#India – Flaws in Koodankulam Nuclear Power plant


By A Gopalakrishnan

19th June 2013 07:23 AM

The Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) in Tamil Nadu is owned and will be operated by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) is to oversee and regulate nuclear safety, while the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) also have well-defined regulatory roles to play in non-nuclear safety aspects.

Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) reviewed previous lower court judgements and heard fresh affidavits on issues of KKNPP safety. In its final judgment on May 6, 2013, the SC directed AERB, NPCIL, MoEF and TNPCB to (collectively) oversee each and every aspect, including safety of the plant, its impact on environment and the quality of various components and systems in the plant, before commissioning it. The SC has also directed that a (joint) report to that effect be filed before it prior to commissioning of the plant.

To understand the overall problems in their right perspective, one has to see how the total project responsibility at KKNPP is shared between India and Russia. Under the 1998 inter-governmental supplementary agreement, the Russians are to provide the reactor designs and supply the major equipment. The instrumentation and control (I&C) design package, including installation details, were also to come from Russia. The NPCIL and its Indian contractors would build the reactors, but a small team of Russian specialists (“advisers”) would stay at the site to render technical assistance at all stages of construction, in the installation of reactor equipment and in the commissioning and operation of the reactors, until NPCIL takes over.

KKNPP reactors are pressurised water reactors (PWRs) of the Russian VVER type, of 1000 MWe rating. The past Indian experience is entirely on pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs), India having built only a very small PWR for a submarine which is yet to be started. The PHWRs are technologically very different from the VVER-1000 reactors, and the Russians have designed and built more than 20 of them. The experience gained over the years by Indian contractors who have steadily worked with NPCIL is also limited to PHWRs. Therefore, it is certainly foolhardy for India to insist that KKNPP Units 1 & 2 shall be built under the above division of responsibilities. The reasons for doing so have been the minimisation of cost and an overconfident estimation of NPCIL’s capabilities, combined with a lack of appreciation of the technological finesse required to build a large and complicated PWR for the first time. The problems described in this article can be primarily attributed to this fatal error in project formulation.

Besides the probable installation of substandard parts in KKNPP reactors due to laxity of quality control, it is now evident that another major safety issue related to the I&C systems is worrying the KKNPP management and the AERB, because of which the Unit 1 start-up is now postponed to July 2013. This inference is reached by piecing together information now available in the public domain. The problem, to put it simply, appears to be the inability to eliminate spurious signals of untraced origin appearing in many of the instrumentation cables of paramount importance to safety, like the reactor neutron chamber output lines, wiring of the safety and shut-off rod control systems, etc.

Such phenomena belong to a broad class of problems known as Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI). A very rudimentary example of EMI, for instance, is that of a power-carrying, unshielded cable that would generate a surrounding electro-magnetic field, that in turn could induce a voltage/current in a nearby instrumentation or control cable. This spurious input can add to or subtract from the “real” signals, thereby sending erroneous control inputs to a variety of crucial safety systems, possibly leading to unpredictable and serious malfunctions or accidents.

EMI in nuclear plants can be totally avoided by following modern I&C system design and installation norms. (See, for example, “Modern I&C for Nuclear Power Plants”, IAEA, 1999). In particular, obtaining a sound, interference-free transmission of electrical signals between various parts of a nuclear system demands careful attention to cable laying and routing as well as earthing, and requires that specific rules in this regard are strictly followed. The Russian “advisers” on site seem to have earlier indicated to the Indians that most of the VVERs which they have commissioned have used strict Russian standards like GOST 50746-2000, called the National Standard of the Russian Federation for Electro-magnetic Compatibility (EMC) of equipment for nuclear power plants (Requirements and Test Methods), which is available at: http://files.stroyinf.ru/Data1/41/41348/. However, the sequential history of KNPP events do not show that such care was taken in implementation of I&C systems by NPCIL and their contractors.

