#India -Village falls within Jaitapur nuclear reactor’s 2-km danger zone #WTFnews


Nitin Ghanekar reports in  Hindustan times, June 10, 2013

Since we are so close to the plant, we fear that we might be displaced.
SACHIN WAGH DHARE, a Dhanivare resident

JAITAPUR/MUMBAI: Residents of Dhanivare village are a worried lot. Given the proximity of their hamlet to the proposed Jaitapur nuclear power plant site (JNPP), the village falls in a range of 0 to 2 km distance from the plant, which makes it a part of the plant’s exclusion zone.

A nuclear plant is supposed to have an exclusion zone of 1.6 km around the nuclear reactors, making this area uninhabitable. That the JNPP site can be accessed from Dhanivare village on foot within five minutes makes the hamlet’s proximity to the site clear. But the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) seems to have forgotten this tiny hamlet when claiming that that no house would be displaced while creating the exclusion zone.

When HT contacted additional chief engineer of JNPP SG Galgali, and asked him about the fate of Dhanivare, he said, “The nuclear reactors at JNPP would be located along the shore in a northsouth direction near the Rajapur bay lighthouse. They would be located in such a way that no village falls in the 1.6kms exclusion zone.”

However, a report from the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) states otherwise. Recently, under the Right to Information Act, Mumbai residents Premanand Tivarkar and Dr Bhikaji Waghdhare obtained a site selection committee report dated September 2002. The report detailing the population in villages around the Jaitapur site says, “Dhanivade, a hamlet of Madban, falls within the 1.6 km exclusion zone and has an estimated population of 135.”

Galgali said, “The report might have stated that the hamlet is in the exclusion zone, but the positioning of the plant will not displace its residents.”

Residents of Dhanivare said that the NPCIL’s attempts to encroach on their mango orchards might be their way of pressurising them to relocate. “We never received any notices from NPCIL regarding land acquisition or any exclusion zone. As we are so close to the plant, we fear we might be displaced,” said Sachin Waghdhare, a resident of Dhanivare.

N-plant encroaching on our orchards’

Boundary wall built by NPCIL for Jaitapur power plant passes through mango groves that are a source of livelihood for an entire village

JAITAPUR/MUMBAI: Even as French nuclear giant Areva, officials from Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) met to work out a financial package that would fund two 1,650 megawatt reactors at Jaitapur, residents of Dhanivare village near the plant site have alleged that there is a quiet attempt by NPCIL to encroach on village land not marked for acquisition.

Dhanivare is a hamlet of less than 200 people located within a 2-kilometre distance from the proposed Jaitapur nuclear power plant (JNPP). The residents of the village, many of who own mango orchards, have alleged that NPCIL and their sub-contractors have been trespassing on their land — marked as ‘survey no. 119’ — and are trying to encroach on it to build an unfinished boundary wall outside the plant site. This has allegedly been going on for over two years.

Survey no. 119 was not a part of the land acquired by the Ratnagiri district administration for JNPP. It did not feature in the list of notified lands to be acquired for JNPP, published by the Konkan administrative division in the Ratnagiri edition of Tarun Bharat newspaper on January 10, 2007. Current district collector Rajeev Jadhav also attested to this. The land in question is home to around 500 mango trees that serve as a source of livelihood for Dhanivare residents.

Recent developments in the area are contrary to NPCIL’s claims that villagers’ livelihood would not be snatched away due to the project.

Though the issue dates back over two years, a fortnight ago, residents said that NPCIL officials arrived at the land in question with a bulldozer and civil supplies in an effort to continue work on the incomplete wall. “There was a wedding in the hamlet so many of us were away. When we returned to our orchards, we saw that a few people had entered our property and were trying to carry out civil work. We protested and drove them away,” said Sachin Waghdhare, a resident of Dhanivare who owns close to 150 mango trees and earns between Rs50,000 and Rs1,00,000 from it annually. Even before this, villagers found paint markings running across orchards, starting from the unfinished wall, right up to the pathway to orchards. “The paint markings indicated that they (NPCIL) want to encroach into our villages. If this happens, all of us would lose our livelihoods,” he added.

Bhikaji Waghdhare, the sarpanch of Madban gram panchayat, of which Dhanivare is a part, sent a letter on May 31 informing the district collector about the markings and tree felling. When HT contacted Ratnagiri collector Rajeev Jadhav, he said, “I have not yet seen such a letter, but if NPCIL is encroaching on land not meant to be acquired for JNPP, we will follow the rule of law to take action.”

Villagers claim the issue dates back to December 2010, when the NPCIL started construction of a wall that was to pass through the mango orchards. Back then, villagers had protested against NPCIL’s activities and had even sent a complaint to the then collector of Ratnagiri and to the Sakhari Nate police station, alerting them about this issue. Through sustained protests they managed to stop the construction. Later, in 2011, Mumbai resident Dr Bhikaji Waghdhare, 74, a native of Madban, filed a writ petition in the Bombay high court. The court had found the petition to be substantive but asked Dr Waghdhare to pursue the case at the local district court in Ratnagiri. Owing to ill-health, Dr Waghdhare did not pursue the case. He owns 0.60 hectares of land that bears 160 mango trees, 40 toddy palm trees and one well. “I sought survey maps under right to information (RTI) act and they indicate that the area where NPCIL is trying to carry out work is survey no. 119,” said Dr Waghdhare. HT is in possession of those maps. Besides, in a reply to an RTI application filed by Mumbai resident Premanand Tiwarkar, NPCIL admitted, that survey no. 119 was not acquired for JNPP.

HT mailed a detailed questionnaire to NPCIL, sent text messages to officials and also tried to contact senior officials to seek their response, but there was no reply.

DAE 1972 Chakravarty Report states Jaitapur has potential sources of Earthquake


Radiation sign for maps

 

 

 

 

 

A section of the Jaitapur nuclear plant site selection committee’s report that was withheld by the government and was recently retrieved by a local Premanand Tiwarkar through the Right to Information Act (RTI) contradicts Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited’s (NPCIL) claim that the site is fit for a nuclear plant.

 

A 1972 study by the Site Selection Committee of the DAE states d, “Tectonic features in the region can be regarded as potential sources of earthquakes as some of them may get reactivated at any point….”

 

The relevent parts of report can be downloaded here

 

 

 

 

 

The Naked Truth About Nuclear Accident Insurance


By Miles Benson, Link TV
MAY 8, 2013, 12:00 PM

Going without insurance is described as “going naked” in insurance industry lingo. Going without insurance for the worst hazards in the nuclear power industry is business as usual.

One need not look back very far to see the problem. In March 2011, the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, triggered by an earthquake followed by a tsunami that overwhelmed all of Japan’s safeguards, melted down three reactors, displaced 160,000 people and caused an estimated $250 billion in damages and other still-unfolding economic consequences.

