Gethanjali Monto and Rita Malhohtra published a brief summary of the lectures delivered at a brain-storming seminar held at the National Institute of Advanced Studies(NIAS), Bangalore on September 29 and 30, 2011. The topic of the seminar was “Public perception of risks”. The summary appears in the Current Science (10 December 2011). I spoke on “Public perception on nuclear power” .
Ms Monto and Malhotra summarized my talk thus:
“The perception of danger in nuclear energy started in the 1970s and the perception of risk started with it, said K. S. Parthasarathy (Department of Atomic Energy, Mumbai). He pointed out that knowledge about nuclear energy is poorand fear is extraordinarily high, which has been amplified by the attitude of secrecy and consequent creation of mistrust. He discussed the myths and realities related to nuclear waste management, accidents and proliferation, atomic bombs, terrorism and biological effects. For example, persons living in areas with high background radiation or high radon levels would receive higher radiation doses than the average dose to nuclear power plant workers, and these two typeof radiation (natural and man-made) are exactly the same.”