lower lever sources due to rainwater flooding and similar natural reasons. All these could be overcome by suitable design and proper planning. We should look for maximum credible accidents and carry out independent detailed environmental impact assessment studies, to mitigate all problems. Bad planning and implementations could cause death knell of even Hyderabad city so that all clearance should be given after ensuring proper implementations of protective arrangements to prevent contamination of the drinking water sources. Recent studies have shown that statistically significant cancer cases will be present in surrounding human populations after a period of just 20 years of the existence of even fuel fabrication plants.
In the Banjara Hill area, in Hyderabad, the rocks there have up to 25ppm of Uranium in it and the resultant radioactive radon gas that can cause lung cancer could be high there. A six to seven fold increase in lung and respiratory tract related infections due to pollution is reported in Hyderabad compared to the 1999 figures. With new Uranium mines that can contaminate the drinking water sauces to the city, the dangers to the city are increasing. If the mining project is not implemented without utmost care and seriousness, it could adversely affect some 2.4 crore people in six districts of Andhra Pradesh. Based on the past performance of our Atomic Energy Establishment, one should move away from Hyderabad if the operation of the Uranium mines in Nalgonda is started.
DAE use daily wage workers for working in radiation environment. I used to see Andhra labourers along with their kids sitting on the lawns of the plutonium plant in BARC. The lawns are contaminated with radiation. The radiation exposure to these workers or their kids were never monitored. From the beginning BARC used to have a radiation protection division that is supposed to monitor radiation exposure to all nuclear field related personnel in all establishments in India. DAE had failed in this mission and that staff and visitors are routinely exposed to radiation from even in diagnostic clinics using the X ray units all over India. What USA wants from India is coolies to get exposed in USA like we expose our labourers to radiation damage. Another reason for the treaty is to sell all the junk design that is lying with US firms that are 3 decades old. Nuclear agreement was signed by President George W.Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh July 18, 2005,with out finalizing any details, and now hiring lobbying firms to canvass it in USA. Government of India has hired Barbour, Griffith & Rogers, headed by former US ambassador to India Robert Blackwell, and the Venable Law firm, at a cost of $ 1.3 million to the Indian tax payer. US corporate that wants to get contracts in nuclear construction in India have hired one of the most expensive lobbying firms in Washington known as Patton Boggs, to push the Indo-US nuclear agreement in the US Congress,. US corporations that never got any nuclear contracts, for the last 31 years in USA, as not a single nuclear power reactor was constructed in USA for the last 30 years will take away the contracts that is normally given to L&T, BHEL by DAE. This is one more reason for the agreement.
US president Carter on 20th February 2006 along with the US Senator Barbara Boxer is calling for Nagaland to secede from India that too at a time the current US president Bush is expected in India in March 2006 for a visit. Apparently Jimmy Carter is pressurizing their CIA man Manmohan Singh to help Nagaland to break away from India.. It will be wise if we do not proceed with the agreement that is not in our national interest. We should never trust US on any nuke agreement as US has gone back on an earlier nuke agreement we had on TAP I.
In 1979 at the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania and in 1986 at Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union there were serious nuclear accidents. TMI had a profound impact on the public’s view of commercial nuclear power. The TMI plant was a pressurized light-water reactor one of its type was supplied to us and India suffered radiation deaths from it. Chernobyl was the worst reactor accident in history, with 31 people dying of direct radiation
which could eventually near some 4000 fatalities. It also found that most of the five million people living in contaminated areas received doses of radiation when the No. 4 reactor exploded, spreading contamination over Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and parts of Western Europe that resulted in the evacuation and relocation of 350,000 persons. If US has to start nuke power after a lapse of 30 years, its manpower has to come from India and this is another reason for this
agreement. US nuclear power plants, its accumulated waste are also vulnerable to terrorist attack. US require low level workers to clean up any radiation mess and that can only be carried out by Indians.
In the early nuclear days, reactors that used plutonium were promoted for offering a solution to the world’s energy problems. Not only do they use plutonium as a fuel, but it was claimed that they even produce or breed more of it during operation. Over the years, all fast breeder reactor programs have turned out to be costly technical failures, whether in France, US, Japan, UK, or Germany. The only fast breeder reactor operating today, with numerous technical problems, is the experimental BN-600 in Byeloyarsk, Russia. USA has none of the type of reactors we are interested or have experience in it.as a working nuclear reactor for power production. So it is very evident that the treaty is a treachery on India and is of much importance to USA. Our Breeder reactors envisage Thorium to U233 conversion and US does not have this know-how.
Americans are not an intelligent community and never had brilliant fellows. They solved the problem by taking in even Nazi scientists to develop their rockets, and now taking all intelligent immigrants
like our Tamil and Andhra Brahmins. It in the nuclear field that the Americans never got many outsiders, with the result that they continue to commit blunders at the highest level. In 1977 Jimmy Carter signed an executive order which banned the reprocessing of nuclear fuel in the US. US thought that when the spent fuel is processed and the Plutonium is separated, it could possibly be stolen, and terrorists might be able to use it to make atomic bombs. Carter and his lot knew that Plutonium is used in atomic bombs, but really did not know that the plutonium separated from the reactor was not useful for making the bomb as that Plutonium contains all types of plutonium isotopes and such bombs will not explode. To get bomb quality plutonium, we have to limit the burn up of uranium. So this foolishness by the Americans has resulted in the accumulation of reactor waste over a long period of time. One reason for this nuke agreement is to make us process their waste.