The cable problems at Koodankulam have a long history. Glimpses of this can be seen from the past annual reports of the AERB. The 2009-2010 AERB report states the regulators were “informed (by NPCIL) that new cable routes have been created to take care of additional cables required for normal operation of the plant, as these were not accounted for in the earlier design”. AERB’s 2010-2011 annual report states that “NPCIL was asked to submit detailed response to various observations made on cable layout — along with justifications for deviations from established methods of laying of cables and alternative measures to meet any exigencies”. Interestingly, the 2011-2012 annual report is totally silent about the follow-up actions taken in this matter.

Around the same time, a telling PTI report on the KKNPP cable problem appeared on July 20, 2011, in Indian newspapers. In part it said (http://ibnlive.in.com/news/tn-kudankulam-nplant-to-achieve-criticality/168957-3.html), “But the observation that several cables were missing, to be incorporated by designers in the reactor almost towards completion of the plant (2009-2010), could not be explained… The designers discovered that several kilometres of power and control cables in the reactor were ‘missed’ after the completion of the double containment of the reactor… A year ago, a major operation had to be undertaken to incorporate the ‘missing’ cables by making new opening in the containment domes (breaking open the concrete walls and its steel liner) and sealing it again after bringing the cables from the switch yard to inside”. One wonders how such a serious error was committed by the NPCIL engineers and their contractors!

This exposes a serious difference in the ethics of doing project site work between the Russians and Indians. Russians are very well-organised and systematic, and they rigidly follow the rules and expect others also to do so. While Indians, too, have rules and regulations on paper, to expedite work or to minimise cost, they would not hesitate to bend or break rules. In case of the I&C design and installation details, the Russians had prepared detailed documentation including hundreds of drawings, which they expected the Indian installers to follow diligently, in the interest of performance and safety. The World Nuclear Association has reported that KKNPP control system documentation was delivered late by the Russians and, when reviewed (http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-G-N/India/#.Ub7fWPkzjAs) by NPCIL, it showed up the need for significant refining and even reworking of some aspects. This was necessitated because, while waiting for details to arrive from Russia, the NPCIL team had proceeded on with the I&C work based on their PHWR experience, little realising that the PWR/VVER requirements contained in the Russian documents would be significantly different. In doing re-work and rectification of the PHWR-based work, the NPCIL team is unlikely to have come close to meeting the Russian design intent or conformed to the installation documents received from them. The origin of the present problem lies in this massive installation error of the NPCIL.

In 2004, the then KKNPP station director told Frontline (http://www.frontline.in/navigation/?type=static&page=flonnet&rdurl=fl2108/fl210800.htm) that “difficulty arose with working documentation, which was to arrive from the Russian designers. But I shall not blame the Russians, there was pressure on them to advance their drawings and documents.” He went on to say, “When you want to speed up…you have to take certain decisions even if the input data are not available. As a designer and an engineer, you have to assume those data and go ahead.” It is this daredevil approach of the NPCIL site engineers and their contractors which has landed the KKNPP in the present mess.

It is most likely that the KKNPP cable system, as completed today, has not conformed to the norms and standards of cable selection, EMI shielding, or layout as per Russian, Indian or any other standards. No wonder the EMI problem is persisting, because there is no other short-cut solution other than re-doing a sizeable part of the I&C cabling and its layout in accordance with a set of modern standards, agreeable also to the Russians. This may take several more months and extensive re-working, but this must be done in the interest of public safety. As directed by the SC, the group consisting of NPCIL, AERB, MoEF and TNPCB must certainly find an acceptable resolution of this problem and include it in their report to the apex court.

A Gopalakrishnan is a former Chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.

