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Preventing a Fukushima in India

Preventing a Fukushima in India

In Mumbai on July 12, Anil Kakodkar, Ashok Sethi, Bernd Forster (pictured) and Hartosh Singh Bal address concerns around nuclear power after the March 2011 disaster in Japan. (12 min., 14 sec.)

MUMBAI, July 12, 2011 — Four months after the disaster at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Fukushima still remains an example to governments worldwide.

Exploring the political, scientific and economic issues raised by that catastrophe in the context of India’s current use of nuclear energy were Anil Kakodkar, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India, Hartosh Singh Bal, Political Editor of Open magazine and Ashok Sethi, Vice President for Mumbai Operations at Tata Power. They were joined by Bernd Forster, the German Deputy Consul General in Mumbai, who announced his government’s intention of phasing out nuclear energy by 2022. Vikas Bajaj, Mumbai correspondent for the New York Times, moderated the discussion.

The programme was co-presented with Open magazine and the World Trade Centre, Mumbai as part of the AsiaLive Series.

Kakodkar explained the measures instituted by the Indian Government to prevent a “Fukushima-like” event from occurring, whereas Bal voiced the need for increased public transparency. Sethi argued for the economic viability of having many sources of energy in a nation whose energy demands are bound to increase, while Bajaj examined the issue from both global and domestic perspectives.

The audience raised questions ranging from the fiercly contested Jaitapur plant to India’s thorium reserves and use of superconductors.

August 3, 2011
by Bryan Le