As I read several news papers a day in India, all of them have talked about Fukushima nuclear meltdown accident. TVs world over have been talking about reactor accident, core melt down possibility, collateral damage to adjacent reactors. What is not entirely remiss is the IAEA taciturn apporach and not putting enough information on its web portal. There is a huge failure of social responsibility or guilt complex working here.
Indian media repots that DAE and NPC have staked claims of safe record of operation of the 14 odd reacotrs so far. There have incidents in India, though not of the type that Fukushima is currently experiencing. Interestingly Tarapur 2×210 MW is the same type, Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) as in Fukushima, with some minor changes. All of these are 60’s design and incorporated safety practices as understood at that point in time. Measures would have been implemented in most of these plants to upgrade the safety and operational practices over the years. However there is no way the establsihment can guarantee absolute safety of these nuclear power plants and we do understand it. Operational and safety features need review involving public discourse to receive accredition to the claims of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
What are the Big Lesson from Fukushima. The Atomic Energy Establishments in India are not the only repository of knowledge and expertise in nuclear matters. If that is the case, it is very unfortunate situation in this country of intellectuals and scientists. As a nation ( particularly for reasons best known to DAE ) we have either failed to spread the knowledge of this Industry or deliberately suppressed the initiatives of Universities and private instituions that could nurture outside expertise of credible nature.There is no independent think tank in India that is respected within and outside this country for its indepth critique of program, technology , safety and operational practices.
It is only when catastrohphy stirkes, DAE would run to seek shelter under secrecy , defense implications, technical jargons, balme nature, apologise for unforeseen combination of circumstances and worst run like headless chicken. With practically Zero skills of public discourse , aversion to disseminating knowledge in public domain and not willing to accept critical evaluation by committees and groups that have outsiders , independent thinkers; Nuclear business in this country is akin to practicing esoteric Nuclear witchcraft.
Let us not forget that Nuclear Power is economcially viable only till it meets nuclear accident. On the oether hand cost of health, life, limbs and radiation clean up is paid by Tax payers of of the victim nation.