 

Outrage Over Safety Issues at Indian Nuke Plant


By K. S. HarikrishnanReprint |   ips news
Residents of Kudankulam, a village in Tamil Nadu, protest against the Indian Supreme Court verdict approving construction of a nuclear power plant. Credit: K. S. Harikrishnan/IPSResidents of Kudankulam, a village in Tamil Nadu, protest against the Indian Supreme Court verdict approving construction of a nuclear power plant. Credit: K. S. Harikrishnan/IPS

KUDANKULAM, India, Jun 14 2013 (IPS) – The Tirunelveli district in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu may seem idyllic, dotted with lush green fields, but upon closer inspection one sees signs of a battle that does not appear to be abating.

Locals here have been waging an incessant campaign against a proposed nuclear power plant that was supposed to be operational in 2012 and which is currently sitting idle 24 kilometres from the tourist town of Kanyakumari, located on the southern tip of the Indian peninsula.

A recent report by a group of prominent Indian researches has now added another issue to a long list of grievances with the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) that activists and residents have been compiling since August 2011: evidence of faulty material used in the construction of the plant itself.

Plans for the plant were first drawn up in 1988 under a bilateral agreement between Russia and India, but various political obstacles kept construction on hold for over a decade. It was not until 2001 that a fresh attempt was made to jump-start the 3.1-billion-dollar venture, which has an installed capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW).

Fishermen and their families protesting against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. Credit K. S. Harikrishnan/IPS

Fishermen and their families protesting against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. Credit K. S. Harikrishnan/IPS

Things were moving smoothly until news of the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor in Japan in March 2011 went viral. Fearing a repeat performance of the tragedy, locals here took to the streets, protesting lax safety standards and possible nuclear radiation in the event of an accident.

The government has refused to address protestors’ concerns, instead issuing blanket assurances that the plant has been constructed using state of the art instrumentation and contains a passive cooling system and other mechanisms that will enable it to withstand natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis.

Nalinish Nagaich, executive director of the National Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), has repeatedly insisted that the equipment installed in the power station has undergone multi-stage quality checks.

Last month, in a 247-page ruling, a division bench of the Supreme Court of India consisting of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra dismissed protestors’ concerns as “baseless”, adding: “The benefits we reap from KKNPP are enormous since nuclear energy remains an important element in India’s energy mix, which can replace a significant (quantity) of fossil fuels like coal, gas (and) oil.”

But new information brought to light in ‘Scandals in the Nuclear Business’, a report published by Dr. V. T. Padmanabhan, a member of the European Commission on Radiation Risk, exposes cracks in the government’s position and highlights the potential crises arising from the use of faulty parts.

According to the study, the Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV), considered to be the “heart” of a nuclear station, has been built using an outdated, three-decade old model. In addition, various pieces of equipment supplied by Russia have been found to be faulty.

The report has only deepened a crisis of confidence that surfaced earlier this year when Russian Federal prosecutors booked Sergei Shutov, procurement director of the Russian company ZiO-Podolsk that supplied vital equipment to the KKNPP, on corruption charges.

Shutov was charged with “having sourced cheaper sub-standard steel for manufacturing components that were used in Russian nuclear installations in Bulgaria, Iran, China and India”, according to a joint letter sent by over 60 scientists to the chief ministers of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The New Delhi-based Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) has expressed serious concern over the recent scam, calling it a direct violation of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB)’s safety norms.

Back in April, following a series of tests, the AERB itself acknowledged that four valves in the KKNPP were defective and ordered the NPCIL to replace the parts and surrender itself for review by the regulatory authority, before resuming construction.

World Nuclear News reported last month that “technical issues discovered during the commissioning of Unit One have necessitated the replacement of several valves in the passive core cooling system, leading to further delays” in the commissioning of the KKNPP.

Dr. A Gopalakrishnan, former chairman of AERBhas urged the government to put an immediate stop to the project until allegations of corruption and faulty equipment have been adequately addressed, and the safety and quality of the parts used to house the reactor have been determined.

Police crack down on women protesting against the Kudankulam nuclear plant in India. Credit: K. S. Harikrishnan/IPS.

Police crack down on women protesting against the Kudankulam nuclear plant in India. Credit: K. S. Harikrishnan/IPS.

