NEW DELHI: With serious allegations of leaky nuclear reactors and poor security levelled against India’s nuclear programme, Atomic Energy Commission chief Sekhar Basu brushes aside these charges saying this is a “well designed agenda” to “stall or delay” the country’s development.
Journalist Adrian Levy, working for the Centre for Public Integrity in Washington, has levelled serious charges in a four-part investigative report against India’s nuclear establishment.
Q) So, who do you think is motivating Levy or trying to stall the Indian nuclear programme?
A) Ok. Definitely, Indians will not stall the Indian programme, that I am confident. It will be somebody from a foreign country who thinks that India should remain poor and that India should remain poverty ridden, and that India should remain in darkness, so they are the people who are doing it.
Q) Levy says that in Jadugoda where India has its uranium mines, the mines, they leak, and that there is a lot of radioactivity that comes out, and people are suffering because of that, you probably must have visited that area several times, what is your experience?
A) Whatever he has said is based on certain facts that earlier somebody has published. He must know that there was a suo moto case that was taken up by the judge and to that, we have given a reply. The details are available he can see the reply to see that if there is anything to be talked about.
Q) Levy also says India’s nuclear reactors, the power reactors and we have over 21 of them, they leak radioactivity, they don’t function even Kudankulam is not functioning for the last six months, so he says there is a lot of problem with our nuclear programme, you head the nuclear programme, do you think it is unsafe?
A) I would like to answer your question in two parts, Kudankulam is one of the best reactors in the world, one of the safest reactors in the world. Second, our operators are the best in the world, since people put jokes to us, saying you put PhD’s as operators of nuclear reactors, it is that kind of a training that they have.
Where is the question of a leak, we have never had any incident like that, in Japan at Fukushima, that kind of incident can never happen to us. Our things are taken care off, everybody who comes including the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) who came after the Fukushima incident he went, to see even the Tarapur reactor, he found that this is one of the safest reactors.