News: Nuclear Power Plants Will Be Located in any Indian City


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Protest at Kudankulam

Protest at Kudankulam

In the midst of a stormy debate on atomic energy, Indian scientists are now designing nuclear reactors that can be positioned in the middle of a metropolitan, or any large city. Construction of the reactors might possibly get underway within the next five years.

Exclusion zone

Distance from a Nuclear plant

Distance from a Nuclear plant

A conventional nuclear plant requires an exclusion zone that extends for 1.6 kilometers radius around the reactor, directly under control of the nuclear power plant administration. It is followed by a low population sterilized zone up to five km from the reactor where the growth of population is limited by administrative control. And finally, an emergency planning zone within a radius of 16 km from the reactor The outermost zone defines the minimum distance to high population centers.

Safety Features of AHWR Reactor

The much-delayed 300 MW Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR), the latest Indian design for a next generation nuclear reactor, now on the design table for close to a decade will burn thorium in its fuel core. Globally, thorium is three times more abundant than uranium.

The scientists designing this third stage in India’s 3-stage fuel cycle plan claim that it has several inbuilt safety features to allow the plant to be located even in densely populated areas.

Officials said these safety features would it make it possible to meet the next-generation safety requirements like three-day grace period for operator response, elimination of the requirement of an exclusion zone beyond the plant perimeter, hundred-year life duration, and high-level of fault tolerance. Designed with a high-level of fault tolerance, the AHWR provides for a much greater immunity even from an insider threat.

Mr. Shiv Abhilash Bhardwaj, director (Technical), Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) confirmed this. He said: “The AHWR has a number of inbuilt safety features that would require very little exclusion zone and can be built right in the heart of the city.”

He further said that they expect to start construction of the AHWR during the 12th Plan period.

A site for building the AHWR, designed by a team of nuclear scientists led by former Atomic Energy Commission chairman Mr Anil Kakodkar and incumbent Mr Ratan Kumar Sinha, is yet to be finalized.

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16 Reasons Why India Must Shun Nuclear Energy


Reproduced from DiaNuke.org

Koodankulam kids

16 Reasons Why India Must Shun Nuclear Energy

By Anuj Wankhede

1) Nuclear Energy is the most powerful discovery made by humans – both for peace and war.
 The sheer damage that nuclear power can cause is so huge that it will destroy the entire human race and life on earth.

2) Nuclear Energy is NOT a clean source of energy. From uranium mining, processing, cooling the reactors to the disposal of nuclear waste – all are highly polluting.

3) Radiation is a silent killer. The harm caused by a nuclear reactor even without an accident can be judged by the fact that there is an alarmingly high rate of cancer among those working in them. This information is available in the public domain and relates to studies done at Kalpakkam and Tarapur in India. Ironically, the studies are by the same government of India which claims nuclear Energy is safe!

4) The world has seen how nuclear accidents occur out of both design flaws as well as natural disasters. The Three Mile Island accident in the United States was due to a design flaw in the emergency alarm system and what happened at Fukushima was a culmination of rank bad designing coupled with nature’s fury.

5) The desalination plants will suck in sea water, filter (kill) marine life and convert it into fresh water for cooling the huge reactors. What does not get filtered gets evaporated in steam used to distill the salty sea water. This causes severe marine biodiversity changes as can be seen in the Middle East. These result in the formation of toxic algae laden “Red Tides” and the fish breeding in these areas are poisonous to humans and declared unfit for consumption. The Kudankulam project will certainly alter the biodiversity of the Bay of Bengal in general, and the Gulf of Mannar in particular. Marine experts agree and emphasize this profoundly rich and bio-diverse ecology needs the stewardship of preservation.

6) Japan, a heavily industrialized technologically advanced nation, shut down all its 54 nuclear reactors and is still getting along without the sort of crippling power cuts across India. More pertinently, the Japanese government agrees the any decision to restart the nuclear facilities should be ratified by the local people. In India, the Kudankulam and Jaitapur nuclear power projects are coming up despite stiff and open public agitation. The government refuses transparency and does not share necessary information regarding safety and other concerns. The former reactor is being started almost in a military style secret operation. Bear in mind that the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) has asked the government to make this information available to the public!

7) While a 1000MW power project sounds impressive, nuclear reactors in India average at 40 to 50% utilization levels. Even after this, there are huge energy losses which are simply accounted as “Transmission & Distribution (T&D)” losses. It is nothing but an admission of failure to deliver efficiently whatever power is generated.

8 ) The power sector is facing a huge deficit on account of the losses mentioned above and also because of “under recovery” of dues. This is a euphemism for money written off for providing free power to large industrial units and big farmers – both well connected politically and providing money for election purposes.

9) State governments forever dispute their rightful share of resources with each other. Even before the commissioning of the reactor at Kudankulam, its neighbour Kerala is demanding its share of power. What Tamil Nadu eventually gets out of the 1000 MW will be a minuscule amount after deducting 50% utilization, T&D losses and sharing with other states.

Even assuming an optimistic figure of approximately 300MW of actual usable power for the state, it does not make any logical sense to undertake such a costly and dangerous project. If this project was submitted to a bank for getting a loan, it would probably not even cross over to the bank manager! But here, the government is bankrolling the investment, certifying its environmental safety, its viability and liability – in short, it is just the whim and ego of the stubborn government.

