NEW DELHI: The heavy water leakage at Kakrapar Atomic Power Station in Gujarat must impel the Centre not to go ahead with new nuclear power projects in the country, senior CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat said today.
He also demanded setting up of an "independent" nuclear regulatory authority for "credible" safety and risk assessment of the country's atomic power projects.
"The recent leakage should impel government to stop proceeding with any new nuclear project. The harmful policy of importing nuclear reactors and diluting liability law to facilitate foreign nuclear companies must be reversed.
"There has to be a comprehensive safety audit of the country's nuclear plants and an independent nuclear regulatory authority is needed without which there can be no credible risk assessment of the power plants," Karat said in an article of party's mouthpiece 'People's Democracy'.
Karat, who was CPI-M's general secretary when the Left Front withdrew support to UPA-I government over Indo-US nuclear deal in 2008, observed that after the deal, the government has embarked on a plan to import nuclear power plants from France and the United States "on a large scale".
Sites in Jaitapur, Mithi Virdhi and Kovvada are expected to have nuclear parks with up to six reactors at each site, he said.
"It is to facilitate these reactors imported at exorbitant costs that the Modi government is working to undermine civil nuclear liability law passed by Parliament.
"Not only are there inadequate safety standards in place, the government is also working to ensure Indians do not get any guarantee of compensation and rehabilitation in case of nuclear accidents and the resultant damage," Karat said.
He also termed the nuclear establishments represented by Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Atomic Energy Commission and Nuclear Power Corporation as "notorious" for their "lack of transparency and independent regulation".