Tag Archives: TAMIL NADU GOVERNMENT

Kudankulam: Jal Satyagraha Against the Nuclear Power Plant


It’s not for pleasure we are in the sea. This nuclear plant is a curse and nobody is going to benefit out of it. Only a disaster can convince our politicians and the government. Then we won’t be alive to tell that story.” — 15-year-old Rishika Raj.

Living on a prayer Anti-nuke protesters hope for divine intervention. Photo: Amritaraj Stephen
Living on a prayer Anti-nuke protesters hope for divine intervention. Photo: Amritaraj Stephen

During the past one year, the villagers living in areas surrounding the Koodankulam atomic power plant launched hunger strikes, tonsured their heads, went to jail, met the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister, and filed cases in various courts with a simple demand — to save their lives, their soil and their water from the killer nuke plant.

However, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Commission (AERC) has given its consent to loading enriched uranium fuel in the first of the two nuclear reactors at the
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP), and the government has scheduled dates for commissioning the plant.

Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) released the following statement on Wednesday night:

Today we are surrounded by the police, beaten up, harassed, accused of committing all kinds of crimes, arrested, and above all, mentally, emotionally, spiritually assaulted. We are fisherfolk, shopkeepers, agricultural laborers, beedi-rolling women, working class people. We do not steal public money, we do not amass wealth through illegal business deals, and we do not plunder the nation’s natural wealth. But we are treated like criminals and dangerous to civil society.” (sic)

PMANE also appealed for the support from civil society at large:

Several people including a baby are missing. Around 53 non-violent protesters have been charged with sedition and are languishing in various prisons in Tamil Nadu. Thousands of families are living in fear and despair. If you think we are your brethren, please join us.” (sic)

Taking a cue from the recent ‘jal satyagraha‘ (protesting while standing in water) launched by the farmers in various regions of Madhya Pradesh, the villagers at Idinthakarai decided to launch their own ‘standing waist–deep in the sea’ protest against the impending loading enriched uranium fuel at the atomic power plant.

Koodankulam: Jal Satyagraha on September 13 (Photo: Tehelka)
Kudankulam: Jal Satyagraha on September 13 (Photo: Tehelka)

On Thursday, September 13, at 11 a.m., braving the scorching sun, hundreds of men, women and children from Idinthakarai and the neighbouring villages, assembled outside the church of “Our Lady of Lourdes” in Idinthakarai. Led by Reverend Father M. Jesuraj, they walked down to the coast. They raised slogans against police brutality, the Central government and the Tamilndu State government. They waded into the sea about a kilometer away from the nuclear plant. Hundreds of women and children waded into the sea along with the men. They remained there the whole day.

Father Jesuraj remained in the sea with his people for five long hours. He said, “It is not easy to remain in sea for five long hours under the scorching sun. It is not like standing in a lake or a river. The tide is strong. We are forced to do it as the situation is drifting from bad to worse.” (sic)

Coast guards deployed Dornier aircraft for aerial surveillance while the protesters continued their agitation in the sea. They continued their protest till 4 p.m.

They decided to continue the ‘jal satyagraha‘ until the government shuts down the plant. Pushparayan, a leader of PMANE, told reporters, “Women and men would stand in the sea waters for two hours in turns.”

On Thursday, the Supreme Court refused to enforce stay on loading fuel at the Kudankulam plant. However, the judges agreed to examine the risk associated to the project and added that the safety of the people living in its vicinity concerned them.

Now, more than 4,000 police personnel reinforced by Rapid Action Force, continue to maintain strict vigil after having sealed the entire Kudankulam area.

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Kudankulam: Anti-nuclear Protest Reignites Despite Prohibitory Orders


Antinuclear Protesters at Kudankulam

Officials of the Koodankulam atomic power plant announced that the loading of enriched uranium fuel in the first of the two nuclear reactors would take place around September 11.

