Fwd: Fwd: Bhopal

Dear friends,

Some of you know I've always been against the nuclear deal as well as questioning the motivations, even patriotism (as if bloody politicians ever had any in the first place) of the people at the centre.

There has been an uproar about the way in which a future Bhopal is being almost legitimised, favouring American business over even the safety, leave alone financial security, of Indians.

Whether you go to the Greenpeace link below and add your signature to the petition or not, and how much you are willing to spread the word, is upto you.  But please do not ignore the issue.



top few paras of http://www.deccanchronicle.com/op-ed/liability-bill-nuclear-hara-kiri-610 :

The United Progressive Alliance government deferred the introduction of the controversial Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010, (CLNDB) in the Lok Sabha on Monday. The aim of this bill is to meet specific American concerns which have arisen post Bhopal gas tragedy, by providing immunity to American nuclear plant suppliers from any victim-related litigation in the event of a major nuclear disaster. The bill transfers the liability, or compensation, to the Indian taxpayer instead. This proposal is risky for several reasons, including the fact that it provides the nuclear reactor manufacturers the option to maximise profits by reducing building and safety standards without fear of prosecution. 

Since Russia and France will supply reactors to India from their government-owned companies, this bill is really meant to cater to the United States where nuclear plants are not only owned and maintained by private companies like Westinghouse and General Electric, but it is the private "operator" and not the private "reactor supplier" who is held accountable for payment (through insurance) in case of a nuclear accident. No American "reactor supplier" would be willing to build nuclear plants in India unless the CLNDB is passed.

The bill is crucial to the operationalisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal, but India is under no international obligation to pass this bill which, in reality, attempts to convert the liability of a foreign reactor supplier (FRS) into a rather pathetic compensation, to be paid by the Indian taxpayer.

Though the bill is America-centric, if passed it will apply equally to reactors supplied by France and Russia for which presumably different, and as yet unpublicised, conditions would have been put in the contracts.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Karuna Raina, Greenpeace India <Greenpeace.india@mailing.greenpeace.org>
Date: Wed, Mar 17, 2010 at 11:41 AM
Subject: Bhopal
To: sitaramc@gmail.com

If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view.
Click here to sign this petition: "India must hold a public consultation before changing the liability rules for any nuclear accidents caused by U.S. corporations."
Dear Sitaram,

Last week, Prime Minister Singh was ready to introduce the nuclear liability bill, which would let U.S. corporations off the hook for any nuclear accidents in India. But over 50,000 of us signed a petition asking him to hold this bill. Now he's not introducing the bill in this session of parliament after all!

In case of an accident at Indian nuclear plants, U.S. companies would get away by paying a small amount, and Indian tax payers would bear the bulk of the expenses involved. Imagine if this law passes, then we face a disaster even worse than Bhopal.

The bill has only been deferred until the next parliamentary session in a few weeks. Now's the time to increase pressure on the PM to drop this bill.

Can you sign our petition right away?


The petition says: "India must hold a public consultation before changing the liability rules for any nuclear accidents caused by U.S. corporations."

Your signature will be faxed to Dr. Manmohan Singh's office.

As The Times of India reports:

"Isolated over the civil nuclear liability bill, the government was forced to back off in the Lok Sabha on Monday when it decided to defer introducing the legislation in the face of spirited opposition..." [1]

The victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy are still struggling to get their due 25 years later. In spite of this, the government is pushing for this ridiculous bill which violates our right to life.

We cannot allow American companies to reap benefits without any responsibility. Sign the petition now to tell the PM what you want:


Thanks a billion!

Photo of Karuna Raina
Karuna Raina
Nuclear Campaigner
Greenpeace India

1. "Govt backs off on nuclear liability Bill," The Times of India, 15 March 2010
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