“The fact that a high-cost, high-risk nuclear reactor is (thought to have) defects…in its components and equipment even before it (has started operating) is highly unusual, and indicates gross failures at several levels in the AERB-NPCIL-Atomstroyexport (triumvirate),” he said, referring to Russia’s national nuclear vendor that stands accused of supplying low-quality parts to India.

N. Sahadevan, environmentalist and prominent campaigner against nuclear arsenals, told IPS that the recent scandal necessitated a “thorough re-examination of the safety aspects of the plant.”

Furthermore, according to Supreme Court Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, the NPCIL, which operates the KKNPP, has failed to comply with the 17 post-Fukushima safety recommendations made by a special AERB committee.

Meanwhile, thousands of villagers in and around Kudankulam continue their daily, peaceful demonstrations.

S. P. Udayakumar, leader of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, told IPS that the Fukushima catastrophe categorically proved that nuclear power projects are not aligned with the welfare of the people, especially those living in the vicinity, and are incapable of providing any kind of “security”, energy or otherwise.

Activists have also exposed discrepancies in the government’s claim that nuclear power is crucial for the Indian economy, pointing out that the country currently has just 4,880 MW of existing capacity, “which contribute to only 2.7 percent of the total electricity generation in the country,” according to Dr. E. A. S. Sarma, former Union Power Secretary of India.

- See more at: http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/06/outrage-over-safety-issues-at-indian-nuke-plant/#sthash.Q7VgTdmC.5cfoiTLx.dpuf

 

PRESS RELEASE – The Koodankulam Mystery : Russian Officials’ Anxiety


People’s Movemenmt Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

Idinthakarai 627 104
Tirunelveli District
Mobile: 9842154073, 9865683735
Email: koodankulam@yahoo.com                                                      For Immediate Release
May 24, 2013
The Koodankulam Mystery : Russian Officials’ Anxiety
The periodic interventions of the Russian diplomats in India in defense of the Indian nuclear authorities are very intriguing and puzzling. Lauding the Tamil Nadu government’s decision on the Koodankulam nuclear power project (KKNPP) as “correct” but “long overdue,” the Russian Ambassador to India, Mr. Alexander M. Kadakin, said in March 2012: “From October to March, it is not Russia, it was India which was losing $1 million a day. Can we welcome the loss of the money that Indian people had put aside for construction?”
But the Russian ambassador did not explain how that loss exactly happened, or what his involvement in the Koodankulam transaction was, or how he calculated that $1 million loss per day. Most importantly, who was he to do the calculation? Though Mr. Kadakin was in close touch with the Indian government on the KKNPP issue, he said in February 2012 that he had not contacted the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu saying “It may look a bit odd. I don’t like to bypass the Centre.”
Throwing all the diplomatic norms and values to the wind, Mr. Kadakin has been interfering in the internal affairs of our country. He commented in an interview in March 2012: “We have been suspecting it all along, and, I was openly saying this, because it was very strange. Six months after the Fukushima tragedy, all those protesters raise their voices. They were sleeping for six months, and then, all of sudden, they raise their voices against the most secure, the best and the safest (nuclear power) station in the world.” He added further: “We were perplexed, but now we stand vindicated.” Without directly naming the United States, Mr. Kadakin said some strategic friends of India who were not doing anything for its energy sector, did not like the idea of India becoming strong, and therefore, were stalling the Kudankulam project through proxies (Business Line, March 26, 2012).
A year later in February 2013, Mr. Kadakin said, “I think these (protests) are sponsored. They work in such a way that when money ends they stop and when they get another portion of money they resume their protests.” He asserted: “Yes, there are NGOs from outside who are feeding these protest organisation. India is a democratic country, people are free to protest if they feel some danger is coming.”
In May 2013, the Russian Ambassador accused anti-nuclear protesters of “playing games” as India moves to launch the country’s biggest nuclear power project. He said: “The unit number one is almost ready and second one will be ready within six months. But as regards pressure from protesters and from other people, these are all gimmicks and games. The games by those who don’t want to see India strong, who don’t want India and Tamil Nadu to have really much (needed) power.”
Mr. Kadakin had said “[Koodankulam] is the safest nuclear unit in the world which has been recognised by specialists and scientists in the West and the East.” If it is indeed the safest plant, why aren’t the Russians willing to offer any liability whatsoever? In December 2012, however, Mr.Kadakin said that negotiations on issues relating to civil nuclear liability law were still going on and stressed that if India insisted on liability, the price of Kudankulam units III and IV would go up. According to him, the two units were “grandsons of the original agreement” on Kudankulam units I and II which came into effect much before the civil nuclear liability law.
Joining the fray with his Ambassador, Mr. Nikolay Listopadov, the Russian Consul General in south India, has assured full commitment to all the Koodankulam units and said “the ties in this regard between the two nations…were guided by mutual interest” (The New Indian Express, May 19, 2013). What indeed is the “mutual interest” that tends to work up the Russian officials in India? Why are the Russian officials nervous about the Koodankulam project and want an immediate commissioning? What are they trying to hide? Who are they trying to protect? The inter-governmental skeletons will start tumbling out of the Koodankulam closet one by one soon.
The Struggle Committee
PMANE

