PHOTO: Greenpeace

ELAW partner Nityanand Jayaraman says nuclear power is “un-bankable.”

In an op-ed in Friday’s The Hindu, Nity quotes nuclear energy expert Peter Bradford, a past member of the U.S.  Nuclear Regulatory Commission who teaches a course on nuclear power at the Vermont Law School:

“The most implacable enemy of nuclear power in the past 30 years has been the risk not to public health but to investors’ wallets.  No nuclear power project has ever bid successfully in a competitive energy market anywhere in the world.”

Nity is a freelance writer and volunteer with the Chennai Solidarity Group for Kudankulam Struggle.  He and his colleagues in India have worked with ELAW for many years to protect communities in India from development schemes that leave communities out of the equation.

Shortly after the March 2011 Fukushima disaster, Nity asked ELAW Staff Scientist Mark Chernaik to reevaluate the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for a proposed nuclear power facility near Jaitapur, on the coast, south of Mumbai.  Mark had analyzed the plan in 2010 and found several flaws.  Looking at it again, Mark found that the EIA misstated the maximum height of a tsunami as three meters, when in fact they can be 15 to 30 meters high.  Mark also discovered that hundreds of spent fuel assemblies would be placed in a storage bay outside of the plant’s containment structures.  A similar design fault is what made the Fukushima disaster so deadly.

It looks like “unfavourable economics” might spell the end of the Jaitapur scheme.  Nity writes:

“In Jaitapur too, the government has more to worry about than local protestors.  Areva, the technology supplier, is in trouble.  Last year, it announced losses of €1.6 billion, and the sacking of 1,200 workers in Germany.  Last June, it decided to suspend production at a Virginia reactor component plant due to declining market prospects.  Its expansion plans in France, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.  may never materialise.  Areva expected to sell 50 nuclear reactors this decade.  It has not received a single order since 2007.”

Thanks Nity for giving communities a voice, debunking the myth of “clean” “cheap” nuclear power, and advancing sustainable energy solutions.

Maggie Keenan
ELAW Communications Director