Naked AmericaToday, in the United States, we have 104 operating nuclear plants producing electricity. The owners, operators, and government regulators who oversee them say an event like Fukushima will not happen here. And even if it did, they insist, there is enough liability insurance in place to cover the damages. The actual amount of that insurance coverage: just $12.6 billion.

You don’t need an advanced degree in calculus or risk analysis to see that something doesn’t add up, and to start feeling a bit…naked. But when it comes to nuclear insurance, naked is the fashion designed for the American public.

A catastrophic accident in the US could cost way more than $12.6 billion. A worst-case scenario study in 1997 by the Brookhaven National Laboratory estimated that a major accident could cost $566 billion in damages and cause 143,000 possible deaths. Another such study, by Sandia National Laboratories in 1982, calculated the possible costs at $314 billion. Adjusted for inflation, that would put both estimates close to the trillion dollar range today. So $12.6 billion wouldn’t cover much.

After Fukushima, which was only the second worst such accident behind the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown in the former Soviet Union, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and its staff scrambled to reappraise the adequacy of their own safety regimens for nuclear power plants. And they re-examined the sufficiency of the limited insurance available to indemnify the American people against property damage, loss of life and other economic consequences of nuclear accidents. Then the NRC hastened to publish the “lessons learned” from the Japanese catastrophe to show they were on top of things. Though the previously existing US system had been described as virtually fail-safe, federal regulators found that improvements were possible after all and ordered that they be made.

But one not so small thing remained unchanged, post-Fukushima: the tightly capped insurance system. Of course, raising the amount of insurance required to operate nuclear plants would be expensive. The nuclear industry, which provides 20 percent of all of the country’s electrical power, is not eager to incur additional expenses like higher insurance premiums for more coverage. Oh, but the nuclear power industry doesn’t actually pay premiums on most of the insurance coverage that supposedly is available (more about that later.)

Three Mile IslandFirst, a little history. After solving the scientific and technological issues of splitting the atom, the biggest problem the nuclear industry faced in its infancy was obtaining accident insurance coverage. Without insurance, investors were unwilling to provide start-up capital. But the insurance industry was nervous. After all, this was back in the 1950s, and who knew then how safe — or dangerous — this new power source might turn out to be? So insurers were refusing to assume unlimited levels of liability.

But President Dwight D. Eisenhower was determined to develop “Atoms for Peace,” and he worked with a cooperative Congress to remove all roadblocks. Their solution to the insurance obstacle was a new federal law, the Price-Anderson Act of 1957, which simply imposed federally-decreed limits on liability from accidents at non-military nuclear facilities. The law, amended several times since then, allowed the creation of insurance pools to cover accidents. Today the plan has two tiers. The first tier is a $375 million insurance policy for which each nuclear plant must pay premiums ranging between $500,000 and $2 million a year, depending on plant size and other factors. If a plant has an accident and $375 million is not sufficient to cover resulting damages the second tier kicks in and all the other plant operators around the country must chip in up to $111 million each to indemnify victims until the $12.6 billion cap is reached.

By the way, if you live near a nuclear plant, or even many miles away, you cannot buy your own private insurance policy to protect your home against nuclear accidents, thanks to the Price-Anderson law.

The nuclear industry and the insurance industry both understood the hard realities of the risk. In testimony to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on May 24, 2001, John L. Quattrocchi, then senior vice president for underwriting at the American Nuclear Insurers pool, put it bluntly: “The simple fact is there is always a limit on liability — that limit equal to the assets of the company at fault.”

Meanwhile, corporations that own nuclear plants have devised spin-off schemes, erecting legal firewalls to protect the parent company if their limited-liability subsidiary actually operating the plant goes under as the result of an accident. US Nuclear Reactor

Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island nuclear power plant suffered a partial meltdown in March, 1979. Victor Gilinsky was the senior sitting member on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission when that accident happened. According to Gilinsky, now retired, “There is no insurance for an extreme event.”

Now, as scientists warn of climate change, rising sea levels, stronger hurricanes and a host of other environmental threats related to global warming it might not be unreasonable to re-examine protections afforded the public. Small-scale accidents at nuclear plants continue to happen. A big one, like Fukushima or worse, may have a low probability level. But it isn’t impossible.

True, nuclear plants contribute little or no greenhouse gas emissions to the overburdened atmosphere compared to the coal-fired plants that add so much to global warming. But there is another factor to consider when weighing the nuclear option. Originally licensed for 40 years of operational life, most US nuclear plants are approaching or have already exceeded that period. So far, 73 such plants have been given 20-year extensions, and with retrofitting and extensive upgrades, some are expected to function to an age of 80 years.  Lets all keep our fingers crossed.

 

 

Miles Benson is a correspondent for Link TV’s Earth Focus. He has a distinguished career as a daily print journalist. From 1969 till his retirement in 2005, was a correspondent for the Newhouse Newspaper group, which included 30 daily newspapers. He covered the US Congress for 15 years and then the White House for 16 years, wrote a weekly political column and covered national politics and public policy.

#India – Nuclear shadow over Gujarat village


 

Author(s): Ankur Paliwal,Down to Earth
Issue Date: Mar 16, 2013

People in Mithi Virdi and nearby villages talk to Ankur Paliwal about their fears over the nuclear power park proposed on their land

This woman I found plucking weeds in her vegetable patch refused to give her name thinking I represent the power plant developers and would deprive her of her only source of living (Photos by Ankur Paliwal)This woman I found plucking weeds in her vegetable patch refused to give her name thinking I represent the power plant developers and would deprive her of her only source of living (Photos by Ankur Paliwal)

I don’t know her name. She was busy plucking weeds from her tomato farm when I found her. She was wearing bright blue and red clothes, her shining white hair half covered with a purple shawl. “She makes for a good photograph,” I thought to myself. I started moving towards her and took out my camera. She looked at me curiously, smiled and then got back to plucking weeds. I took that as her consent. I clicked her pictures till I was satisfied that I had got the right frame.

I asked my interpreter Sukhdev Singh, a 21-year-old engineer from her village Mithi Virdi in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district, to introduce me to the woman. He told her I am a journalist from Delhi and that I am writing about the proposed nuclear power plant in her village. Her expression suddenly changed. She got angry and started shouting, “hamara photu na paro (do not click my photograph).”

She threw her hands in the air in anger. I could not fathom the reason for her anger. It dawned on me that she was gesticulating more out of fear. Singh interpreted her words: “She thinks that you are from the company which is building the nuclear power plant and that you would misuse her photo.” She thought that I will present her as somebody who wants the plant.

Farmers in Mithi Virdi  and adjoining villages harvest up to three crops a year and earn wellFarmers in Mithi Virdi and adjoining villages harvest up to three crops a year and earn well

She said that this was the patch of land she has to feed her family. Through my interpreter, I reassured her I was a journalist and was visiting the village to understand what people of Mithi Virdi think of the power plant. She did not believe me. By this time her son and daughter-in-law emerged from their hut. I tried to convince her but she was fearful.