10) Everyone agrees that large industrial accidents can (and do) occur. However, in case of nuclear accidents, the scope of damage done to all kinds of living matter is unlimited. And the most dangerous and sad truth is that all future generations will face fatal consequences. Chernobyl’s children are a tragic testimony of living death. Being handicapped only because your previous generations were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation is probably nature’s way of telling mankind that what you sow, you shall reap.

11) Every nation seeks to be self sufficient, and rightly so. However, in its haste to prove its self-reliance, the government is hiding a very crucial point. We simply don’t have the raw material needed for our atomic power plants. Uranium is scarce and a rare element found naturally. Dr. Homi Bhaba had a vision of making India self sufficient in power by building nuclear power projects. Although a man of vision, he envisaged a nuclear India based on thorium, not uranium. Thorium is abundantly available in India while scarce uranium can only be procured from friendly nations at a huge diplomatic and political cost. Although thorium reserves exist in plenty, the first reactor will come up only in 2016 at the earliest. Even this form of atomic energy has its own problems but in the 1950s and 60s thorium was considered absolutely safe.

12) India refuses to change its mindset with regards to atomic energy and equates it to “national pride” when actually the truth is that even at Kudankulam and Jaitapur, foreigners are doing all the work. Russians at the former and the French at the latter. Where is the national pride in doing a copy+paste job?

13) The ‘super secret’ nuclear technology is a thing of the past. And people have realized that the only thing atomic energy achieves is to boil water, nothing more, nothing less, except at the astronomical cost of constructing, running, maintaining and dismantling them.

In the process, the irreversible damage to man, nature, environment and the future is accepted as a “small price to pay for development.” When one looks at it rationally, it is actually a “huge price paid for questionable development.”

14) The western countries are concerned with Iranian and North Korean plans of building nuclear facilities, apparently of “peaceful” purposes. The developed nations are concerned because they know the real reasons! Uranium enrichment done in the name of peaceful activity is clandestinely diverted to developing nuclear weapons. 
Most experts believe both India and Pakistan are doing this and are running scared of the consequences. A tiny suitcase sized atomic bomb can wipe out a country of any meaningful size – many times over.

This is not paranoia. This is believed to have happened when the erstwhile Soviet Union broke up. The Russians spent a huge amount on recovering some of these lost/stolen “dirty bombs,” but have certainly not accounted for all of them. Does a nation factor in a situation of anarchy or civil war in which its people throw over a rogue dictator? And what if that rogue decided to “sell” or “barter” this destructive knowledge?

15) The threat of terrorists attacking nuclear installations is a clear and present danger. Just last month, an activist flew a small airplane over a French nuclear reactor and dropped a series of flares to send a message that nuclear safety is a myth. Breaches of this type have been done at various installations across the world. Ironically, leaders of the “most powerful nuclear nations” recently conducted a high level summit where they congratulated themselves on their nuclear safety!

16) The use of atomic energy for energy security has dissolved lately with so many industrialized nations either reducing or shelving nuclear energy programs. At least they have admitted that renewable energy is a workable alternative. While earlier there were cost concerns and problems with dependable supply, newer research in solar and wind power have taken care of them. Additionally, the new “smart grids” ensure reliable power on tap.

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Why Koodankulam reactors are Killers of Indians and Fisheries


Reproduced from http://tshivajirao.blogspot.com/

Why Koodankulam reactors are Killers of Indians and Fisheries

By Prof. T. Shivaji Rao on Saturday, May 5, 2012

Prof. T. Shivaji Rao
Director, Centre for Environmental Studies, 
GITAM UNIVERSITY, Visakhapatnam, India

 Born in 1932 at Mudinepalli, near Gudivada, Krishna Dist. Andhra Pradesh, received Bachelors degree in Civil Engg., from Viswesaraiah Engineering College, Banglore (1956) and Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering from Rice university, Houston, Texas, (USA) (1962), Ph.D. (Hony). Former Head of the Department of Civil Engineering and principal of College of Engineering, Andhra university. Formerly Hony. Professor in Andhra University, Manonmanian Sundarnar University, JNT University. Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, India Recipient of the University Grants Commissions National Award “Swami Pranavananda Award on Ecology and Environmental Sciences” for the year 1991. Recipient of Sivananda Eminent Citizen Award for 2002 by Sanathana Dharma Charitable Trust, Andhra Pradesh state. Presently Working as Director, centre for Environmental Studies, GITAM University, Visakhapatnam, India.
http://www.geocities.com/prof_shivajirao/resume.html http://www.eoearth.org/contributor/Shivaji.rao

Just as a highly irritated snake kills a man, nuclear plants silently kill mankind and nature for providing illegal money to the greedy contractors, officials and politicians?

Nuclear Plants are just silent killers of man and Nature. In nature the Uranium ore contains 99.3% of Uranium-238 and the remaining 0.7% is Uranium-235 and they are almost harmless in nature. But greedy business people dig the Uranium ore and convert the least harmful Uranium-235 into the fuel form of Uranium-235 by purifying it to make it a fuel by enriching it from 0.7% to about 4%. It is packed into pellets which are put into Fuel rods and inserted into the core of the nuclear reactor for producing both electricity and Radioactive material for making the killer nuclear bombs. In the reactor when the nuclear atom is given a blow by a neutron, enormous intense heat and other poisonous Radio-active atoms like Xenon, Barium, Cesium, Strontium and Plutonium and a few neutrons are produced.

