An emergency was declared within the nuclear plant at Kakrapar in Gujarat, India, after a major heavy water leak in a nuclear reactor. No worker has been exposed to radiation, according to the officials. The heavy water leak affected the reactor’s cooling system which can pose an extremely serious security risk if the emergency cooling systems do not kick in an event like this, the rising temperature can cause the core of the reactor can melt down completely.

Although nuclear energy accounts for only two per cent of India’s energy needs the current government hopes to push it to 25% by 2025. When such lapses in the security of the nuclear facility can occur despite maintaining rigorous standards, the Indian government should think twice before increasing the nuclear energy capacity of a country that does not prioritize highly the safety of the poor population or the environment that they live in.

If there is anything that incidences like Chernobyl in Ukraine and Fukushima in Japan has taught us that nuclear energy is not an entirely safe and viable energy solution. The risk is far too high if an accident occurs and once the population or the environment is exposed to the radiation, there is no technology in the world that can undo the devastating effects that follow. 30 years after the Chernobyl disaster, dangerously high radiation levels still exist in the food and water produced in the area, especially the forests that have become repositories of radioactive contamination, and will pose a health hazard to the population who live there for centuries to come.

Almost 90% of the nuclear accidents around the world have occurred in the developed world, 59% in USA alone. This should serve as a warning for countries like Pakistan and India who will have a more difficult task ahead of containing a disaster God forbid if it were to take place.