PMANE's Letter to the CM
- March 13, 2013The Struggle CommitteePeople’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104Tirunelveli DistrictThe Honorable Chief MinisterGovernment of Tamil NaduFort St. GeorgeChennai 600 009Honorable Madam:Greetings! Please accept our congratulations and thanks for achieving an important success for Tamil Nadu in the Kaveri river water issue and for addressing the grievances of the western Tamil Nadu farmers in the GAIL pipeline issue earnestly. In this context, we would like to bring your kind attention once again to the grievances of the Tamil fisherfolks with regards to the Koodankulam nuclear power project (KKNPP).As you must know, the KKNPP authorities are having serious technical issues with the Russian plants and are not in a position to commission the project anytime soon. They seem to have used many equipment and parts in the KKNPP 1 and 2 units that were supplied by Zio-Podolsk, a discredited subsidiary of Rosatom, that used low-quality steel to produce their products. The Indian nuclear authorities claim to have spent Rs. 4,000 crores more than the estimated budget on a non-performing project that has produced nothing so far. There have been series of accidents, deaths, repairs, leaks and rumors of more problems.Even if the KKNPP was commissioned, the Government of India has not honored your repeated requests for all the electricity from the project for Tamil Nadu. It is also pertinent to note here that the Chief Minister of Kerala demands more power from the KKNPP without expressing any readiness to construct a nuclear power plant in his state. Similarly, the Karnataka Chief Minister objected so vehemently and protested so strongly when the central government proposed to bury the Koodankulam nuclear waste in his state.Even as we are awaiting the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Koodankulam case, it is revealed now that the NPCIL does not hold valid and legitimate clearances for all the various buildings and installations in the KKNPP from the Tamil Nadu Coastal Zone Management Authority under the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification of 2011.There are political speculations and insinuations that you tend to support the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and all its international agreements with the United States, Russia and France as you might capture power at the center in the next Parliamentary elections. All these actors may be important to retain power in New Delhi. However, as a seasoned politician, you certainly know that the support of all sections of the Tamil society is important to capture that central power in the first place. Our people are much more important and powerful than the United States, DAE and all the rest of them.The fisherfolks in the thirteen coastal districts of Tamil Nadu have traditionally supported your party who all feel now that they have been let down. Your government has announced several welfare schemes and remedial measures to address the concerns of the fishermen in several parts of the state. However, the dangerous Koodankulam issue remains unanswered even after 575 days of continuous popular struggle.Please allow us to bring your kind attention to the fact that the Koodankulam nuclear power plants will have disastrous impact on the right to life and livelihood of hundreds of fishing and farming villages in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, on the food and nutrition security of millions of people in southern India, on the ecological health of the Indian peninsula, on the foreign exchange earnings of the Indian State and will have many more unforeseen externalities.We have had two opportunities to meet with you in September 2011 and again in February 2012 to share our Koodankulam-related concerns. When some of us met you the first time, we brought your kind attention to the need for a new approach to the question of energy security and related issues. You listened to us very keenly and responded quite thoughtfully by saying: “I cannot do it overnight.”It is our earnest opinion that thoughtful leaders and helpful citizens can do it together. We would very much like to request you to protect the interests of the seaside and seashore-side peoples of Tamil Nadu and stop the slow and silent-killing genocide that may be set off by the Russian nuclear park here in southern Tamil Nadu.With best personal regards and all peaceful wishes,Cordially,S. P. Udayakumar M. Pushparayan Fr. F. Jayakumar M. P. JesurajCoordinatorR. S. Muhilan Peter Milton Ms. S. Lidwin K.T. Ganesan
- People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104Tirunelveli District, Tamil NaduPhone: 98656 83735; 98421 54073 April 13, 2013NPCIL, AERB, and KKNPP Dodge the Substandard Equipment IssueThere have been persistent reports that substandard equipment and parts have been used in the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP). When the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) asked the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) under Right to Information (RTI) Act if they have indeed received equipment and parts from the controversial Russian companies, Zio-Podolsk and Informteck, both these organizations have been evasive in their replies (as shown below): PMANE’s RTI Application to NPCIL dated January 28, 2013 asked:“Zio-Podolsk, owned by the Russian company Rosatom, is under investigation in Russia for shoddy equipment it produced for several nuclear plants in that country and abroad since 2007. It is 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 is said to have supplied several equipment and parts to the KKNPP. Please give a list of those equipment and parts that have been supplied by Zio-Podolsk to the KKNPP units.”The NPCIL replied tersely on February 20, 2013 (No. NPCIL/VSB/CPIO/2460/HQ/2013/371):“No Information regarding any investigation against Zio-Podolsk is available to NPCIL.” Since the above reply of the NPCIL does not answer