These radioactive substances are discharged into the air and water by several ways and they enter into the environment consisting of air, water and soil and foods like vegetables, fishes, prawns and they ultimately get into human beings and produce cancers and birth defects in generations of people for many decades to come.

These poisonous radioactive substances destroy natural and human life and culture and convert lands up to hundreds of kilometers into permanent nuclear burial grounds for ever.

1) AS A THREATENED COBRA KILLS A MAN, PURIFIED URANIUM IN REACTORS POISON MANKIND AND NATURE

How the harmless Uranium ore materials in nature are converted by man into destructive and killer materials can be understood by the following simple example. For instance king cobras live in nature in anthills in forests and lead their normal life peacefully by catching their prey for food during nights. But greedy who want to extract their venom people go and poke their iron rods into their abodes and disturb the Cobras when they become angry and bite the trespassers to inflict death over them by their poisons. Similarly, the selfish business people are mining the harmless Uranium and converting it into harmful Enriched Uranium and then using it to produce electricity by means of the Nuclear plants and in the process they are producing Radioactive pollutants that poison man and nature as radioactivity gets into the environment. In course of time if an accident occurs in the Nuclear plant due to several reasons like in Fukushima or Chernobyl, the poisonous pollutants are thrown into the atmosphere and they kill thousands of people slowly and inflict cancer to millions of people living downstream up to hundreds of kilometers as in case of Fukushima and Chernobyl accidents.

2) NUCLEAR EXPERTS MISLEAD ON ABSOLUTE SAFETY OF NUCLEAR PLANTS

The Nuclear plant operators are misleading the public by stating that Nuclear power is safe and cheap just like the medical representatives of various pharmaceutical companies praise before the doctors about the virtues of their medical tablets and tonics as part of their sale promotion activity the nuclear authorities are praising the nuclear plants as safe and cheap energy producers which is a social crime. This misinformation is dangerous to public health and welfare because in European states almost all people agree that safety of Nuclear power is a Myth as accepted by Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany. She had consulted the genuine experts on nuclear plants and realized that nuclear safety is a myth and ordered for gradual closure of all the nuclear plants in Germany. If Indian Prime Minister and Union Cabinet Ministers including the Chief Ministers of the states want to know the truth about the safety of the nuclear power plants they must go and visit advanced countries like Germany and Japan and discuss the issue with foreign experts so that they can refrain from promoting nuclear plants as is done by the peoples leader like Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal.

i) Center and State Government Nuclear experts are recklessly propagating that nuclear reactors are absolutely safe because firstly they are not at all experts as per Section 45 and 51 of Indian Evidence Act and they cannot understand nuclear safety as envisaged by the standards specified by International Atomic Energy Agency.

ii) The Government appointed experts have never studied how Fukushima reactors exploded only due to a series of human failures as had happened even in the case of Bhopal disaster. The experts never studied the case of Bhopal disaster to realize that human errors cause disasters for several reasons. The experts never studied even the 1985 reports on Environmental Impact Assessment report published by the British Government for 1100 MW nuclear power plant at Sizewell including the risk analysis, disaster scenario depicting the travel of radioactive pollutants up to 160 km from the reactor, the emergency evacuation procedures, rehabilitation of the victims and the cost benefit analysis. They have never studied even the causes and effects of nuclear reactor explosions in Three Mile Island in USA in 1979, the Chernobyl disaster in Russia in 1986 and Fukushima explosion in Japan in March 2011 and the damaging effects on public health and ecological systems and the enormous costs of compensation amounting to 4 lakh crores of rupees leading those countries to virtual economic bankruptcy.

3) SAFE LIGNITE COAL TO BE USED FOR ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION IS DIVERTED FROM TAMILNADU TO UTTARA PRADESH AND THRUST IMPORTED AND RISKY REACTORS OVER THE HEADS OF TAMILIANS

While it was the duty of the experts to identify several alternate methods of producing the same amount of electricity in place of the proposed hazardous reactors they have omitted describing such alternatives by utilizing the cheaper, safe and socially acceptable solar power, wind power, natural gas and lignite coal which are available in plenty in India itself. The experts failed to point out to the state and central Governments that their plan to divert lignite coal from Neyveli of Tamilnadu to a far-off sate like Uttara Pradesh in North India to generate same electrical power amounts to denying the supply of electricity by using their own local resource instead of dumping on the heads of the people the most costliest and deadliest large reactors to be imported all the way of from the far off country like Russia. Such an action amounts to denying the right to life, right to health and right to livelihood of lakhs of people of Tamilnadu.

i) Since the Tamilnadu expert committee consists of 2 mechanical engineers, one commerce Post Graduate and one Physicist, they do not have the necessary academic background to grasp the fundamentals of the different kinds of radioactive substances in the natural background and their damaging impacts on the mode of breaking the single strand and double strands of the helix in the DNA located in the Chromosomes present in the nucleus of the different kinds of cells present in different organs of humanbeings, animal population, marine fishery organisms and the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. They may not be in a position to grasp the food chains and food webs in nature through which the different kinds of radiation may enter the fisheries and other food. The biological magnification of some of these radioactive particles with both short and long half life spans are bound to cause prolonged damaging effects on normal cells and sperm cells which may result in the birth of mutilated and unnatural offspring.