I sat with her and asked if she could tell me her name. She refused. I turned to the family members and they too were reluctant to share details. The woman politely said to me, “My son, you sit, drink water, eat food and relax, but please do not misrepresent me.” I assured her that I would not misuse her photo and I was not there to take away her land. Her expression was that of disbelief. I asked her to forgive me and left her house cursing myself for having ruined her day.

Like her, many farmers in Mithi Virdi and adjoining villages are living in constant fear. Mithi Virdi which literally means “sweet well” is located on a raised plateau on the west side of the Gulf of Khambhat in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district. The government had approved the plant in 2009. Since then, the people of Mithi Virdi and 23 adjoining villages have been opposing it.

The proposed Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Park which will have six reactors of 6,000 MW each will take up 777 hectares (ha). Of this, 608 ha is agricultural land. The power plant was recently in news. Around 5,000 farmers walked out of the public hearing organised by the state government on March 5. They alleged the public hearing is illegal andshouted slogans against the plant.

At stake: fertile land, happiness

Farmers are against the plant because it will be built on or close to their fertile land. A walk through the villages confirms their claim. Mithi Virdi and the adjoining village Jasapara are full of mango and cheeku orchards. Farmers take three crops a year and earn well. Take the case of Ramdev Singh Thiruwa, who has around 500 mango trees and 100 cheeku trees on his 50 bighas (8.7 bighas make a hectare) farm in Jasapara village.

A meeting organised by the non-profits in Jasapara village a day before the public hearingA meeting organised by the non-profits in Jasapara village a day before the public hearing

He grows coconuts, vegetables and fodder on the same land. “I easily make Rs 10 lakh annually,” said Thiruwa. “I don’t need the company’s or the government’s money to live a happy life. I can send my children to any good school I want in the city,” he adds. Thiruwa’s land is just 500 metres from the sea. “Despite being close to the sea, the water in my wells is sweet,” said Thiruwa.

While the fear of losing their fertile land is the primary reason farmers anywhere would oppose a plant, the fact that it is a nuclear power plant increases the opposition. In Bhavnagar, even the farmers whose villages do not figure in the list of the 24 project-affected villages are against the plant. Shambhu Bhai is a farmer whose village is 11 km from Mithi Virdi. He does not want a plant.

“Your land is not being taken away, then why are you against the plant?” I asked.

His wife Hansa Ben who had just returned from the field was quick to reply: “There is fear of radiation leak. It affects human health, women deliver handicapped children and the land’s fertility goes down,” said Hansa Ben who is illiterate.

Curious, I asked her, “how do you know all this?”

She replied: “I heard it in the meeting.”

“Which meeting?” I asked.

“These meetings are organised by sarpanchs and social workers in the villages. They call us to educate us about the harmful effects of nuclear power plant,” she said.

This prompted my next question. “Have you attended any meeting organised by the company that is building the plant?”

“No. I don’t know if they have organised any,” she said. But government says that the nuclear power plants are safer now, I said to her.

“Who knows,” she said cynically.

Talking to farmers, I learnt that the NGOs have been regularly organising meetings in the villages since the past five years. I was keen to attend one such meeting. And I got lucky. The same day, a big meeting was organised by many anti-nuclear NGOs in Jasapara village. It was a day before the public hearing.

Fukushima, Chernobyl in their mind

A big and colourful tent was erected in the community centre in the village. Almost all the bamboo poles holding up the tent had anti-nuclear posters hung on them. Posters of handicapped children were pasted outside the centre. Around 2,000 people had gathered. The meeting was organised by various NGOs working in Bhavnagar and outside. While some speakers were stressing on the point that no matter what, people should not give away this extremely fertile land, others were highlighting why a nuclear power plant is bad. Slogans like “jaan denge, zameen nahin (we will give our lives, but not land),” were heard every 15 minutes.

Sukhdev Singh, a young engineer who acted as my interpreter, says his mango orchard is the best place to relax and watch children play as a cool breeze blows. He does not want to lose any of it to a nuclear power plant Sukhdev Singh, a young engineer who acted as my interpreter, says his mango orchard is the best place to relax and watch children play as a cool breeze blows. He does not want to lose any of it to a nuclear power plant

Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) was one of the non-profits which had called this meeting. PSS is based in Vadodara district of Gujarat. “Farmers will lose their fertile land is the primary concern, safety aspects of nuclear power are also questionable,” said Rohit Prajapati of PSS. As a voluntary organisation our job is to inform people, he added. The anti-nuclear NGOs working in the area say that they are against nuclear power because till now the world does not have a foolproof technology to handle the hazardous nuclear waste and that the radiations from a leak will have long term and irreversible consequences. When there are alternatives available why opt for something that is potentially dangerous, they say. “We are just informing people. They are free to make their own choices,” said Prajapati.

But have the farmers listened to the other side before making up their mind? Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) organised a trip of sarpanchs to the operational nuclear power plants a year ago. “We have done our best to inform farmers that nuclear power is safe,” said P M Shah, chief engineer, NPCIL. But people in villages are distrustful of the government. “I have spoken the communities living close to the operational nuclear power plants. They are all living in fear,” said Shaktisinh Gohil, sarpanch of Jasapara over a sumptuous dinner that he had organised for me—butter smeared bajre ki roti (millet flour bread), a dish of onion and potato, lentils, jaggery, elaborate salad, mango pickle, papad and butter milk.

Thanking him, I was heading to the home of one of the farmers where I was staying. It was 11 pm. I found my interpreter, Sukhdev Singh, among a bunch of young guys sitting in a house making pamphlets against the nuclear power plant. These pamphlets were to be displayed in the public hearing scheduled the next day.

“It is late in the night. Don’t you have office tomorrow?” I asked Singh.

“I have taken leave because I want to participate in boycotting the plant,” he replied.

“Why are you against the plant? What do you know about nuclear power?” I asked.

“Don’t you know what happened in Fukushima recently and Chernobyl before that? Any day the risks of having nuclear power will outweigh the benefits,” he said.

His family has 15 bighas. It has around 300 mango trees and vegetables are also grown. “They will take away our land and then employ us on our own land,” said Singh. “Today we are employing people on our farms, if the plant comes we will become dependent,” he added.

“Today, after working hard in office in the city, I return to my beautiful home in the village. My parents have grown this mango orchard with a lot of labour. Whenever I feel sad, I go and sit under a mango tree. The cool breeze from the sea relaxes me. I feel happy when I see children playing in my orchard. Please don’t take all this away from us,” he continued.

