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'No RTI info on fast-breeder reactor at Kalpakkam'
September 12, 2007 23:32 IST
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has turned down an application seeking cost-related information on the country's unique fast-breeder reactor being developed at Kalpakkam.
Considering the sensitivity of the project and with the Indo-US nuclear deal poised at a critical juncture, chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah dismissed Bangalore-based J Y Suchitra's plea under the Right To Information Act on the grounds that disclosure of such information may have "unforeseen ramifications".
Suchitra, in an RTI application submitted to the Indira Gandhi [Images] Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) in Kalpakkam, had sought expenditure-related details about the project, including the cost of core fabrication and of reprocessing spent fuel.
While information on expenditure incurred on the project during 2005-2006 and the budget estimate for the current year were disclosed, exemption was sought by IGCAR regarding details of fabrication costs and the cost of reprocessing spent fuel.
Seeking exemption under the provisions of the RTI Act, IGCAR contended that disclosure of such information could prejudicially affect India's sovereignty and integrity and relations with a foreign state.
The commission, which upheld IGCAR's decision to deny the information, consulted scientists of Kolkata-based Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, who said the disclosure of such details would provide information about what was happening inside the reactor and its components.