European Union promised more than 200 million Euros to finance efforts to prevent another Chernobyl-style nuclear disaster for early closing of reactors in Bulgaria , Armenia etc, but these did not materialize so far. Many nuclear plants there are operating in earthquake zone like in India’s case. In India we never discuss the issue of earthquake or tsunami as we are totally ignorant about it. For eg, BARC reactors are in earthquake zone and yet they are not designed for it. RAPP is another earthquake zone. Tsunami which affected the nuke installation in Tamil Nadu is not even known to any of the design engineers of Atomic Energy. So much for our nuke installations. US supplied Tarapur units were a national disaster in terms of contamination and radiation exposure.UK bill is £50bn to clean up the nuclear material that has already been created and the amount India has to spend is not even estimated. Placing solar battery panels on the roofs of 10% of houses and buildings and constructing as many windmills at parks and other places as possible could generate 120 million kw, equivalent to the electricity generated by dozens of nuclear reactors.
9500 tons of Uranium in Meghalaya (News 4-7-05) and also has enough nuclear fuel for the next 40 years as per the CAG report in newspapers on 22-2-2009. We should scrap the nuke deal which is meant to stop our nuke testing program and nothing to do with our nuclear power programme or fuel requirement. India has 319,000 tons of Thorium that is sufficient for 2500 years. Thorium can be converted to U233 which is a fissionable nuclear fuel. USA has no nuclear fuel and are importing it from Russia etc. The nuclear treaty is worse than signing NPT as per our retired AEC chairman Setna. The agreement was done using ISI CIA agent Manmohan Singh and ISI, CIA, OPUS DEI, KGB agent Sonia. Menon was promoted over many and three extensions given to a characterless anti national traitor Anil Kakkodkar to get the nuke deal signed. The treaty is a treachery on India by the christian controlled congress party of India. Anti Indian christian Congress wanted 70% foreign FDI in the Banking sector and the communists stopped it and saved India from meltdown like that happened in USA. One cannot start a nuclear plant in Kerala as the ordinary persons are aware of the dangers of nuclear power. But in Maharastra, Tamil Nadu etc the ordinary persons have no knowledge of the dangers of nuclear waste or nuclear power plants. Even the politician are of very low IQ in Maharastra. Ordinary citizens of Maharastra are ready to believe the corrupt politicians like Sharad Pawar of Dhabol power plant and Enron fame. Sharad Pawar has converted Maharastra in to a suicide belt by surrendering the seed business to multinationals. The onion price rise has another reason which is the 300% rise in its seed price supplied by multinationals. What India requires is few research reactors that supply medical and industrial isotopes to the whole of India. These research reactors will produce sufficient Plutonium for our Bombs. But policies of Manmohan made India inferior to Pakistan with around 80 bombs with India against around 95 nuclear bombs with Pakistan.
Reproduction of fish populations are affected in the ocean exposed to nuclear fission products from past atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. The Fish Population Declined following the nuclear tests. Very large declines of fish-populations were observed, after low-altitude nuclear tests. Gradual recovery to pretesting levels have been observed both in the Atlantic and Pacific, strongly suggesting that the eggs of fish and the developing young are far more sensitive to internal radiation from low-level fallout than had been anticipated, very much as in the case of the human-embryo and fetus.
The University of California, home of the Manhattan Project – the atomic bomb project that never ended, will forever be known as the University that poisoned the world. Uranium in environment is causing a global epidemic of diabetes. WHO says that global diabetes rates will increase 10 times by 2030. Animals are also affected and this is accelerating the collapse of the web of life. Mass extinction of all species like the dinosaur extinction 65 million years ago. Uranium in drinking water in Los Angeles doubled in 2007 alone, from depleted uranium bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2006 depleted uranium was reported in the UK in 7-9 days after bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan. High increases of diabetes is seen in Tasmania, and 50% of the Tasmanian Devil population has been exterminated by mouth cancers since 1993, when uranium mining doubled in Australia. The radioactive dust is carried in southern hemisphere atmospheric circulation patterns to Tasmania in a matter of days.
The European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR) says that chronic exposure to low-Ievel ionizing radiation is up to 1000 times more biologically damaging than the International Committee on Radiation Protection (ICRP) standards and risk model predict. This was based on 550 epidemiological studies of exposed populations, an independent low-Ievel ionizing radiation report for the European Parliament. The ICRP standards and risk model are based on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb studies, which were deceptively conducted by the U.S. Government, in order to protect the future development of a nuclear weapons program. Public health impact from global pollution by depleted uranium is worse than the fission products, and was not officially measured or reported from bomb testing. All atomic and hydrogen bombs have thousands of pounds of depleted uranium packed as “tamping” around the small plutonium core weighing less than 20 lbs.
There was major contribution from depleted uranium to global radioactive pollution due to atmospheric testing. A global diabetes epidemic beginning in 1945 with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has had a major contribution from the effects of uranium pollution from atmospheric testing, nuclear power plants, and depleted uranium weaponry introduced to the battlefield in 1991. Uranium is particularly damaging to the pancreas, insulin production, information flow, and cell function. And diabetes in pregnant women has a serious effect on the foetus. Pancreatic cancer mortality in Japanese males increased 12-fold between 1945 and 1965, during the peak of atmospheric testing. Nuclear fission power plants has problem of high-level waste disposal. Building new plants would be a serious mistake. There is no future for nuclear power as of now. Nuclear fusion efforts should continue. Electricity generation from this source is very attractive but it may take another half a century.