Tag Archives: Safety Analysis Report

Press Release – PMANE’S RESPONSE TO NPCIL’S SER – Koondankulam


People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
May 24, 2012,
Idinthakarai & P. O.  627 104, Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu
Phone:  98656 83735;   98421 54073
koodankulam@yahoo.com
pushparayan@gmail.com

Press Release

[1] As per the Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2012/000544/18674 dated 30.4.2012, the Central Information Commissioner ordered: “to provide an attested photocopy of the Safety Analysis Report and Site Evaluation Report after severing any proprietary details of designs provided by the suppliers to the appellant before 25 May 2012.” The CIC has stated categorically that “if the said reports have details of designs of the plant which are specially provided by the suppliers,” “the PIO can severe such design details which have been provided by the supplier as per the provisions of Section 10 of the [RTI] Act.”

[2] The NPCIL in its reply to the CIC argues that the Safety Analysis Report (SAR) “is a ‘third party document’ and therefore, without the prior consent of the third party, the same cannot be shared with anyone.” Although they are holding the SAR in a ‘Fiduciary Capacity,’ the NPCIL has said it is “ready and willing to show the copy” of SAR to the CIC. But they cannot share it with the people of India. Obviously, the NPCIL is more interested in the safety of the Russian company and the Russian benefactors but not in the safety of the people of India.

[3] The Central Public Information Officer, Shri S. K. Shrivastava, has sent “the copy of Site Evaluation Report for KKNPP 1 & 2” with the cover letter No. NPCIL/VSB/CPIO/620/KKNPP/2012/769 dated May 17, 2012.

Physical Shape of the so called SER:

The so-called Site Evaluation Report (SER) consists of twelve (12) pages of hardly-legible typed-material with no cover page, no authorship, no ownership, no publisher, no date, no index, and no head or tail. If the print quality of the so called SER is anything to go by to assess the standard of the overall Koodankulam nuclear power project, we have so much to worry about our and our country’s future. You can hardly read a word and rarely decipher a number. Maybe that is the way NPCIL prepares its important public safety reports so that no one can and will read, understand, discuss, debate and ask more questions.

Moreover, the so called SER mentions the Soviet Union in several places and it proves that the report is also quite old and outdated. Common sense tells us that this is certainly not the original or complete ‘Site Evaluation Report’ for KKNPP 1 and 2. And if it really is, then Indian citizens have something serious to worry about. In all probability, what we have received is some loose old notes of the NPCIL hurriedly put together to meet the CIC deadline and to mislead the public. It is very strange that the SER of India’s first largest mega nuclear complex that may allegedly house six to eight large imported reactors is 12 loose A-4 sheets. It is unbelievable that an ambitious India-Russia joint project built with a whopping outlay of Rs. 14,000 crore has such a lackadaisical site evaluation study.

In the so called SER that has been sent to us, pages 1, 2, 3 and 13 have been expunged without any explanation. It is unlikely that this report may have “details of designs of the plant.” It gives rise to a suspicion that the NPCIL still hiding some crucial public safety-related information from the Indian public. On Page 4, the last paragraph mentions “the site selection committee” and “[t]he present committee” without mentioning the number of members or their names. It is unclear why the NPCIL is trying to hide this vital and relevant information.

Startling Revelations in the so called SER:

[i] Pechipari Water Will be Taken

The so called SER records on Pages 6-7: “In order to enhance additional reliability for water supply, which is essential for the functioning of various safety systems of the reactor, intake well at Pechiparai Dam should be provided at the lower elevation than the minimum drawdown level of the reservoir. However, it should be ensured by proper management of water distribution that the water level is maintained above this minimum level.” On Page 11, the SER discusses “Fresh water for makeup and domestic use” and establishes that it is “Assured by State Government. One pipe line from Pechiparai dam (at 65 km) to be laid.” Indeed two pipe lines have already been laid from the tail end of the Kuzhithurai Tamirabharani river along the Kanyakumari district coast and from a location some 5 km away from the Pechiparai dam through Nagercoil town. The NPCIL authorities simply parrot the unserious assertion that they would not take water from the Pechiparai dam, and the Government of Tamil Nadu ignores our long-standing demand of passing an Assembly resolution against taking the Pechiparai water. As a matter of fact, the Tamil Nadu government has recently allotted nearly some Rs. 5 crore to desilt the dam and maintain it.

 [ii] No Evacuation Routes Planned or Prescribed

The so called SER claims on Page 8: “At least two evacuation routes from plant site during an emergency should be provided.” It established on Page 16: “3 routes exist for possible evacuation. Schools and other public buildings exist for adequate temporary shelter, Nagercoil (30km), Tirunelveli (100km), and Tuticorin (100km) can provide communication, medical facilities and administrative support.” But there is no discussion about the escape routes, the condition of these roads, the status of the relief shelters and so forth.

[iii] Possible Future Expansion

Under Topography, the so called SER asserts: “Sufficient land available for future expansion.” But the NPCIL officials keep saying that they will not take more land for the KKNPP.

[iv] Incomplete and Incoherent Info on Hydrology, Geology, Oceanography and Seismology Aspects

All these important issues are very briefly mentioned in a Table with cursory information and without any in-depth analysis.

  • Tsunami is explained away by saying “Not significant as per preliminary report of CRPPS.”
  • As far as the seismotectonic environment is concerned, the report asserts simply that “No active fault within 5 km. The site is seismic zone II as per IS-1893; 1984.”
  • The report says on Page 14: “A lime stone quarry of about 70 acres falls within the sterilized zone. The lease for this area expires in 1994. Termination of the lease beyond the period has been requested.” In fact, this quarry has functioned until very recently.