 

Press Release – Koodankulam Is Not Russian?


PMANE

Idinthakarai 627 104
Tirunelveli District
Mobile: 9842154073, 9865683735
For Immediate Release
May 10, 2013
Koodankulam Is Not Russian?
Indian Nukedom Tries to Free up Russia from Liability, Theft and Project Failure!
In an interview to rediff.com, Mr. R. S. Sundar, the site director of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), has claimed that the KKNPP is not a Russian turnkey project. Here is Mr. Sundar’s categorical answer to Mr. A. Ganesh Nadar’s specific question:
Is this a Russian turn-key project?
“Absolutely not! This is not a Russian turn-key project. This is one misconception many people have. This is not a turn-key project. The technology — that is the design, the drawings, the equipment — has been supplied by the Russian Federation. But the entire construction, starting from the civil construction, the mechanical component, the electrical component, the instrumentation component, erection, has been done by Indian engineers and Indian contractors. BHEL, Larsen & Toubro, the Electronic Corporation of India among others have done all the work. The commissioning has also been done by Indian engineers.”
But on November 20, 1988, Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi signed an agreement and it clearly pointed out that the Soviet vendor Atomenergoexport would supply the reactors “constructed on a turnkey basis.” On February 29, 1989, V.S.G. Rao, project director of the Koodankulam Project, said that “the USSR will use Indian contractors and laborers even though the reactors will be supplied on a turnkey basis.” On October 12, 1989, Chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) M. R. Srinivasan said that the signing of the contract for turnkey execution of the project would come only after the design study was completed.
In December 1995, India no longer wanted a turnkey operation, as was originally agreed. Instead, India wished to obtain pressurized water reactor technology that would allow it to build its own plant “like China.” On February 15, 1997, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoriy Karasin affirmed Moscow’s intention to build two 1,000 MW LWRs in India and said that construction was a “bilateral issue.”
A supplementary agreement to the IGA was signed in New Delhi on June 21, 1998, by the Russian Minister for Atomic Energy Yevgeny Adamov and the AEC Chairman and DAE Secretary Dr. R. Chidambaram. Under this agreement, the Russians were to provide the reactor designs and supply the equipment and NPCIL would build the reactors. But “a team of Russian specialists would stay at the site to render technical assistance at all stages of construction, in the installation of reactor equipment and in the commissioning and operation of the reactors until the final takeover by NPCIL’s operators” (emphasis added; Frontline 2004).
In January 1995, a Rossiiskaya Gazeta article quoted Russian Minister of Atomic Energy Viktor Mikhailov as saying that some 1,000 Russian nuclear experts would work on the Koodankulam project. The NPCIL has confirmed officially (in its letter No. NPCIL/VSB/CPIO/2574/KKNPP/2013/737 dated April 29, 2013) now: “As on 31.03.2013 there were around 110 no.s of Russian specialists working in KKNPP. NPCIL has no information regarding their pay scales etc.”
In the light of the above, how does Mr. Sundar question the turnkey nature of the project now? By insisting that the KKNPP is not a Russian turnkey project, and is actually built with components from South Korea, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and other countries, is the Indian nuclear establishment trying to set Russia free from supplier liability, enormous amount of theft and the abject failure of the KKNPP Unit 1?
If the Russians supplied only the technology and the Indian companies such as BHEL, Larsen & Toubro, Electronic Corporation of India, Hindustan Construction Company, Simplex Concrete Piles (India) etc. did the construction, instrumentation and erection, are they responsible for any accidents and liable in any way? While the Russian and the Indian companies make huge profits and engage in financial improprieties, why should the Indian public bear the cost of supplier and operator liability?
The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) thinks that the Indian nuclear establishment, especially the NPCIL, is bending backwards with hidden and hideous intentions of freeing up the Russians from liability commitments, and rampant corruption and theft in the totally failed Koodankulam project.
The Struggle Committee
PMANE
Sources:
[] R. Adam Moody, “The Indian-Russian Light Water Reactor Deal,” The Nonproliferation Review/Fall 1997.
[] T. S. Subramanian, “Setting standards,” Frontline, 21/8 (April 10, 2004)

