A worried Indian atomic energy establishment is monitoring the increased risk of meltdown at Japanese nuclear plants after explosions following Friday’s earthquake. Reason: radiation leaks could adversely affect Indo-Japanese nuclear deal in the works.
Radiation fallouts could hurt the Japanese nuclear industry and also make it harder for the country to enter into a N-deal with India, officials of the department of atomic energy said.
India is not a signatory to the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the public opinion in Japan — the only country to have suffered atomic bombs — may turn conservative in the aftermath of radiation leaks, they argued.
A more conservative Japan may not help India at the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group either, sources said. The deal
with Japan is critical because big Western nuclear firms offer their services in collaboration with the Japanese firms.
“Japan has been agreeable to the nuclear deal with India, though it was nudging us towards the NPT regime. Any radiation-triggered tragedy could force caution,” a scientist said. The Tokyo Electric Power Company confirmed on Saturday that radiation dose measured at the boundary of their Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Unit 1 had exceeded permissible limits. Japanese firms are leaders in nuclear technology and India is keen to tap the expertise. But strict Japanese laws make collaboration hard.
Indians safe: Rao
Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, meanwhile confirmed that all Indians in Japan are safe. “Just spoke with our Ambassador. All Indians safe... We have about 100 in Sendai,” she wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.