Activists call IAEA review eye-wash

Though the safety inspection by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is going on in Rawatbhata Nuclear Power plants in Rajasthan, a group of peace activists questioned the impartiality of the inspection and said it was nothing than an eye wash. The peace workers said lack of independent regulation and secrecy plague the Indian nuclear industry. The union representing daily wages workers said the safety mechanism was not proper. But the atomic management denied such allegations and said India it has nothing to hide.
The Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) and People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) joined hands and said there should be some independent agency to audit the safety aspect of Indian nuclear plants. “What we heard is that the IAEA team is visiting reactors number 3 and 4, whereas the tritium leaks also happened in June in reactor number 5, in which 34 casual workers were exposed, said CNDP’s Praful Bidwai.
The PUCL’s Kavita Srivastva said casual workers were not provided health benefits. The casual workers are most vulnerable part of the nuclear industry, she said. The Anushkati DR Sharmik Sangh (ADSS), representing the casual workers, also echoed the same sentiments. The ADSS president, Mr Imran Khan, said the authorities ignored the safety aspect and it risks the workers health. There are over 3,000 casual workers,who often become victim of such conditions, he said. “Thirty-six workers were exposed to dangerous tritium leaks. Out of them, 23 were contract workers, They were not treated well. it is most unfortunate. We raised the issue in court but the workers were threatened by the authorities,” said Mr Khan.

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