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.
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Date: Wed, Mar 17, 2010 at 11:41 AM