On Monday, September 10, police in Tirunelveli District clashed with the antinuclear agitators protesting against the Koodankulam atomic power project. The police asked the protesters to disperse citing the prohibitory orders. However, a great number of people tried to march towards the power plant, and got injured when the police tried to stop them.

Police attack Antinuclear Protesters at Kudankulam
Police attack Antinuclear Protesters at Kudankulam

Ms. J. Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu said the police lobbed tear-gas shells to protect themselves, the power plant, and also to prevent harm to the general public if the plant came under attack.

At Manappadu in Tuticorin District, police fired at a crowd of antinuclear agitators killing Anthony John, a 48-year-old fisherman. Ms. Jayalalithaa defended the police action. She said a policeman opened fire in self-defence when a mob tried to burn a temporary police post. Expressing her sympathies, she announced a relief of Rs 5 lakhs to the family of the victim.

Chief Minister Ms. Jayalalithaa belittled the protestors saying it was not proper to agitate since the Madras High Court has approved the nuclear project. She appealed to people not to fall prey to the “designs” of antinuclear lo lobbyists.

Environment watchdog Greenpeace has condemned the Tamil Nadu government for its crackdown and use of force on protestors. A statement issued in New Delhi on Monday by Greenpeace campaigner Karuna Raina says, “The commissioning of a nuclear power plant should not happen without consensus with the stakeholders. In the case of Kudankulam, local villages are the biggest stakeholders. Since the power plant is in their backyard, their consent is required.” The statement further said, “Greenpeace stands in solidarity with the people of Kudankulam and their struggle for justice.

The human rights group, Amnesty International India, also urged the government to exercise restraint. Their Chief Executive G Ananthapadmanabhan in a statement said, “The Indian authorities should exercise restraint and ensure that the police response does not amount to excessive use of force.

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PMANE’s Open Letter to Jayalalitha – ‘Lets walk the talk ‘


Most of the people here in our area have been praying to Our Lady of Lourdes at Idinthakarai and to the Sage Vishwamitra in one of his rarest temples in India near Koodankulam with the solemn hope that these divine forces would save them from nuclear threats to their land and the sea. They believe that from Gorbachev and Rajiv Gandhi who initiated the KKNPP to the Russian engineers and scientists who designed the Koodankulam reactors have met with misfortunes. It is only natural for people to turn to supernatural forces when their political energies are dissipated and actions discouraged by the vested interests.

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August 20, 2012
 
The Struggle Committee
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Phone: 98656 83735
 
The Honorable Chief Minister
Government of Tamil Nadu
Fort St. George
Chennai 600 009
Fax: 044-24992255, 25671441, 28133510
 
Honorable Madam:
 
Greetings! As we have completed a whole year struggling against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), we would like to initiate a fresh round of dialogue with you.
 
As you know, the Government of India and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) have not shared any basic information with us about the KKNPP. Even after the Central Information Commission (CIC) has instructed them, they have not shared the Site Evaluation Report (SER) and the Safety Analysis Report (SAR) with us. They have not heard our opinions or allayed our fears and concerns about the lack of fresh water resources, the changes in the design…

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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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Work continues at Kundakulam Nuclear plant as does police crackdown on protesters


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KoodankulamNuclear Power Project site, commissioning expected by the end of May

Jeemon Jacob
Thiruvanthapuram, 2 nd April 2012

Work at the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project site continues to be on a fast track, and according to sources the plant will be ready to commission within eight weeks. According to an official working at Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project site, the commissioning of the plant is expected by the end of May. Scientists and officials had reviewed the progress of the project last week. “Our scientists and technicians are working over time and we will be able to complete the project in time,” said the official who wished to remain anonymous.

Meanwhile, the government crackdown on anti-nuke protesters continues. The Madurai Passport Officer has directed PMANE convener Dr SP Udayakumar to surrender his passport as a criminal case is pending against him. On Friday 30 March, officials from the intelligence bureau…

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