CPM demands fresh Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill

The CPI(M) demanded that the government scrap this present bill and bring fresh legislation to set up 'a genuinely independent' nuclear safety regulatory authority.

hidden September 21, 2011 16:34:50 IST
CPM demands fresh Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill

New Delhi: The CPI(M) today asked the government to scrap the Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill and bring a fresh one claiming the proposed legislation would bind the body to accept all nuclear imports without questioning their quality.

Observing that such an Authority would remain "captive" to the government, the party Politburo, in a statement that came in the backdrop of the recent protests over the nuclear projects in Jaitapur in Maharashtra and Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, said that the bill "hedges the authority with various restrictions".

CPM demands fresh Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill

The CPI(M) demanded that the government scrap this present bill and bring fresh legislation to set up "a genuinely independent" nuclear safety regulatory authority. PTI

Noting that the Prime Minister had promised a bill to set up an "independent" authority after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, it said the Bill introduced in Lok Sabha "goes contrary to the assurance and seeks to set up a body which is captive to the government."

Maintaining that the Authority would have to function in consistence with India's "international obligations", it said this meant the regulator "will have to accept all imported nuclear plants and not question any features of the same which have been arrived through international agreements."

"Thus, the Authority has to give post facto approval for all the imported reactors which the government has already committed to buy," the CPI(M) statement said.

The government, by bringing such a Bill, "has shown its utter disdain for the people's genuine fears about safety in the nuclear sector."

It said an "extraordinary" clause in the bill that the Authority "shall not act against the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality" was an "unprecedented directive".

It said that the Council of Nuclear Safety, proposed in the bill to control the regulator, would comprise the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, cabinet secretary and experts nominated by it.

"It is this Council which will control and virtually direct the Regulatory Authority," the major Left party said. The other "objectionable" feature was the government's power to remove the chairperson or members of the Authority and to supersede the authority itself.

"Such powers will make the Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority a tame instrument of the government," it said.  The CPI(M) demanded that the government scrap this present bill and bring fresh legislation to set up "a genuinely independent" nuclear safety regulatory authority.

PTI

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