 

 

 

#India – Centre’s report indicates Nuclear plant not safe for Jaitapur


Sunday, Apr 28, 2013, | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

A section of the Jaitapur nuclear plant site selection committee’s report that was withheld by the government and was recently retrieved by a local Premanand Tiwarkar through the Right to Information Act (RTI) contradicts Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited‘s (NPCIL) claim that the site is fit for a nuclear plant.

A section of the Jaitapur nuclear plant site selection committee’s report that was withheld by the government and was recently retrieved by a local Premanand Tiwarkar through the Right to Information Act (RTI) contradicts Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited’s (NPCIL) claim that the site is fit for a nuclear plant.

In the past there have been other studies on the region that have stated that the area is prone to earthquakes and tsunamis. However, some pages of the September 2002 ‘Report no 3 Assessment of sites for locating nuclear plants’, which was kept confidential by Centre’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), is the first report made public by the government that states the site is unsafe for a nuclear plant.

The NPCIL had earlier assured locals that the 90-ft high plateau would be adequate to protect the plant in event of a tsunami but the DAE report contradicts NPCIL’s claim. The DAE states that the plateau is made of laterites which is derived from basaltic rock that make the site dangerous.

The report also states, “The seacoast at the Jaitapur site is prone to erosion by breaker (waves) as evidenced by the large number of boulders strewn below the cliff.”

Activists opposed to the nuclear site also say that DAE had initially stated that the construction of the plant would not require excavation. However, they have recently informed the locals that 20 to 30 metres of the lateritic cover and the underlying weathered zone would have to be excavated. This would make the plant susceptible to tsunamis. A 1972 study by the Site Selection Committee of the DAE also stated, “Tectonic features in the region can be regarded as potential sources of earthquakes as some of them may get reactivated at any point….”

 

Evidence of substandard equipment from Zio-Podolsk in Koodankulam


Koodankulam Alert!
There are substandard equipment from Zio-Podolsk!
Concrete Evidence!
Over the past few years ZiO produced and implemented a set of equipment for foreign nuclear power plants with VVER-1000: “Tianwan” (China), “Busher” (Iran), “Kudankulam” (India).
JSC “Machine-Building Plant” ZIO-Podolsk, “starting with the construction of the world’s first nuclear power plant in the years 1952-1954. (Obninsk), is one of the leading Russian companies in the development and supply of equipment for nuclear power plants. Plant manufactures and supplies reactor vessels, steam generators, separators, steam heaters, heaters high and low pressure for the system recovery steam turbines, mains water heaters, heat exchangers for various purposes, ion-exchange filters and traps, blocks, parts and support for piping, tanks, block removable insulation, evaporating installation of metal inspection of the reactor vessel and other equipment for nuclear power plants.
At all nuclear power stations built in the Soviet Union, the factory installed equipment. Foreign nuclear power plant in Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, East Germany, Finland and the VVER-440 and VVER-1000 is equipped with equipment marked “ZIO”. The factory is a manufacturer of unique equipment for nuclear power plants with fast reactors with sodium-cooled BN-350 and BN-600 reactor vessels, intercoolers “sodium-sodium” steam generators. Reliable operation of the equipment for 25 years testifies to the correctness of the choice of design and manufacturing technology.
The plant started production of capital equipment for the installation of a new generation of reactor on fast neutron reactor BN-800 (reactor vessel, steam generator, an intermediate heat exchanger, separator, steam heaters, heaters (LDPE), etc.).
For nuclear power plants with VVER-440 plant has produced more than 100, and for nuclear power plants with VVER-1000 more than 120 steam generators, which operate at different nuclear power plants in Russia and abroad.
Since 1984, the plant started production of control systems (ACC-213, SC-187), which are designed for periodic monitoring and inspection of the body, heads, nozzles VVER-440, VVER-1000 and provide:
·         External ultrasonic testing of metal hulls, bottoms and nipples;
·         radiographic testing of welds zone pipes;
·         outer, inner, and television viewing periscope inside the reactor.
Monitoring system set both on domestic and on foreign nuclear power stations.
Over the past few years ZiO produced and implemented a set of equipment for foreign nuclear power plants with VVER-1000: “Tianwan” (China), “Busher” (Iran), “Kudankulam” (India).
The plant is constantly being modernized equipment operating nuclear power plants to improve the reliability, economic performance and increase the resource set. The modernization of equipment in nuclear power plants, “Kozloduy” (Bulgaria), Rivne (Ukraine), Armenia (Armenia), Novovoronezh, Kola, Volgodonsk, Beloyarsk (Russia). Together with “Rosenergoatom” was designed and implemented the program to survey and upgrade equipment intermediate separation and steam superheat at all nuclear power plants in Russia.
In the past few years there have been new designs of projects separator superheater, high-pressure heaters for units with VVER-1000, BN-800. In the design operating experience of similar equipment and cutting-edge science and technology (NGN applied centrifugal separators, used a more advanced design PVD chamber type instead of “collector”). In the design of PGV-1000 steam generators for nuclear power reactor VVER1000 applied all the latest developments in the field of parogeneratorostroeniya: bezzhalyuziyny separator, the new distribution of feed water and purging, eddy-current testing jumpers collectors and heat exchanger tubes along their entire length, low-temperature heat treatment of collectors and others. Plant designers are working to develop equipment for nuclear power plants with VVER-1000 with a lifetime of 60 years, including the steam generator of a new generation, developed in collaboration with FSUE EDO “Hydraulic”.
The plant constantly develops new types of manufacturing equipment for nuclear power stations. The manufacture of ion-exchange filters and filter traps for water treatment systems and special water treatment plant. Also mastered the production of equipment for evaporating systems, new types of heat exchangers with heat transfer surface of the spiral wound pipes, bubblers, tanks of up to 1,000 m3, jet-vortex capacitors accident localization system for VVER-440, block removable thermal insulation of equipment and pipelines of high and low pressure of atomic power stations and more.
The design uses the latest technologies that are protected by copyright certificates and patented a number of leading countries of the world. In manufacture the advanced and unique technology: a longitudinal fin tubes, hydraulic rolling and rolling by explosion, deep hole drilling, and others.
The main goal of the design and manufacturing of the equipment is to increase the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants.
Source:
Translated using Google Translate
This is from Zi0-Podolsk’s Russian Website

 

 

Police Threaten to kill doctor practising among poor in Kalpakkam


From :

 

Dr. V.Pugazhenthi MBBS,

1/187, Mudhaliyar Street,

Sadras, Kanchipuram District,

Tamil Nadu, India

603 102

Ph: 8870578769

To: All the Democratically Concerned People of Tamil Nadu, India and the World

Respected Friend, Madem/Sir:

 

Sub: False Charges filed on me to curtail my professional and democratic duty to warn the people I am serving about the ill effects of the nuclear radiation around the Kalpakkam Nuclear Power Plant

 

I am a medical doctor practicing in Sadras village near the Kalpakkam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu, India, since 1989. I was a gold medalist during my undergraduate years at Madurai Medical College, but chose not to pursue higher education because I felt I should work among the poor masses in the villages. I chose Sadras as the place for my practice since I had many friends at Kalpakkam, who happened to work in the Kalpaakam Nuclear Power Plant.