ii) Consequently the state nuclear experts are disabled to grasp that any increase in radiation above natural background radiation is bound to damage the life systems by causing sickness including cancer and loss of immunity that are conducive for promotion of the incidence of several exotic diseases and new forms of ill-health in the organisms. Some of these experts blindly believe that as compared with the background level of radiation, their nuclear plants at Kudankulam containing one or more large sized reactors are going to contribute radioactive pollution to the Environment which will be negligible as compared with the background levels. These experts are blind to the real facts that a nuclear reactor discharges enormous amounts of radioactivity into the atmosphere and into the natural water courses like lakes and oceans on a very large scale as can be seen by the data published by several honest nuclear plant operators in other countries. See Website:

iii) The Indian experts also bluff the public by designating the nuclear accidents as excursions and nuclear plant locations which will be nuclear burial grounds as nuclear parks. They also do not know that nuclear reactors are responsible for several small scale, medium scale and large scale accidents running into hundreds of accidents per year as can be seen from the following website:

812. 1987, June – U.S.A.

More than 23,000 mishaps have occurred at US commercial reactor power plants since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, according to Public Citizen.

1979 – 2,310 accidents
1980 – 3,804 accidents
1981 – 4,060 accidents
1982 – 4,500 accidents
1983 – 5,000 accidents
1984 – 2,417 accidents
1985 – 2,974 accidents
1986 – 3,000 accidents.
(Public Citizen Critical Mass Energy Project WISE NC 275 June 87)

During all these accidents high levels of radioactivity will be discharged into the Environment but the plant owners never present the true facts to the public and hence the people only know these facts by the increased levels of cancer and birth defects among the population living in the vicinity of the nuclear plants in Rajasthan, Uttara Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamilnadu as assessed by the independent medical practitioners located in their respective areas. Thus nuclear plants are just silent killers of mankind and nature.

4) SAFETY OF REACTORS

In order to avoid the core melt-down, experts have provided a series of safety devices. One major line of defence is emergency core cooling system (ECCS) which provides an instantaneous water supply that keeps the core from melting. Another lineof defence is the concrete containment that surrounds the core and the pressure vessel so that even during a loss of coolant accident, no radioactivity will escape into the outside environment. Such engineering safety measures also fail sometimes. If the main pipe in the primary cooling breaks, immediately the control rods eliminate the nuclear fission process, halting the activity. But the radioactivity in the already disintegrating fission products cannot be arrested. In a 650 MW plant, the heat formation by the radioactive disintegration process amounts to roughly 200 MW three seconds after the reactor is switched off, 100 MW after one minute, 30 MW after one hour and 12 MW after 24 hours.

Under normal operating conditions, the reactor has an external fuel casing temperature of about 350oC, while the interior fuel rods remain at 2220oC. If the cooling liquid is lost, the outer surface of the rods heats up rapidly within 10 to 15 seconds, the fuel casing will begin to break down and within a minute, the casing will melt.

WHY INDIAN NUCLEAR PLANTS ARE ACCIDENT-PRONE AND SOME MAY EXPLODE IN THE LONG RUN? (tshivajirao.blogspot.in)

Unless the emergency cooling system comes into operation within a minute, the fuel (approximately 100 tonnes) and the supporting structure will all begin to melt, leading to a major accident. At this stage even if the emergency cooling system works, it will make the situation worse. The molten metals react with the cooling water to produce steam and hydrogen and heat from the fission products adds to this, thus sinking the melten core to the ground. In a 200 MW nuclear reactor radio-fission products accumulated after one year would be equivalent to the amount released by approximately 1000 atom bombs of the Hiroshima variety. Since the reactor pressure vessel contains the core, any loss in the pressure vessel in excess of the supply from ECCS leads to the escape of the coolant, thereby exposing the core that gets overheated within seconds. The failure of the vessel can inflict serious damage to the core and also break the containment.

5) EMERGENCY COOLANT FAILS

According to the advocates of nuclear power when the primary coolant comes out of the major pipe break in the coolant water loop, the control rods are immediately driven into the core to stop the fission reaction and the ECC system releases the cool water from the accumulators intended to cope with such emergencies. But the environmental experts and opponents of nuclear power emphasise that by the time the emergency coolant water gets in the core, the temperature in the core would become so high that the water turns into high pressure steam, either obstructing the entry of more coolant or forcing it to exit through the breakage in the pipes so that the reactor core gets overheated to cause a major disaster. When the Aerojet Nuclear Company conducted tests of ECC system at the National Reactor Testing Station in Idaho, USA, mechanical failure occurred. Subsequent tests at Oakridge National Laboratories indicated that the Zircalloyclad fuel rods may swell, rupture and obstruct the cooling channel thereby preventing the emergency cooling water from reaching the reactor core. Fuel rod swelling commenced about 1400oF and at 1880oF the coolant channels were blocked by 50 to 100 percent and such a blockage could be catastrophic. The combined effect of the rapid cooling during an emergency core cooling with the rapidly rising pressure in a reactor vessel could lead to its rupture, an accident that no nuclear plant is designed to cope with. Failure of the vessel could occur due to inherent weakness in the construction of the vessel itself or due to factors such as molten fuel coolant explosion or the gross failure of the vessel support system. Steam generators also cause problems due to deformation of tubes because of corrosion of support of plate materials, fatigue failures and tube pitting problems. The feed water system piping is exposed to water-hammer, leading to the damage of valves. These valves on their own face problems from packing, gasket leakage and erosion.

i) Places to be evacuated during accident at Kudankulam: When an accident at a nuclear plant releases enormous quantities of radioactivity into the air, water and soil environment, there will be immediate fatalities and long-term genetic damage among the exposed populations. All the people within the zone of influence from the reactors must be evacuated.

