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This article was first published 13 years ago  » News » 197 suicides and 1,733 deaths at India's nuclear establishments in last 15 yrs

197 suicides and 1,733 deaths at India's nuclear establishments in last 15 yrs

By Prasanna D Zore
October 04, 2010 18:03 IST
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197 employees belonging to a number of nuclear establishments and related institutes in India have committed suicide and 1,733 scientists and employees belonging to these centres have died of illnesses like multiple organ failure, lung cancer, cirrhosis of liver etc, as per a report compiled by Mumbai-based RTI activist Chetan Kothari.

The report based on 175 pages of documents sourced through 32 such centres also reveal that 1,733 employees and scientists from these establishments died due to various illnesses that include cardiac strokes, liver failure, multiple organ failure, tuberculosis, cardio-respiratory diseases, lung cancer, septicemia, cirrhosis of liver, cerebro-vascular dieseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, mellitus etc amongst a host of other diseases.

Interestingly, some of the RTI documents shown to by Kothari did not mention the cause of the death and in some other cases mentioned the cause of death as 'brought dead', which Kothari was explained on the condition of anonymity as those who have committed suicides.

Kothari, after poring through the 175-pages over the weekend told that most of the deceased in this report belonged to the 29-50 age group.

Incidentally, one doesn't find the cause of death mentioned as 'due to atomic radiation' against any of the deaths reported in these 15 years at these centres.

The data pertains to the period between 1995 to March 2010 and runs into 175 pages sourced over a period of three months by Kothari.

It was only recently that the news of scientists belonging to the atomic energy fraternity in India committing suicides had been in the news.

The RTI replies from various centres, however, have not dwelled on the reason behind these suicides or how various other illnesses were contracted by the deceased.

The largest number of suicide cases at 74 have been reported from Uranium Corporation of India Ltd, Jharkhand, and those who died of other illnesses mentioned above stood at 203 at this centre.

Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, have reported highest number of deaths, at 680, of its employees and scientists due to various illnesses.

The data has been sourced from the Nuclear Power Corporation of India in Mumbai, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Tata Memorial Hospital, Department of Atomic Energy, Atomic Energy Rgulatory Board, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (Kolkata), Uranium Corporation of India (Jharkhand), Nuclear Fuel Complex (Hyderabad), Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Environmental and Industrial safety (Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu), The Institute fo Mathematical Sciences (Chennai), Department fo Atomic Energy, Heavy Watyer Plant (Tuticorin), Harish Chandra Research Institute (Allahabad), Institute for Plasma Research Centre (Gandhinagar), Institute of Physics (Bhubaneshwar), Heavy Water Plant in Kota (Rajasthan), Heavy water Pklant, Talcher (Orissa), Raja Ramanna Centre for Advaced Technology (Indore) amongst several others.

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Prasanna D Zore in Mumbai
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