 

From 1989 to 2000, my professional work was focused principally on serving the Dalit and the Fisher folks. My interests were in Primary Heath Care and I had devised many innovative cost efficient methods to treat the most prevalent diseases among the masses. I had written profusely about these methods in many journals and have published books highlighting these. My work was recognised by the local and national media and they had interviewed me many a times with regard to this. The noted magazine “Outlook” had published an exclusive article about me on 21 June 2004. I was even fondly nicknamed as “One Rupee Doctor” by many magazines that had interview me. I had started a small health awareness movement called Makkal Nala Vazhvu Pani Iyakkam (Forum for People’s Good Life) and had opened a clinic at Vayalur exclusively for this purpose among its Dalit populace. Impressed by my work, former Justice of the Supreme Court Shri.D.K.Basu came unannounced to grace this occasion. (1)

 

It was during these first 10 years of my professional work I have understood that the chances of the people living around this Nuclear Power Plant to succumb to genetic diseases and various types of cancers was far higher than other places where nuclear power plants are not present. I decided to study this systematically. I got the first opportunity when my colleague Dr.R.Ramesh of Coimbatore asked me whether I could help in conducting a survey on the incidence of Polydactyly ( people with more than 5 fingers/toes in each hand or foot) in this region. This was early 2001 and was related to the public hearing process for the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor scheduled to be held on 27 July 2001. (2)  The survey showed a very high incidence and this made me plunge into studying the effects of radiation among the local populace. I have not looked back ever since and have conducted many a health surveys since. I have remained a whistle blower who have ardently asked the Nuclear Power Plant authorities to follow nationally and internationally accepted safety codes. (3) Appreciating my work, I have been asked to become the technical and medical consultant to a group of concerned local citizens on the ill effects of radiation. This group called “ Anuk Kathirveechu Paathukaappukkaana Makkal Iyakkam” (Peoples Movement for Protection Against Nuclear Radiation)” is to conduct a protest on 12 November 2011 against the breech of nationally and internationally laid safety codes by the authorities of the Kalpakkam Nuclear Power Plant. Their contention has valid scientific proofs. People belonging to this movement are working for the past one month to make this protest a successful one.

 

It is in this background, I received a telephone call at 6 PM on 1 December 2011 from the Puthupattinam police station. The police inspector Mr.Siva Kumar, told me that the Puthupattinam Panchayat Chief had filed a petition against me and whether I could go to the Police Station for an enquiry in this regard. I was busy in my clinic and told him once my works were over I would meet him at the station. I went to the police station at 7.30 PM. I was asked to wait. The police inspector then telephoned the panchayat chief. He arrived at the station by 8..10 PM. The enquiry lasted for about 30 minutes. I left the place by 8.50 PM.

 

The police inspector narrated the charges filed against me by Mr.Kaliaperumal :

 

  1. Mr.Kaliyaperumal, the Panchayat Chief of Puthupattinam village has filed a petition against me and one Mr.Nehru. He is charging us both that we had threatened to murder him if he does not cooperate with out anti nuclear work.
  2. The alleged threat was sent to him in the form of an anonymous letter, which he said was penned by Mr.Nehru under my direction.
  3. An SMS to his mobile phone from an unknown mobile phone number had also threatened to murder him. This is also alleged to have been sent by someone close to me under my directions.
  4. Many SMS notes keep coming to his mobile phone from unknown numbers abusing him. He believes that all these SMS notes are sent to him under my directions.

    I gave the following replies to the police inspector with respect to the above charges:

1) I do not involve myself in any anti nuclear work. I am only discharging my professional service by telling everyone about the findings culled from my two decade long work and critical studies related to health and nuclear radiation in general and Kalpakkam Nuclear Power Plant in particular. I am not an organiser of any anti nuclear movement but am and will remain a technical and medical consultant of such movements. Recently I have been asked by People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy that spearheads people’s agitation against Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, to share my professional experiences as one of its panel of experts. Like this, I have shared my experiences and studies with people all around the country.

I have met the Panchayat Chief Mr.Kaliaperumal on various occasions. I have even congratulated him on the day he had won the local election. I have talked to him cordially always. I have explained to him as I explain to everyone I meet, about the issue of nuclear radiation around. As I work as a medical professional and not as a political organiser, where does the question of me threatening him to join my work? My work is to treat, study and share. Where does his charge fit in?

However, as you are asking me a particular question, I state here that I have not at any moment threatened Mr.Kaliaperumal to join an anti nuclear agitation.

 

  1. I have nothing to do with the anonymous letter that threatens Mr.Kaliaperumal with death. I know Mr.Nehru, but under no circumstance he is working with me. The charge that Mr.Nehru wrote this letter under my influence is a concocted lie.

 

  1. I have nothing to do with any of the SMS notes that are alleged to be received by Mr.Kaliaperumal.

 

 

As I finished with my reply, the police inspector said he has not filed the First Information Report. However, he asked me to give in writing that “I would be present at the police station whenever I am summoned by him for further enquiries. If I am not present for such enquiries, then I agree that the charges kept on me is true.” I told him what that would mean to my daily professional schedule. I explained to him how the poor patients who come to see me from miles afar would deeply suffer. However, he insisted that I should give this in writing. At last, as a good samaritan,I gave him in writing that whenever he summons me I would be present at the police station.

 

Once I gave him this written note, he told me in a very harsh warning voice: “ Doctor! Do you know that I can book you under national Security Act for whatever the works that you are doing? By the way…. Have you ever heard anything about “police encounter”? So, be careful.”

 

I remain baffled. However, there’s no way my professional and democratic work can be suspended by any force whatever.

 

I strongly suspect the hand of the authorities of the Kalpakkam Nuclear Power Plant behinnd all this. They are particularly disturbed by the facts I have recently published with respect to the safety codes being practiced by them. They are, I suspect, disturbed by a news that I am about to publish a book that is to question the various safety issues related with the power plant. I think, by intimidating me with such police threats, they believe that they will be able to make the Kalpakkam environment radiologically safe.

 

I have been open always for discussion with the authorities of the power plant. I have met them many a times and have always shared all the data available with me. However, they have, over the past 10 years have not tried to answer any of my questions in the earnest. Now, I suspect, that they have decided to opt other means to silence my work.

 

It is in this regard, I request all of you – my democratically minded brethren – to pray and voice for me and my family members.

 

Sincerely Yours

 

Dr.V.Pugazhenthi MBBS

Puthupattinam,

Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

 

The Long, Tragic Trail of Failed General Electric Nuclear Plants


FROM THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST TO FUKUSHIMA:

Newly found court documents from long ago are raising fresh questions about the safety of nuclear reactors made by General Electric. The documents shed new light on old, unresolved safety problems at GE reactors that still had not been fully addressed by 2011 when nuclear accidents at three GE plants devastated Fukushima, Japan.

GE, the third largest corporation in the world, has designed and built dozens of nuclear reactors around the world since 1958, including six at Fukushima, as well as the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant, the Columbia Generating Station located on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Washington — some 150 miles east of Portland and Seattle.

One of the Fukushima reactors explodes in 2011. A similar GE reactor was built near Richland, WA., 150 miles east of Portland and Seattle.

GE built six similar models of its boiling water nuclear reactor — theBWR 1–6 — and three sizes of containment buildings to protect the public from radiation coming off the reactors — the Mark I, II and III.

In 1974, GE revealed that in certain accident and non-accident situations, its smallest containment building, the Mark I, and a slightly larger version, the Mark II, could be subjected to “newly discovered” physical pressures that could structurally damage the steel containment and the equipment inside it. Later, GE acknowledged similar problems with the much larger Mark III.

However, as the old court documents reveal, GE’s top nuclear engineers had been expressing serious misgivings about the stability of the containment buildings long before 1972. In memos to their superiors that go back as early as 1964, the engineers questioned whether the reactors could remain stable during an accident scenario nearly identical to the one that unfolded a half-century later at Fukushima. However, they feared that a massive pipe break, rather than an epic earthquake and tsunami, would be the event that triggered the disaster.

The documents also remind us that in the 1990s, GE settled a series of claims made by utilities that had bought GE’s nuclear equipment. The utilities said the containment buildings at 10 plants were defective (see the list at the bottom of this page), equal to one-fourth of all GE nuclear power systems that were ever operated in the United States.

At least four of the disputes led to lawsuits. The lawsuits accused GE of knowingly selling defective reactors as well as committing various other acts such as breach of contract, racketeering and fraud as part of a marketing scheme to foist the reactors upon unsuspecting utilities and the public without their knowledge of the defects or their consent.

In their complaints, the utilities claimed each type of GE containment building — the Mark I, II and III — was defective.

The Richland nuclear power plant, its BWR-5 reactor and its Mark IIcontainment structure were built from 1973–1983. The owner was then known as the Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS), a consortium of 27 publicly-owned utilities in Washington state. The plant is situated on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the most radioactively contaminated site in the country. Hanford, a former nuclear weapons factory, is owned by the US Department of Energy, which leased a portion of the site to WPPSS for operating the commercial nuclear power plant.

In 1999, the nuclear power plant was renamed the “Columbia Generating Station.” The new name, which replaced “Washington Nuclear Plant 2,” obscures the fact that nuclear fuel is what is used there to make electricity.

The name “Washington Public Power Supply System” is gone too. The utility consortium, hoping to rebrand itself in the wake of the financial disaster it created in the 1970s and 1980s, is now called “Energy Northwest.” The old WPPSS (usually pronounced “whoops” for obvious reasons) failed spectacularly while trying to build five nuclear plants at the same time in the 1980s. All but one were cancelled. Construction costs exploded and WPPSSdefaulted on $2.25 billion worth of construction bonds in what at the time was the largest municipal bond collapse in US history.

Meanwhile, WPPSS and General Electric couldn’t agree on who was liable for paying to fix the plant’s defects. In 1985 WPPSS sued GE for $1.2 billion.WPPSS claimed that in 1971, when it bought the reactor from GE for $110 million, GE failed to disclose its knowledge about the reactor’s defects. A decade later, WPPSS had to spend another $297 million to rebuild it, delaying the initial start-up by 18 months.

In 1990, during trial in US District Court, Judge Alan A. McDonald said he heard “unrebutted evidence” that GE had falsely claimed that its nuclear plant hardware was “proven and tested” before it was placed on the market.

The proceedings were declared a mistrial after a jury wasn’t able to reach a unanimous verdict. Judge McDonald ruled that WPPSS could base its complaint against GE on negligent misrepresentation rather than on fraud and breach of contract. A second trial was about to start in 1992 when a settlement was reached.

As the Seattle Times reported at the time, GE settled the case for $134.9 million worth of goods and services, but paid no cash. However, GE agreed to increase the power output of the WPPSS reactor by 50 megawatts, an increase that could generate about $16.5 million worth of electricity in a year.

Documents from the case show that GE intended to conduct full-scale tests of the plants only after utilities began operating them in the backyards of communities like Richland, and the neighboring Kennewick and Pasco.

“The Court can only view that as a fairly sophisticated form of Russian roulette,” McDonald wrote.

Russian Roulette is a potentially lethal game of chance in which a player places a single round in a revolver, spins the cylinder, places the muzzle against his head, and pulls the trigger.

In 2011, a quarter-century after Judge McDonald issued his warning about General Electric’s deadly nuclear power game, and a half-century after GE’s engineers expressed their own concerns, the Russian Roulette bullet finally went off. Three GE reactors exploded at Fukushima, devastating the northeastern part of Honshu, the largest island in Japan and spreading contamination as far south as Tokyo, a distance of nearly 150 miles, or about the same distance from Hanford to Portland or Seattle.

The radiation was released in amounts that are known to cause several deadly types of cancer, which can take up to twenty years to develop, and can harm the health of future generations by causing genetic mutations.

Dr. Helen Caldicott, the Australian medical doctor and anti-nuclear activist, estimates that 2.5 to 3.5 million people could eventually die from cancer caused by the Fukushima radiation release.

The Fukushima accident also contaminated the the North Pacific Ocean with large amounts of radioactive fallout that will persist for generations.

The people living near nuclear accidents or releases are often called “downwinders” because the air they breathe has often been contaminated by pollution from a source located upwind. Residents of the Tri-Cities in South Central Washington know well what it is like to be a downwinder. Since World War II, they have lived downwind from the highly polluted Hanford Nuclear Reservation and its now-closed nuclear reactors and bomb factories. They have suffered a series of health problems as a result.

A Fukushima-like explosion at the commercial nuclear plant would make previous contamination seem like child’s play: causing serious health effects, forcing massive evacuations of cities and towns, contaminating the Columbia River and its salmon runs, and rendering vast stretches of prime agricultural land uninhabitable for centuries.

Large portions of the United States are potentially at risk as well. Most ofGE’s nuclear reactors are located near population centers east of the Mississippi River. More than 58 million people live within 50 miles of a GEnuclear reactor.

Why the GE plant failed at Fukushima and the NRC’s response

The nuclear power plants discussed here are known as boiling water reactors. There are 35 boiling water reactors currently operating in the United States and five that are defunct. Each was made by General Electric. Many of the other 68 plants in the US are known as pressurized water reactors and have had serious problems themselves. Westinghouse, a major manufacturer of these competing designs, has also had to fend off a series of lawsuits filed by its customers.