Evacuation must be completed within

  • 6 hours for 2 to 5 km,
  • 12 hours for 5 to 25 km,
  • 24 hours for 25 to 75 km, and
  • 40 hours for over 75 km

downwind from Kudankulam as per the British Accident scenario for the 1100 MW, Sizewell reactor, based on a wind speed of 5 m/sec rainfall of 1 mm/hour and natural stability conditions of the atmosphere.

After thorough scrubbing and decontamination of lands, equipment and residences due to radioactive pollution from an accident, people may be permitted to return to their original residence along with their cattle and other properties

  • after three weeks up to 170 km,
  • one year up to 140 km,
  • from 5 years up to 115 km,
  • 10 years up to 98 km, and
  • 20 years up to 77 km

distance from the nuclear plant.

Depending upon the weather conditions during the accident, certain places will be more affected than others.

  • Many villages of Ramanathapuram, Tirnelveli and Kanyakumari of Tamilnadu and Trivandrum and Quilon districts of Kerala will be affected seriously.
  • Killakkarai, Sattirakudi, Abiramam, Virudhnagar and Watrap of Tamilnadu and Gudalur, Thekkadi, Vengamala, Pantalam and Karunagapalli of Kerala lie within 170 km.
  • Sayalkudi, Nattakkadu, Sivakasi and Sattur of Tamilnadu, Edathora, Aruppokottair, Srivilliputtur and Rajapaliyam lie in between 140 km and 170 km.
  • Karilgatti, Kalugumala and Puliyangudiof Tamilnadu, Tenmala, Kadakkal, Attingal and Kadiamkulam of Kerala lie within 115 km.
  • Taruvaikulam, Kadambur, Tirumalapuram and Tenkasi of Tamilnadu and Palad and Attipara lie within 98 km.
  • Tuticorin, Kayattar and Trivandrum lie in between 98 km and 77 km.
  • Sayarpuram Pudukkottai, tirunelveli, Ambassamudram, Mannar, Balaramapuram, Neyyattinkara, Nanguneri, Panakudi, Kolachel, Nagercoil and Cape Comorin lie within 77kms from the nuclear plant site.

6) WHY TAMILANDU NUCLEAR EXPERTS MISUNDERSTAND NUCLEAR SAFETY

When radioactive atomic nuclei breaks up due to instability or impinged by neutrons radiation is released as particulates or high energy wave radiation. When such radiation hits on living cells the atoms in the cell get ionized. The atomic nucleus contains in its electronic sheath negatively charged electrons equal to positively charged protons in the atomic nucleus and so an atom is electrically neutral in its outward effects. If a negatively charged electron of Beta particle radiation bombards a neutral atom one or more electrons will be thrown out of the electoral sheath of the atom which becomes an ion that is a positively recharged atomic residue the newly formed ions have considerable electrical attractive power and so have capacity for strong chemical reaction. If such reactions occur in air or dead matter nobody bothers but if ionization of atoms occurs in living tissue it often causes damage resulting in cancer cells it causes severe damage like deformities, still births, enzyme defects and metabolic disorders. It has to be assumed that even the smallest quantity of radioactivity can cause a corresponding damage in living cells. If the radioactive particles or rays bombard a DNA molecule it causes ionization of atoms and the subsequent chemical reactions cause variations in basic arrangement of base sequels and break either a single strand or double strand of the double helix in DNA and so changes occur in the heritable information and the consequential damages on living organisms. The strand of the helix sequences of phosphoric acid residual and Deoxyribose residues while the bases contain Adenine, Thymine, Guanine, and cytosinev residues.

 7) RADIATIONS DAMAGE THE HUMAN AND ANIMAL CELLS ALSO

Inside the nucleus of human cells there will be 23 pairs of chromosomes each of which is packed with DNA the genetic material to receive from the parents. The DNA is always exposed to damaging agents like ultraviolet light, chemicals and reactive oxygen species generated by ionizing radiation. Direct radiation like alpha or Beta (electrons) particles or X-rays which create ions that physically break one or both of the sugar phosphate backbones or break the base pairs of the DNA. The base pairs of ATGC are held together by weak hydrogen bonds. The bonding of these base pairs can also be damaged by ionizing radiation. The base pairs of the DNA form sequences called nucleotides which inturn form the genes. The genes direct the cell to make proteins which determine the cell type and regulate its working when such breaks occur the DNA repairs itself by a process called excision which occurs in 3 steps.

  1. Endonucleases cut out the damaged DNA
  2. Resysnthesis of the original DNA by DNA polymerase
  3. Ligation by which the sugar phosphate backbone is repaired

Since evaluation of species occurred in sea of radiation the DNA repair processes constantly occur.

