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Asia-Pacific

Top Indian scientist calls for nuclear moratorium

media Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meets Indian PM Manmohan Singh in Delhi Reuters

A leading Indian scientist and advisor to the Delhi government has called for a moratorium on all nuclear projects in India, in the wake of the disaster in Japan.

In an open letter to the government, Padmanabhan Balaram, director of the Indian Institute of Sciences in Bangalore, said the country’s department of nuclear energy “had recklessly underplayed the possibility of a major accident, declaring that Indian reactors would not be exposed to serious accidents”.

The former president of India’s atomic energy regulatory commission, and a former energy minister also signed the letter, which came after the crisis at Japan's Fukushima power station.

India joined the market for nuclear energy in 2008, when the 34-year-old international embargo on civil nuclear trade with the country was lifted.

French, Russian, Japanese and US companies now compete for contracts to build reactors in India.
 

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