Tamil Nadu – KKNPP Leaks and Repairs: More Questions and No Answers

January 27, 2013

Issued by People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

Since the NPCIL and DAE authorities are tight-lipped about the current condition of the KKNPP, recurrent rumors are making rounds here in our area that that there have been some 40 deaths, that the contract workers at KKNPP have been asked not to report for duty, and that KKNPP-1 has been completely sealed. Southern Tamil Nadu is agog with such and worse rumors about the KKNPP as Union Minister Mr. Narayanasami makes terse, incomplete and irresponsible statements about leaks and repairs at the KKNPP without giving any details to the public. The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) Chief Dr. R. K. Sinha said on January 18 that there was “no major issue behind delay in Kudankulam commissioning.” But he stopped short of telling the real truth about the project.

Would somebody tell the complete truth about the KKNPP please? What are the “minor” issues that are plaguing the KKNPP? How are they being rectified? Russian nuclear industry is said to be in a bad shape with reactor cancellations and delays because of cracks and shoddy equipment. Zio-Podolsk, owned by the Russian company Rosatom, is under investigation for shoddy
equipment it produced for several nuclear plants in Russia and abroad since 2007. It’s suspected that “Zio-Podolsk” used wrong type of steel (cheaper than the one originally required) to produce equipment for nuclear plants, such as steam generators. This company has supplied several equipment and parts to the KKNPP. Is it true or not?

According to the DAE and the NPCIL authorities, they completed the fuel loading at KKNPP-1 on October 2, 2012 and it has been four months of testing and reporting leaks and repairs. And what is leaking? Should those of us who live in the vicinity be worried about our and our family’s safety and well-being?

Interestingly enough, the project cost is said to have risen by some Rs. 4,000 crores more than the estimated cost. What is the actual end cost of the KKNPP 1 and 2? What is the breakdown of this huge amount? Did anyone in India and Russia get commissions and bribes? “Atomstroyexport” has just released its financial statement for 2011. The company claims that losses in 2011 were twice bigger than the losses of 2010, and that the company is on the brink of bankruptcy. This has seriously affected the Russian nuclear projects at Koodankulam in India and Busher in Iran . Is the Indian government secretly helping the Russian company with its loss and bankruptcy? Will somebody institute a thorough inquiry on the actual cost of and the over-spending on KKNPP? People of India want to know the truth.

Why is the Tirunelveli Collector, Mr. Samaymoorthi, so deafeningly silent about the KKNPP leaks and repairs? Isn’t he responsible for all off-site safety and emergency issues and concerns? Why are the Chief Minister and all the ministers of Tamil Nadu silent? Aren’t they worried about the safety and well-being of the Tamils? Why doesn’t the DMK Chief speak about the KKNPP leaks and repairs? After all, his Party is part of the UPA government at the Center and he is a vociferous supporter of the KKNPP. Where is the Tamil Nadu opposition leader Mr. Vijayakanth? Does he know about the leaks and repairs at KKNPP? Why does Minister Mr. Narayanasami alone speak about the KKNPP leaks and repairs? Where is the Atomic Energy minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh? Why do they refuse to speak? Do they want only our votes and their power?

If the KKNPP suffers all these leaks and repairs, how did Dr. Abdul Kalam, Dr. M. R. Srinivasan, Dr. Muthunayagam and his Expert Team, and Dr. Iniyan and his expert committee give out the “best and brightest” certificates to the KKNPP one after another? Were they all speaking non-truths? Why are they silent now?

In the light of the above situation, the PMANE demands a White Paper on the actual happenings of the KKNPP along with the Site Evaluation Report (SER), Safety Analysis Report (SAR), Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP), VVER-1000/412 performance report in the larger interests of the people of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. If they ignore our demand and do not respond in 15 days, we will lay another siege to the KKNPP.