 

AERB’s sloppy sarkari reply on Koodankulam


People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu
Phone: 98656 83735; 98421 54073
April 19, 2013
koodankulam@yahoo.com

Untrustworthy AERB and Its Sloppy Sarkari Reply for the Koodankulam Fiasco

The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has finally woken up, it
seems. They have just acknowledged with great awkwardness: “…during
testing of thousands of valves installed in the plant, the
performances of four valves of a particular type were found deficient.
As corrective measures, the valve components are being replaced by
NPCIL and their performance is further being subjected to regulatory
review. Subsequent clearances will be granted by AERB only after a
satisfactory review.”

So, according to the AERB, it is a simple problem of just four valves
malfunctioning in the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP). What
an irresponsible and disingenuous explanation to a very complex and
dangerous problem that is deeply mired in corruption, theft,
wastefulness, shoddiness and sheer inefficiency.

No one in India can have any kind of trust and confidence in the AERB
anymore. We would bring the attention of the Indian citizens to the
Comptroller and Auditor General’s Report No. 9/2012-13 on the
“Activities of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board” published in August
2012. It pointed out so many flaws and problems in the regulatory
mechanism of the atomic energy establishment in India.

This discredited agency’s sloppy sarkari reply begs many more
important questions:

[1] Were the first and the second “hydro tests” at KKNPP complete
failures then? Why doesn’t the AERB say anything about these tests?

[2] How did the AERB give clearance to the “initial fuel loading”
(IFL) with all these four valves malfunctioning?

[3] The PMANE posed the following 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.”

If the “well established AERB documents on QA Codes and Guides … were
followed during the safety review of KKNPP,” how did the AERB team
fail to find out about these four valves earlier? Which AERB officials
are responsible for this valve malfunctioning oversight? Why did the
AERB have to wait until the former AERB chief, Dr. Gopalakrishnan,
spoke about the Koodankaulam project?

[4] 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 from Russia. Does the AERB consider the
KKNPP as a Russian project or an international collaboration project?
Does the AERB have the complete list of all these various parts and
equipment? How were the “well established AERB documents on QA Codes
and Guides” followed during the safety review of all these various
parts and equipment from all different sources?

