NEAR EAST AND SOUTH ASIA REVIEW (DELETED) - INDIA'S NUCLEAR POWER PROGRAM SAILS

Created: 11/23/1984

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

lodln'* Nuclear Power Program Salb Into -Heary Media Wittp pi

once ucroaanct nudea; power program it cocmnj under inereuingly tan eriiicum la 1st Indian preai. Citing numerous public failure*Urn program, (be Indian preu ii calling into qoeaiion iu DUiuiethcat. ufely. and, in particular, iu economic viability. Continued trouble* and bid publidty. we believe, win rauh ia increucd parliamentary acruiinj lhai could eventually result in *orne cut* in the program.

Critical

India's atomic energy program operate* underlight veil of leerecy. India'a prima miniatm have always held tbe nuclear power portfolio, and policy hu boot made by tbe Prime MinutermaD number of edvuers. Tbe nuclearthe Department of Atomic Energytough) to influence public opinion favorably by reeding tctected infonm tkxibe modia. adveniaing tba cexning of newnd lUfiestlog imooih opcraiion ind ocatuaJ access of the program.

In ibe hut year tbe major oewtpapeti have boea leu inclined to be maaJptilaied by tbe DAE. They bave reported ibe fitlinj* of tbe program and questioned whether aacrecy wuover mUtakaa. The Indian Exprtu recently challenged the constant claim* of neccs* and demanded thai the DAEomplete budget, mcludim goali and

Chairman Raja Ramanna at tempted toro* reporting becaiuc it made DAE oAciab look foolish. DAE, however, haa dthcr failed lo respond direary to ibe erilicum* or not taken serious issue with them.

preu reported the rate of Plutonium recovery al one plant wu JO to SO percent lower than ihat of otherbe Sunday o'rerver called (hit an unacceptable per for minceonsequence of miamanigement and inefficiency. The Rajaiihan Atomic Power Stition {RAPS) managed to (apply only II pereeat, rather than the plannedercent, of the tlaiei eJactridty becaue only one plant wu operational. RAPS hu been plagued by equipment failure* and urikci whkh lead to furtherccording to India Today, many ofroblem* are the result of inadequate maintenancetaff with lagging raoralc.

India Today alao questioned the capacity of Indian planu to produca enough heavy water for critical (eating in June IMJ of ihe Madru Atomici ionecauac (he Indian* sought to hare MAPS operate uaiafciiurdod. they could not legally use heavy water ihey bought from ihe Unitedanada, or (he Soviet Unwe. The MAPS wu commercially corru-iuioned ia Januarya decade'* delay resulting in pan from iawrnoeotroducod heavy water Since January, it hu Operaied Al rutty, plagued by equipment fiilure* and other problem*.

Accordingbe financialof India, ib* nujor argument against the nuclear powerhat ii ii ice great aa invest me at of Indian resource* given ibe meager return. The financial Expmj

Uac Pear Perferuaar* Tbe press huumber of cue* which it claims illustrate bow poor maruiement resulted In mediocre and even acaodaloui performance. For eutopic, the

9

India* Media

The Mian pressigh degree of freedom In comparison to the press of III neighbors, tllkoughan and hasof iht pttu. For example, censorship has been Impostdatti *ndtr Presidents

Mail newspapers are Independently run end privately owned,ew are associated directly with political parties:

Indian Express, published Inndian etttts.irculation ofalfion.opular among India's growing mid Jit classes and Is influential with gotmmem policymakers and business leaders. Fiercely independent, the Ooenka family, which owns Indian Express, has often braved the wrath of gorernmenli displeased with

their critical editorial policy. This press group alio publishes 'he RnaoeiaJ Express, whichational circulation within the business comm unity.

The Tune*dia. pubiUhed by tieroup of the some name. Is highly respected within academic, business, mmf aereernment circles. Tht trulependami paper is left of center, according, to tht US Embassy, butnlxed economy and It basically Western oriented.

India Toda*rowing biweekly Engilsh-language mogorlne on the order of US weeklies. Kjufwafbr Iuand Invtstlgatlve reporting, the nuigaitne Is popular wilh EngiUh-speaking urbardtes throughout the country, and we believe the nuttasinerowing Influenceicy maker i. The ttusaaslneixed economy and is highly critical ofconomic performoeice.mjQ

poimi qui that nuclear power In India fcsi proved mora costly than electricity generated from other meant. The Indian Express claimed thai Anal ccau of power stations lad heavy water plants eaa three times the eatimai* orl|inally nude by DAE. Other nc*spapers Question the adtjb espcnditare in new of the nor* for other development programs

Many joaraaliau agree that India caa no torger afford to sappon espc/irneataiion inopmeni of nudes/ powerthe wheel" as ok journalist pat it Tbe Indian Express iskcrying what il saw as India's nuclear hypocrisy, urged ibe government lo sign lhe NuclearTrosly ind accept iattnutional safeguarda of dvilian power facilities so that India could import expertise snd icchnotogy from the West.

BentQtAll

Charges of callousness wire leveled at Ibe DAE when scrtou rsdiaiknorsen was reportedha Timet of India charged ibai rsdtetioa levels at tbe Tarapur radii lies were dangerously high, posing sever* health risks la worleri Tbe DAC wea stung taw releasing medical record* of the workers si ficl.uea that showed thai radiation leveia bad indeed been high bat bad bora reduced in rectal years. India Today Quoted endear rnedicia* eaperts who agreed that tbt publKimd level) ofradUOoa win not ckageraaa and thai (be only seven caaaa of exposure were the reaeh of worker csreiesineu The pubUdtylb* nud ivl) disc tenures, however, eosurtd thai lb* press and DAE have beccene leraunt lo nedeer safely and rediaison danicri thai will remain as issue for both.

32

DAI. bat touiht lo shift the blimt for tome ulety problem* to lot US ind Canadian tuaplltri of equipment by claiming much of It "it defective. The preu hu beoujht Into question OAE'i tnehrucal inadaquvcaca In falUiujaoocniaa the allied problem, belors tha aedpenantut on Una. Criticism, hu bota mated mora recently Mace tn* lodc-US agreement that alloarsdrocure foal and (pare part* in (ba West, but DAE vnlnerabiTliy to chanjea of incompetence probably influences it* inclinationeekforeiiB scapegoat.

Oneku*

Ws bei (eve there trill be changes In tat aackar proarim, aad perhaps tome redactions, bats aaa of advene pubises ty The fovercment ox id aatt ba compelled to replace the acaior ofllcul* of the DAE if there i* continuing Incompetence Al thee. tber* wiD be aa inclination la New Delhi to poll tha veil of teemcy even tighter, probably on ironndi of eaiionaJ tecurity.

Tha critical proas coverage baa failed tae of pop-la/ or psrliaoeaury ceatoaiUon la lac Indian dvulaa avelaar program ihu fu. Sapport for nartearopular political nance, aad mml resnaia so,mk* MCtau tccidcaL NockarwOI come under more acntiay, eapactnlry if thendian acoacank artuiioa dncUaaa. but the prattige asaoctaiad trfca tha program *KD carryong tray.

If faihanf to aaaat aiarp gosh panatu, pooryaaahnrt may ecaanakr an law lag foreignha prsna hu nagguwad lath*raccot eagerness tanad for ece^aojeaud fee-cngs cearspttter isehacaogy Bay extend to the aseiear Bead andoroe tofteniag ia (rnfaai pcuhaaophy of nuclear attf-retiaaos.

Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA