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Ex-CEC,babus for stay on n-plants

The petition seeks a stay on all proposed nuclear plants till the safety and cost-benefit analysis is carried out.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
October 15, 2011 3:25:46 am

A group of former high-ranking government officials have come together with two NGOs and filed a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act,2010 while seeking a safety reassessment of all nuclear facilities in India and a comprehensive long-term cost-benefit analysis of the nuclear plants in the country.

The petition seeks a stay on all proposed nuclear plants till the safety and cost-benefit analysis is carried out.

It was filed by a group led by former Union cabinet secretary T S R Subramanian and ex-power secretary E A S Sarma and included other prominent government retirees like former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami,former secretary to the Prime Minister K R Venugopal,former chief of naval staff Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas and former member of National Knowledge Commission P M Bhargava.

The 15-member group of petitioners also have the names of prominent academicians and two NGOs,Common Cause and Centre for Public Interest Litigation.

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It has arrayed the Union of India through its Secretary,Department of Atomic Energy,the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board,the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd and the Secretary,Ministry of Environment & Forests,as parties.

Noting that a nuclear accident or leak of radiation can cause large-scale damage to life and health in a densely populated country like India,the petition stated that the government had under “pressure of foreign countries and the multi-billion dollar nuclear industry,been pushing forward an expensive,unviable and dangerous nuclear power programme without proper safety assessment and without a thorough comparative cost-benefit analysis vis-à-vis other sources of energy,especially renewable sources”.

The petition filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan claimed that most of the nuclear reactor and equipment imports for which orders were made are of “extremely dubious quality and safety standard”.

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