8) WHY INDUSTRY HIDES FACTS ON RADIOACTIVE ROUTINE RELEASES ALSO

Everyday DNA gets 10,000 injuries due to routine chemicals. A radioactive substance contains 1 curie when 37 billion radioactive disintegrations occur in it per cell. Natural radioactivity of earth per gram is 1 pico curie equivalent to 1 trillionth of a cancer. In dry air one Roentgen or Rad or Rem produces 2 billion ions per cm3. One Rad is the radiation dosage given out by 100 ergs of energy for gram of any substance. But since different radiations have different energy dosages their biological effectiveness is given a quality factor to identify Relative Biological effectiveness. The RB factor is one for Beta, Gamma and X-Ray radiations. While alpha and proton radiations have 10 times higher while neutron radiation has 4 units for slow neutron that gradually rise to 20 for fast neutron radiations. Proton at one 10-millionth part of a gram can cause cancer as it emits alpha rays of very high radiation doses with a high factor of 3 lakh units. If a lorry containing 25 kg were to overturn in road accident the plutonium thus released could cause 250 billion cases of lung cancer. 25 kg of Plutonium can be used for an atomic bomb. Tritium with its weak Beta rays comes into waste water at 100 curies to 1000 curies per annum for a nuclear plant of 1000 MW capacity. During decay tritium atom emits an electron and is converted into stable Helium. Tritium occurs in natural waters at 40 pico curies per liter and in public water supplies its concentration is limited to 3 million pico curies per liter. If one strand of DNA breaks the second strand of helix as a duplicate repairs like replacing one spoiled bulb by a new one and holds the chromosome together. Even when double strand breakages for a radiation of 100 to 500 rads exposure the repair is done in 2 to 8 hours. But when dosage of 0.08 rads per year for a decade caused extra chromosomal damage among people of Alaska. There will be 600 millions cells in one CC . In Humans one percent of single strand lesions (breaks) are converted to about 50 double strand breaks in DNA for cell cycle. Similar to the double produced by 1.52 to 2 Grays of sparsely ionizing radiation. Although DSBs are repaired on a reliable basis, the errors in repair mechanism often cause high rate of cancer in human beings. 100 rads Gamma rays cause 300 tracks cross every nucleus of the cell based on 630KeV Gamma rays from Ce 137 and one track for nucleus is due to 0.33 rads of Ce 137. Background radiation causes a fraction of one track per year. An X-ray produces 6 to 10 tracks per cell nuclei. A Gamma ray produces one MeV( soft Gamma ray gives 100 KeV) Beta particle produces 2 MeV and Alpha particle produces 6 MeV. 1 Sv or 100 rems give one Joule per kg of energy in human tissue. Radiation causes DNA damage in Million molecule lesions per cell per day. Human exposure to background radiation is about 2.4 mSv per year and the nuclear plants add to the public about 1 mSv and 20 mSv for workers per year and this limit is based on the assumption that there is no threshold dose below which there would be no effect which means that any additional dose will cause proportional increase in damage to public health and it is based on the precautionary principle which is universally accepted. While one kg of granite or coffee produces 1000 Bq, one kg of coal ash 2000 Bq, one kg 7000 Bq and 1 kg of low level radioactive waste produces one million Bq. Since the Indian Nuclear Power Corporation hides facts about routine releases of radioactivity from nuclear power plants it becomes inevitable for Indians and others to know the true facts from published literature in other countries dealing with nuclear power plants. The following website present the detailed data

Consequently the common people cannot trust the experts of the Government organization about radiation exposure due to nuclear power plants and hence must anticipate that under different kinds of nuclear accidents there will be large scale radioactivity discharged into the environment at all the existing plants which are causing serious health impacts as reported by independent scientists. Since the nuclear plants cannot be prevented by the Indian experts to discharge radioactive pollution from the reactors the people have to make their own estimates in the matter and visualize what kinds of illnesses including cancer are waiting in the wings to harm lakhs of people in the near and distant places from Kudankulam reactors up to hundreds of kilometers downwind.

Description and Effects of Different Doses and Dose Rates

 Dose

Description / Effects

0.3 to 0.6 mSv/a

This is the typical range of dose rates from artificial sources of radiation, mostly medical.

0.2 to 0.8 mSv/a

This is the range of worldwide average annual radiation dose from ingestion of foodstuff and water. Variations about the mean values by factors 5 to 10 are not unusual for many components of exposure from natural sources.

2.4 mSv/a (approximately)

The normal average background radiation from natural sources. Approximately half of this exposure is from radon in air.

13 mSv/a

This is the highest known average annual dose from background radiation that occurs in the Kerala and Madras states in India where a population of over 100 000 people is exposed to this level.

20 mSv/a

This dose averaged over 5 years is the limit for regulated practices and working activities such as the nuclear industry employees and mining and mineral processing workers, who are closely monitored.

50 mSv/a

This dose is conservatively the lowest dose rate where there is any evidence of cancer being caused. It is also the dose rate that arises from natural background levels in several places. Above this, the probability of cancer occurrence (rather than the severity) increases with dose.

1000 mSv

This dose accumulated over some time, would probably cause a fatal cancer many years later in 5 of every 100 persons exposed to it (i.e. if the normal incidence of fatal cancer were 25%, this dose would increase it to 30%).

1 000 mSv

This dose received as a short-term dose would probably cause (temporary) illness such as nausea and decreased white blood cell count, but not death. Above this dose the severity of illness increases with dose.

Between 2 000 and 10 000 mSv

This dose over a short-term dose would cause severe radiation sickness with increasing likelihood that this would be fatal.

10 000 mSv

 This dose in a short-term dose would cause immediate illness and subsequent death within a few weeks.