A schematic of the typical General Electric Mark I Boiling Water Reactor., which is slightly smaller than the Mark IImodel. The Mark III is larger yet.

 

Nuclear fission occurs within a long, skinny structure made of reinforced steel, with a concrete shell, in the shape of an upside-down incandescent light bulb. Known as a “containment vessel,” this structure contains a single nuclear reactor. Directly adjoining the containment vessel at Columbia Generating Station are 327 tons of still-highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel rods that sit in a pool of water above the reactor – six stories above ground and much less heavily protected than the reactor itself. As Dr. Caldicott points out, this irradiated fuel is about 1,000 times more radioactive than fresh fuel.

Hot, highly pressurized radioactive gas and steam fill up the empty spaces in the containment vessel. The vessel’s job is to contain its contents of gas, steam and radioactive particles so they don’t escape to the outside environment.

In the boiling water reactor models produced by GE, pumps deliver water to the reactor to cool it down as well as to produce steam that turns the turbines that generate the power.

Equipment in the plant is designed to condense the hot steam back into water. Because the Fukushima plants lost power after the earthquake and tsunami, they were unable to condense the steam. They could neither pump water needed to cool the reactors, nor control the pressure of the gas and steam filling the containment.

The most volatile of the gases in a nuclear containment structure is hydrogen, which is created when the zirconium cladding, or the outer covering of the nuclear fuel rods, becomes overheated while in contact with water or steam. At Fukushima, hydrogen and other gases built up at extreme pressures and began escaping through small gaps in the containment structures. The hydrogen found a spark three times, literally blowing the top off of three of the reactor buildings, further breaching containment, and spreading dangerous radioactive particles throughout northeastern Japan, the region, and around the northern hemisphere.

On March 19, 2013, in response to the Fukushima accident, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission ordered utilities to install vents that would release the pressure of hydrogen and other gases during a nuclear accident. Instead of requiring more robust vents and filters to prevent radioactive particles from escaping in a worst-case accident, as recommended by the NRC staff, utilities will be allowed to consider alternatives that get enough cooling water the reactor to avoid such a worst-case accident.

The Commission overruled the staff recommendation and decided, in a 4–1 vote, not to require the filters because of opposition from the nuclear power industry, which claimed they would be too expensive.

The WPPSS reactor in Hanford as well as many other plants now must still spend tens of millions of dollars to comply with the new, somewhat weakened, NRC order.

Only Allison MacFarlane, chair of the commission, voted in favor of the filtered vents. “My decision reflects, in part, my experiences during a recent trip to the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan,” she said. She said she traveled through deserted villages past homes and businesses that have overgrown with weeds since the accident.

She said it all underscored “the impact of the accident from a nuclear plant.”

David Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer with the watchdog group Union of Concerned Scientists, said that, if installed, “the filters would remove 99 percent of the contamination.”

Moreover, Charles K. Johnson, director of the Joint Task Force on Nuclear Power for Oregon and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, stated, “this half-measure upgrade is unlikely to prevent a hydrogen explosion and a massive release of radiation in a worst-case scenario.”

As Paul Gunter of nuclear power opponent Beyond Nuclear put it, “Venting an accident without a filter” is like “fire-hosing downwind communities with massive amounts of radiation.”

It appears the Columbia Generating Station will still pose a safety risk to the public and the region even after the installation of vents is complete in 2016, as scheduled.

Meanwhile, another serious, unresolved problem with GE plants has emerged: the discovery of gas bubbles trapped in the pipes of the emergency core cooling system. These bubbles can disable or damage the pumps when they are trying to cool the superheated reactor during an accident. If the pumps ingest enough air, “the pumps may become inoperable,” according to a study of the issue by scientists at Purdue University.

Since the pumps rely on the water they are pumping to provide lubrication and cooling, a pump that is trying to pump air can overheat — causing its casing to thermally expand, exceeding tolerances.

“Since these components typically have tight tolerances, a significant amount of thermal expansion will cause these tolerances to be exceeded,” said an NRC engineer, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation by his employer.

Most significantly, the NRC has not found a solution to the gas bubble problem.

Nevertheless, it allows the GE plants keep on running. The results could be catastrophic.

GE’s 12-year cover-up

At the time WPPSS bought its reactor, GE‘s engineers acknowledged in memos that they didn’t fully understand certain “phenomena” that occurred during the steam condensation process. As one GE engineer wrote in 1964, the steam condensation process was “the least understood” aspect of GEreactors.

The GE engineers had other worries as well, including mysterious vibrations which they had observed. In 1968, the manager of GE’s Systems Conformance Engineering Unit said the vibrations could not be explained without “very expensive large-scale tests.”

In 1970, the manager of GE’s Advance Systems & Analysis Design Unit noted that GE was trying to “dump” the vibration problem onto unsuspecting customers like WPPSS. He predicted, however, that WPPSS and other utilities would fail to find a solution and that GE would eventually be called upon to conduct “a rescue operation.”

Also in 1970, engineers wrote about a different, potentially serious, phenomenon: the “severe jumping and banging” they had observed when pressurized steam was injected into a massive water cooler known as the torus. The torus, located beneath the reactor, is part of the plant’s system to condense water and reduce pressure. Engineers saw the torus literally leap off its foundation.

Were any of these concerns communicated to WPPSS prior to the sale? Apparently not. Federal District Court Judge McDonald wrote that WPPSShad “submitted uncontroverted evidence that nobody from GE ever told the Supply System about any concern GE had about the adequacy of the containment.”

GE engineers continued to voice concerns about its plants after the company sold the reactor to WPPSS. A 1975 memo from a GE engineer named Henry E. Stone noted that a variety of failures, technical problems and serious structural defects at GE reactors still had not been resolved. The memo was labeled “strictly private” and “GE confidential: Subject to protective order, Zimmer litigation.”

In response to Stone’s memo, A.J. Bray, general manager of GE’s nuclear reactor division, was taken aback by what he described as the memo’s “negative tone.”

“If any of our customers ever get a copy of this, we are in real trouble,” Bray wrote. “All of the comments may be true, but why does GE have to put it into print to ruin a business?”

The “Zimmer litigation” was a reference to a lawsuit filed by Cincinnati Gas & Electric over defects at its Zimmer Nuclear Plant, located on the Ohio River east of Cincinnati. GE never intended for the Bray memo to be released, but it was filed along with several other confidential documents in open court by lawyers for the plaintiffs, a breach of a protective order, which GEhad expected would ensure confidentiality.

But an alert reporter for the local newspaper took notice, and soon stories began appearing about an alleged “12-year cover-up” of a “secret report” which contained “undisclosed safety problems,” according to a two-volume, 1200-page document produced in 1987 by GE about the history of its containment structure problems.

The GE history said the “misleading” newspaper articles “raised concerns in communities where GE BWRs (boiling water reactors) are in operation.” The confidential documents also proved troublesome when utilities and public officials in other states began demanding copies.