Important and relevant issues such as Karst in the area, the slumps in the sea and the recent mega earthquake in the Indian Ocean have not been mentioned or discussed.

[v] Radioactive Waste Details

Solid Waste

The so called SER says:

  •  “160-180 m cu per year of cemented waste including spent absorption materials, 40 m cu/yr of compacted waste and 5 m cu/yr of cemented ash will be generated from one reactor.”
  • “Low-level solid waste to be buried within exclusion zone in leak-proof RCC Vaults/trenches/tile holes.”
  • Spent Fuel: “Each unit layout can store spent fuel of 5 reactor years in the spent fuel pool located inside the containment.”

Liquid Waste Dumped into the Sea

According to the SER, the liquid waste is “[t]o be diluted to 2x10E-7 micro Ci/l when discharged into the sea.” So it is clearly established that the radioactivity in the liquid waste of 6000 mCu/year from two units will be removed in the Ion exchange resin and as evaporator concentrate. It will be further diluted by condenser cooling water to meet the AERB limits and discharged into the sea.

Gas Release

The daily releases of gaseous discharge from KKNPP 1 and 2 will contain noble gases, I-131, long-life nuclides and short-life nuclides.

Thermal Pollution

According to the SER, “Depth of sea water and large dilution due to sea will avoid thermal pollution.”

[vi] Population

The so called SER asserts wrongly that there are no center of more than 10,000 people within 10 km radius zone and no center of more than 100,000 people within 30 km radius zone.

There is hardly any mention of desalination plants, the transportation of the nuclear waste and other crucial issues. To sum up, this SER reads like a practical joke being played upon the innocent people of southern Tamil Nadu and southern Kerala. The PMANE rejects this so called SER and demands the NPCIL to share the real, complete and updated Site Evaluation Report with the people of India along with the Safety Analysis Report as per the orders of the CIC.

The Struggle Committee

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

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An Open Letter to the People of Russia from Millions of Indian Citizens.


koodankulam@yahoo.com

pushparayan@gmail.com

An Open Letter to the People of Russia

Dear Sisters and Brothers of Russia:

Greetings!

We, several millions of people from the southernmost tip of India, are writing to you to send our love and seek your support for the peaceful and nonviolent struggle that we have been waging for the past nine months against the Koodankulam nuclear power project (KKNPP). This mega nuclear power park is being built with Russian loan and technology against the will and wishes of the local people.

The Indian authorities have not conducted any public hearing to seek our permission or consent for this project. They have not shared the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report, the Site Evaluation Study, and the Safety Analysis Report with our people. After a long and hard struggle of more than 22 years, we have just obtained a copy of the EIA report which is outdated and so full of inaccuracies and incomplete information.

After two years of application and appeal, we have just got an order from the Center Information Commission (CIC) of India that we must have copies of the Site Evaluation Study, and the Safety Analysis Report to ensure and enhance public safety. The Site Evaluation Study is very important because there are some undisclosed secrets about the siting of the reactors 1 and 2. The Russian scientists and engineers had strong objections over the Indian engineers’ and scientists’ shifting the sites from the ones that the former had chosen for the reactors 1 and 2. It was reported here in the local newspapers that the Russians had left the project site in disgust but the entire episode was covered up by the officials here. And they have refused to divulge any information until now.

Similarly, the authorities refuse to give us a copy of the Safety Analysis Report saying that it contains proprietary information of the Russian company, Atomstroyexport (ASE). Please understand that we are not interested in any such information but the rest of the report is important for our safety and security. The Indian authorities refuse to give this report also.

Our people have no information about the Koodankulam project and whatever little information we have is in English which most people in our area do not understand. Moreover, the authorities have not given us any disaster training or evacuation exercise to safeguard our families in case of an accident at the Koodankulam site. With high and dense population in our area, we desperately need complete safety and evacuation drills.

Our expert team claims that there are serious hydrology, geology, oceanography and seismology issues involved in the Koodankulam nuclear project and hence we demand a complete and thorough probe into all these issues. After all, this area has been hit by the 2004 tsunami, and there have been several small to big earthquakes in the Indian Ocean rendering the Koodankulam site vulnerable. But the Indian authorities summarily reject our legitimate demand to study these concerns. Similarly, both the Indian and the Russian governments have signed a secret Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on liability and they refuse to share a copy of that with us. Our officials are silent about the amount and management of the nuclear waste from the Koodankulam project also.

There are credible reports that the Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief is making frequent visits to Moscow and taking orders from the KGB. Already the Russian Ambassador to India has been interfering in the internal affairs of India by making unwanted statements about our energy policy issues and other related subjects.

Please do understand that we want your country to prosper and become strong. We also like our country to do business with Russia at the bilateral level and through multilateral institutions such as RIC, BRICS etc. But we certainly do not want any business in the dangerous nuclear sector. Would you please request your lawmakers not to support the Koodankulam nuclear power project or more reactors in India. We desperately need your kind cooperation and help to safeguard the right to life and livelihood of millions of our fisherfolks, farmers, workers, women, youth and children.

Let us together secure the interests of our children and grandchildren and leave a clean, green and safe Earth for them all. Looking forward to your support and solidarity, we send you our best regards and all peaceful wishes.

Cordially,

Millions of Indian Citizens

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