 

9) DAMAGE TO LIFE FORMS IS OFTEN IRREVERSIBLE AND INEVITABLE MAKING NUCLEAR SAFETY A PIE IN THE SKY AND HENCE PEOPLE MUST OPPOSE THEM

When an electron passes through a biological cell the electron releases its energy along its path (called a track) by interacting with the electrons of nearby molecules. The energy thus released is absorbed by atoms near the track causing excitation ( a push in the orbit of an electron to a higher energy level) or ionization (release of an electron from the atom) and the residue unstable atoms are known as radicals and are chemically highly active. X-ray and gamma rays unlike Beta particles release high speed electrons from atoms first. Positively charged particles transfer energy to molecules in the cells electrically uncharged neutrons impact of the nuclei of hydrogen atoms namely protons. Since the masses of the proton and neutron are similar the impact results in an elastic scattering process as occurs in Billiards game. The ejected protons work like charged protons. Ionizations due to radiation act directly on cell molecules or indirectly on water molecules causing water derived radicals which react with nearby molecules causing breakage of chemical bonds or addition of oxygen atoms by oxidation of the affected molecules. The major effect in biological cells is at DNA breaks either in single strand or double strands and the later is important biologically. Single strand breaks can be repaired normally because of the double stranded nature of the DNA(the two strands complement each other so that an intact strand serves as a template for repair of its damaged opposite strand) In case of double strand breaks the repair is more difficult and the erroneous rejoining of broken ends may occur and such misrepairs cause mutations, chromosome abrasions or cell death.

Radiations differ not only by their components like electrons, protons and neutrons but also by their energy. Radiations by neutrons and alpha particles cause dense ionization along their track and are called High Linear Energy Transfer ,High LET radiation that is energy released per unit length of the track. Low LET radiations by X-Rays and Gamma rays produce ionizations sparsely along their track and homogeneously within the cell. High LET radiations release energy in a small region of the cell and the localized DNA damage caused by High LET radiations is more difficult to repair than the diffuse DNA damage caused by the sparse ionizations from Low LET radiations. The same radiation dosage produce the same total number of ionizations with the difference that Low LET radiation causes sparse ionizations whose damaging effects can be normally repaired while the High LET radiation causes dense ionization along their track causing double strand breaks which are more difficult for repair and hence are bound to cause cell deaths or mutations resulting in cancer and other forms of illness.

10) CRUCIAL ROLE OF THE PUBLIC TO SAVE THEIR RIGHT TO LIFE, RIGHT TO HEALTH AND RIGHT TO LIVELIHOOD AT ANY COST

When India became independent Mahatma Gandhi addressed a public meeting on the occasion. He said “by making Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru as the Prime Minister of India I call him an uncrowned King of India. Like anyone of us he is a human being and all of you know that to err is human. In course of his work to uplift the nation he will plan and execute several developmental projects during the course of administration he may commit some errors who will correct such errors. His Minister or his administrative officers will not dare to point out his mistakes and rectify them and then who will take the responsibility to put the nations destiny on the right track”.

Since none of them people present at the meeting opened their mouths he told them point blank “it is you, the people of this great social welfare state in the democracy who have to correct even the mistakes of a Prime Minister. If you do not come forward to rectify such defects you are unfit as responsible citizen of the great social welfare state.”

Similarly Prime Minister Mrs.Indira Gandhi also wanted all the responsible citizens to protect public interest and for the purpose amended article 51A and introduced sub clause “g” by which she proclaimed that it is the first duty of the responsible citizen to protect the water, the air, the forests, the wild life and to develop compassion for all living creatures. “That is why it has been always said that eternal vigilance is a price that the Indian people have to pay to sustain their democracy. Thus it is the people of India who have to fight against the anti peoples actions perpetrated by the Government at the state and Central levels to safeguard the health and welfare of the present and future generations of the people in India.”

Coming to the case of Kudankulam nuclear reactors the people must play an active role to stop them as they are just silent killers.

In case of Kudankulam reactors it is better that the local people and school children must collect funds by begging in Tamilnadu villages and towns and present the money to the Chief Minister and Prime Minister for abandoning the present reactors on the plea that in case these reactors experience explosions on the pattern of Fukushima rectors, the people have to pay a heavy penalty of Rs.4 lakh crores which will make the state and the country fall into the trap of economic bankruptcy. In fact in one of the villages of Cuddapah the school children who found that their family members addicted to liquor are not only dying but also ruining their families because the state Government has considered liquor business as their main economic source of survival. The children wanted to pay that amount realized through liquor sales to the state Government to ban liquor sales so that the families will save their own heads of families who are the bread winners. In Tamilnadu the experiment can be copied and implemented to stop the reactors and thereby stop the state Government do indirectly declare a nuclear war on millions of people of South Tamilnadu.

Even in history there are many instances when a Kingdom was invaded a treacherous foreign ruler the local people used to fight against the invasion or alternatively purchase peace by paying compensation money to the invader. Veera Pandya Kattabhraman refused to yield to the dictators of the treacherous British rulers so he was hanged in public. Today the people of this historical Pandyan Empire have to save their lives and of their progeny against the invasion by the people in the North of Pandya Kingdom in Tamilnadu and those from the North India. The Pandyans if they want the survival of their future generations they must resort to this alternative course of action as followed by the children of the Cuddapah village of Andhra Pradesh.