GE’s 1987 allegedly exhaustive history was full of holes. For example, the company neglected to give credit to the whistleblowers who raised questions about the plants’ safety in the 1960s and 1970s, leading to the repairs in the 1980s.

Zimmer, a Mark II GE plant near Cincinnati, never produced a single watt of nuclear power. Before the plant opened in 1983, it was converted to coal. The Zimmer plant, the world’s only nuclear power plant converted to a coal-burning facility, is now the largest single-unit coal-powered facility in the US.

Putting Profits First

The old court documents had been long forgotten when Daniel Pope, a professor at the University of Oregon, dug them up in a Lexis-Nexis search while doing research for his 2008 book, “Nuclear Implosions: The Rise and Fall of the Washington Public Power Supply System.”

When the New York Times wrote about the defective GE reactors in 2011during the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima accidents, it made no mention of the old court documents. The writer recalled that some utility companies had thought about suing GE during the 1980s, but he failed to mention that some utilities did, in fact, file lawsuits — including two in New York State — Long Island Light and Niagara Mohawk Power. The New York Times even wrote a brief story about one of the lawsuits when it was filed in 1988. More information about the LILCO case can be found here.

However, the 2011 Times article did describe several other interesting documents, including a few from NRC officials critical of GE.

The Times reported that in 1972, Stephen H. Hanauer, then a safety official with the Atomic Energy Commission, recommended that the Mark 1 system be discontinued because it presented “unacceptable safety risks.” The Times added that, “Among the concerns cited was the smaller containment design, which was more susceptible to explosion and rupture from a buildup in hydrogen — a situation that may have unfolded at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.”

Also in 1972, Joseph Hendrie, who in 1977 became chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the successor agency to the Atomic Energy Commission, said the idea of a ban on this type of reactor “was attractive,” the Times reported.

But Hendrie added that a ban on GE’s technology particularly at this time, “could well be the end of nuclear power.’

One can assume that an industry that put profits first, ahead of safety and full disclosure, would have strongly resisted any effort to shut it down.

As GE general manager A.B. Bray says, the disclosure of damning facts can “ruin a business.” GE had invested billions of dollars in nuclear technology and had much to lose. GE sold 42 reactors in just two years in the early 1970s, which is more than the total number of boiling water reactors now in operation in the United States.

After hearing the case for seven years, Judge McDonald, a Ronald Reagan appointee who died in 2007, concluded that GE did not disclose its doubts about reactors to WPPSS because it “was concerned about its market position, profits and potential liability.”

Reginald Jones, CEO of GE, assured a group of security analysts in 1975 that he saw nuclear power as the future of energy and that GE would continue to invest in it. “And as long as we can make these investments, and contain our risks, then we’re going to continue with this strategy.”

Neither Energy Northwest nor General Electric responded to a request for comment on this story. In the past, each has said that GE nuclear plants are safe.

Others, such as Paul Gunter of Beyond Nuclear, disagree. “The Mark I and Mark II boiling water reactors are aging and deteriorating with fundamentally flawed containment systems,” he said.” They are inherently dangerous. These reactors should be immediately closed.”

 

This list shows the names of nuclear power plants and their owners that pressed claims against General Electric for defects in their reactors. The 10 plants on this list represent a quarter of all GE boiling water reactors ever sold in the United States. Source: Various media reports.

Source- http://times.org/

 

Andhra Pradesh HC- stays land acquisition for Kovvada nuclear plant #goodnews


TNN | Mar 12, 2013

HYDERABAD: In a relief to protesting villagers, a two-member bench of the AP High Court on Monday restrained the state government from issuing any notification for acquiring land for setting up a nuclear power plant in Kovvada of Ranasthalam mandal in Srikakulam district.

The bench comprising acting Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice Vilas V Afzalpurkar gave the interim stay on land acquisition in response to a public interest petition filed by Captain J Rama Rao, a social activist. Notices were issued to the state and the central governments to file their counters within two weeks.

‘Proposed N-plant poses threat to fishermen’s livelihood’ 

The petition challenged the very idea of setting up a nuclear power plant in the area and the consequent land acquisition proceedings launched by the state.

The proposed land acquisition for the nuclear power plant with six 1000 MW light water reactors to be set up by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India(NPCIL) will take away the livelihood of scores of fishermen and farmers apart from making the area uninhabitable, the petitioner contended.

“Since no clearance has been obtained from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), the land acquisition notification issued by the state is an exercise in futility,” he said. Till today, the state and the Centre have not obtained clearance from the AERB but the state government is going ahead with its land acquisition process, he contended.

According to the petitioner, the writ petition was filed in the interests of environment and the rights of the poor and innocent people and to get justice for them. The Kovvada villagers have been on a relay hunger strike since December 18, 2012 against the proposed nuclear power plant. The state government issued GO No 42, dated November 1, 2012, approving the notification for acquisition of over 1,900 acres from Ramachandrapuram, Kotapalem and its hamlets, Jeeru Kovvada, Tekkali and Gudem areas.

According to the petition, the risk associated with the setting up of nuclear power plants cannot be compared with any other industry or project. In case of radiation leakage or accidents, the risk transcends not only local borders but also international borders. Further, the radiation can affect not only the present generation but also future generations, the petitioner said.

The judge while directing the authorities to file their counters directed the state not to issue 4(1) notification under the Land Acquisition Act.

 

#India- Report reveals Jaitapur Nuclear power plant fault line


Published: Tuesday, Mar 12, 2013,
By Dilnaz Boga | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has, for a long time, assured the people of Jaitapur that there is “no earthquake activity around the [proposed nuclear power plant] site within a radius of 39km.” However, the central government’s Site Selection Committee states otherwise.

After Dr BG Waghdhare filed an RTI application, some pages of a report dated September 2002 on the assessment of sites for locating nuclear plants — which were kept confidential — were made available to the public.

An activist said that they had trouble extracting the report and that the activists had to approach the RTI Commissioner in Delhi to intervene. “Despite this, the government has only made a few pages of the report public. Why are they trying to hide this information?”

The information in the report states that in the past two decades, there have been 93 medium to high level tremors on the Richter scale at the Jaitapur site, proving that it is earthquake-prone.
The report stated that a fault line “lies at a distance of 10km and follows the Vagothan river for some distance.” Similarly, other fault lines have been found at a distance of 15km, 16km and 24km.

In addition to this, the report states that recently, earthquakes corresponding to Richter magnitude 3 to 5.7 have been reported along the Panvel flexure.

Residents say that in the last 12 years, the mountains in the area have developed massive cracks. “Each crack is three to four kilometres long, with a depth of 50 feet and a width of 70 feet,” said activist Girish Raut, who has been campaigning against the setting up of the nuclear power plant at Jaitapur.

@DilnazBoga