our question, the PMANE filed another RTI Application to the NPCIL on March 7, 2013 asking:“Are there any equipment and/or parts in the KKNPP 1 and 2 units that have been supplied by Zio-Podolsk directly or indirectly? Please give us a list of all those equipment and parts.”The NPCIL has just replied on April 09, 2013 (No. NPCIL/VSB/CPIO/2574/KKNPP/2013/578):“[I]nformation will be provided to you, as soon as receives from concern section (sic).” The PMANE posed the same question to AERB on January 28, 2013:“Zio-Podolsk, owned by the Russian company Rosatom, is under investigation in Russia for shoddy equipment it produced for several nuclear plants in that country and abroad since 2007. It is 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 is said to have supplied several equipment and parts to the KKNPP. Please give a list of those equipment and parts that have been supplied by Zio-Podolsk to the KKNPP units.”The AERB replied on February 12, 2013 (No. AERB/RSD/RTI/Appl. No. 329/2013/2421) very evasively:“Selection of a company for supplying any equipment to NPCIL, is not under the purview of AERB. However, with respect to Quality Assurance (QA) during design, construction, commissioning and operation, a set of well established AERB documents on QA Codes and Guides are published and they were followed during the safety review of KKNPP.” Mr. R. S. Sundar, the site director of the KKNPP, has claimed that “the NPCIL had placed orders for obtaining a range of components for KKNPP from LG Electronics, South Korea, Alstom and VA Tech, France and Siemens, Germany, apart from getting components from Russia” (P. Sudhakar, “Kudankulam plant Director denies allegation,” The Hindu, April 4, 2013). Although he lists all these foreign companies and their host countries, Mr. Sundar carefully avoids the names of Zio-Podolsk and Informteck. In the meantime, Mr. Yevgeniy N. Dudkin, the Head of the Russian Specialists Group at the KKNPP, seems to be preparing the grounds for assuming joint responsibility for all the equipment and parts used in the KKNPP. He also avoids mentioning the names of Zio-Podolsk and Informteck very carefully. We reproduce sections from a newspaper report (P. Sudhakar, “Kudankulam reactors safest in the world: Russian expert,” The Hindu, April 5, 2013) below:Right from fabrication to the erection of the components at KKNPP, every part used and being used in the reactor and the other parts fitted in the allied sections were being jointly inspected by Indian and Russian specialists prior to a series of tests conducted on them to ascertain their quality.Again, the products were being received at the project site jointly by the KKNPP engineers and the Russian specialists, who would sign the documents to certify the quality of the components arrived here.Any observation made by anyone during the quality check would be keenly followed and rectified immediately, as everyone had to give their consent at the end of the inspection in black and white.“If any of the observation made by one of the members questioned the quality of a particular component, it will not be installed until the issue is settled. Hence, there cannot be any room for compromise in quality in the products supplied to KKNPP,” Mr. Dudkin said. And finally, Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, the former head of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), has claimed: "Sub-standard materials have come to the Kudankulam plant and they are causing problems. …Chinese have now started examining the components from Russia" (“Inferior parts being used in Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant: Top scientist,” The Times of India, April 7, 2013).We have been asking about equipment and parts from Zio-Podolsk and Informteck but we do not get any kind of honest or direct answer from anybody. It is also quite puzzling and intriguing how or why The Hindu correspondent alone gets special interviews from both the Russian and Indian nuclear scientists. With all these mounting evidences that substandard equipment and parts have been used at the KKNPP and there have been efforts to gloss over this isuue with the help of Russians and some media companies, the PMANE supports the call for a thorough inquiry and demands complete closure of the KKNPP immediately.The Struggle CommitteePeople’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
- The Struggle CommitteePeople’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104April 15, 201311:30 PMUrgent Alert on Our Physical Safety!Several men and women who were sleeping in the struggle pandal around the Lourdes’ Church, Idinthakarai, reported with great concern and panic that they noticed four masked men with sharp weapons loitering around at 11:45 pm on April 14, 2013. As we are trying to ascertain the details and enquiring about the identity and background of these men, we hear about a heavy drinking party going on right now in the outskirts of Idinthakarai with the blessings and financing of some notorious local body leaders and local police officers. There seems to be a serious and deadly plan to incite violence at Idinthakarai and foil our struggle as we are digging up major corruption and substandard equipment scandals at the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP).It is pertinent to note here that we published four sets of documents on Zio-Podolsk, the discredited Russian company that has supplied substandard equipment and parts to the KKNPP, and publicized Adv. M. Radhakrishnan’s press release on Adv. Pugazhendi’s petition to the CBI about the irregularities in the supply of equipment and parts to the KKNPP.Given the seriousness of the situation, we are planning to convene the Village Committee and the entire Idinthakarai community tomorrow (April 16, 2013) for a thorough appraisal of the situation and to enhance physical safety of our struggling people and the struggle committee members.Please keep an eye on us here at Idinthakarai! Thank you!!