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Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
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India's Prime Minister Seeks More Nuclear Transparency
30 March 2011 11:10 am
NEW DELHI—In a speech here today, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh exhorted his government to strive for "accountability and transparency in the functioning of our nuclear power plants." The remarks have perplexed some atomic officials and scientists.
A few days after the nuclear crisis began to unfold at the Fukushima power station in Japan, Singh, who also serves as minister in charge for atomic energy, ordered a safety review of all 20 nuclear power plants and a half dozen research reactors owned and operated by the government. Known as a strong backer of India's nuclear establishment, Singh in 2008 staked the future of his government on passage of the landmark Indo-U.S. civilian nuclear agreement, which allows India, once ostracized over its nuclear weapons program, to buy civilian nuclear technology.
In his speech, Singh declared that "the people of India have to be convinced about the safety and security of our own nuclear power plants. We should bring greater openness and transparency in the decision-making processes relating to our nuclear energy program." He promised to strengthen the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board "and make it a truly autonomous and independent regulatory authority."
Some nuclear backers fret that Singh's support for their industry may be wavering. "This is a very disturbing and highly damaging statement," one top nuclear scientist told ScienceInsider. Another added that "only God can save this country if the captain starts to abandon the ship in a time of crisis."