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Open letter to Kalam on Koodunkulam Nuclear Plant shutdown response time


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Impressed by the article posted by Sasi Kumar on December 22, 2011 titled “Open letter to Kalam on Koodunkulam Nuclear Plant shutdown response time” in truthdive.com, I have re-posted it here. An engineer by profession, Sasi Kumar holds double masters degree in Engineering from India and Business Administration from USA.

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Open letter to Kalam on Koodunkulam Nuclear Plant shutdown response time

By Sasi Kumar

December 22, 2011

Honorable Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
Former President of India
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Scores of Indians have admired your contribution to the growth of India. Your tireless efforts in the past to raise the Indian security apparatus has earned an esteemed position in the hearts and minds of thousands of Keralites /Tamils /Indians who are proud to cite your name in all walks of their life from entertainment to education. Your dedication and work ethics are unparalleled and monumental for the next generation to energize and focus to expand their engineering acumen. Above all, many of our younger generations are your students and loyal followers who desire to replicate your success for developing stronger India.

Recently in the media conference on Koodunkulam Nuclear Power Plant, You have declared “Koodunkulam reactor will be shutdown in three minutes flat  in case of natural disasters like Earthquakes or Tsunamis”. Though we are excited to hear such a strong soothing statement from you, yet as Engineers we are baffled. Many of us are raised from the school of thought “Even Einstein asked questions?” So some of us Engineers have questions too.

As Engineers know to kick start the shutdown procedure of nuclear reactor chain reaction a signal must be initiated as a first step. It is imperative to drill down the sequence of events that should be followed during those flat three minutes. The focus will be on how those signals will be created in case there is an Earthquake or Tsunami. Any Technocrat will agree to the fact that Earthquake severity can be measured in the Koodunkulam region and if and when those measurements are beyond the design basis, a signal can be created to activate the emergency shutdown system. However many are puzzled about  how Koodunkulam plant will initiate a signal when there is a Tsunami?

According to plate tectonic theory, Earth’s surface is divided into various mosaic of moving plates. Boundaries between the plates are actively spreading submarine ridges in the middle of the oceans, sub-duction zones in ocean trenches in which the plates slide past one another. Though most of the world’s earth quake happens at plate boundaries there were some precedence that it had happened in other locations without plate boundaries like in the United States – New Madrid, Missouri, Charleston, South Carolina and elsewhere. Apart from the circum-Pacific seismic belt, the second important earthquake belt is Alpide that extends from Java and Sumatra via the Himalayas, the Mediterranean, and extend into the Atlantic. The attached image show the plate boundaries.

Classically Tsunami is generated due to large earthquakes in the ocean bed or due to the movement of the Earth plates under the ocean. Geographical location of Koodunkulam power plant makes it open to the vast stretch of water – the large Indian Ocean that stretches all the way to Australia.

Earthquake can happen in any place in the wide Indian Ocean bed. Interestingly all the Earthquakes are not generating Tsunami. Thus based on Earthquake occurring in a remote location one can’t initiate the shutdown procedure of nuclear power plant. Koodunkulam needs to have the foolproof Tsunami measurement system that will accurately measure the intensity of the Tsunami and feed signals to the Reactor control system to initiate the Emergency shutdown of nuclear chain reaction. This system should work every time when there is a possibility of Tsunami in Koodunkulam region. As location of the Koodunkulam plant is at intersection of the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal one has to handle complex scenario of protocol and broad area of Tsunami measurement and monitoring system. The feedback mechanism must be designed to intercept such a way that plant should undergo safe shutdown before waves reaches the plant premises.

In recent times, in 2004 Southern India was swept with the huge Tsunami triggered due to underwater earthquake which happened near Indonesia (more than 1000 miles away). Several observers are wondering why no warning system had been issued to alert the public during that Tsunami?

In Japan Fukushima nuclear disaster, again no such Tsunami detection signal has been generated to start the reactor shutdown? Sadly there were some reports that claim reactor fuel rods have been melted within few hours of the impact of Tsunami waves and uncontrolled chain reaction has been unleashed in one of the reactor.

It is nevertheless to say Japan is one of the top technology country in the world with abundant men, materials and superior army in its disposal. Yet they were not able to alter the path of destruction and radiation exposure of its citizen.

Some of the questions in the minds of Engineers are; Dr. Kalam,

  • What made you to believe Koodunkulam plant posses superior Technology and Techniques to mitigate the risks associated with the Tsunami? If so what are they?
  • In Koodunkulam plant is there any backup system in case Tsunami monitoring signal fails to kick in?
  • How Koodunkulam plant will maintain the quality of Tsunami measurement system over the years?
  • Lastly have you “watched and verified” the successful Tsunami warning measurement and shutdown process demonstrations yourself?

When you reiterate during the press conference, “the reactor will automatically shut down in three minutes flat in case of natural disasters like Earthquakes or Tsunamis” it is the expectation of general public that you have to certify only after verification of  facts but alas did that happen?

We love India the same way you love it too. The people of Koodunkulam love their birthplace the same way you love yours. Dr. Kalam – Keralites and Tamils will continue to admire your talent, competence, sacrifice and will groom next generation by quoting you as a role model.

Engineers will not believe the words rather will convince themselves through experiment and demonstrations of actual performance. We are pleased to hear from you specifics regarding the three minutes flat shutdown time to Tsunami.

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