[5] Dr. M. R. Srinivasan, the former chief of the Atomic Energy
Commission, has publicly acknowledged now: “We sought an additional
safety mechanism well before the Fukushima disaster. The safety
mechanism consists of valves. The original reactor design had to be
altered and I feel this is the basic cause for delay.” According to
him, the valves were designed partially in India and Russia and
compatibility with the reactor led to some hiccups
(http://newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/article1517314.ece).
Did the AERB authorize the alteration of the “original reactor
design”? If so, when did the AERB authorize it? What authorization
procedure was followed? And who in the AERB authorized the later
“refit” in the reactor? What was this “refit” all about?

[6] Izhorskiye Zavody, which is part of United Machinery Plants (OMZ)
holding, signed a contract with India for the construction of two
nuclear reactor bodies for Kudankulam’s station in 2002. They shipped
a new nuclear reactor body that would be the first power unit of
India’s Kudankulam nuclear power plant to the city’s sea port. Yevgeny
Sergeyev, general director of Izhorskiye Zavody, said at a ceremony
sending off the reactor: “We were so sure of our partners that we
started to produce the first reactor bodies four months before the
official contract was signed.” Sergeyev said the reactor was completed
six months before deadline (The St Petersburg Times, 19 November 2004,
http://sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=2135). How were the
“well established AERB documents on QA Codes and Guides” followed
during the safety review of the reactor bodies? Is that why we found
belt-line welds much later in the RPVs in sharp contrast to the
original
design?

The Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Nuclear
Supervision, Rostekhnadzor, claimed in 2009: “The main causes of
violations in the NPP construction works are insufficient
qualifications, and the personnel’s meagre knowledge of federal norms
and rules, design documentation, and of the technological processes of
equipment manufacturing. In particular, the top management of
Izhorskiye Zavody [supplier of RPV] have been advised of the low
quality of the enterprise’s products and have been warned that
sanctions might be enforced, up to suspending the enterprise’s
equipment production licence”
(http://www.gosnadzor.ru/osnovnaya_deyatelnost_slujby/otcheti-o-deyatelnosti-sluzhbi-godovie/).

As Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan has pointed out in response to the AERB’s
sloppy sarkari reply, “the AERB comes up with a very minimal and
partial admission. Their clarification has left out many other flaws,
including potential corrupt practices, lack of adequate quality
assurance, and total & unnecessary secrecy in safety regulation of
civilian nuclear plants.”

To sum up tersely, the AERB has no integrity or credibility and should
call off the Koodankulam project completely instead of explaining away
the dangerous issues involved in the project and making us all guinea
pigs to test the Indian nuclear establishment’s corruption,
inefficiency and black market procurement practices.

The Struggle Committee
The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

 

Koodankulam Must Be Stopped: Dr. A Gopalakrishnan #nuclear


DiaNuke

Dr. A Gopalakrishnan, the former Chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, has raised some urgent issues in his article in the New Indian Express today that the government must address before commissioning Koodankulam.

Please click on the picture to read the article in the E-paperPlease click on the picture to read the article in the E-paper

The first of the two 1000 MWe VVER nuclear reactors at Koodankulam Project (KKNP-1), under commissioning and testing , is supplied by the Russian atomic energy corporation, Rosatom ,through its subsidiary, Atomstroyexport. On the Indian side , the KKNP project is owned by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) , a public sector undertaking of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) . The overall safety regulation responsibility is with the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) .

Crucial materials and reactor parts have been exported to KKNP-1 & 2 by a Russian government-owned company called Machine-Building Plant ZiO-Podolsk (ZiO) , which is another Rosatom subsidiary. ZiO-Podolsk supplies have been sent for years to all the Russian nuclear power plants, and to most of the VVER plants exported to countries like India, Iran, China and Bulgaria. These include important safety subsystems , equipment , components and materials supplied over the years to KKNP-1 & 2 .

KKNP-1 was originally scheduled to start operation in early 2010 , but presently even the final start-up testing is not completed . In January 2013 , the Secretary, DAE, stated that he was totally certain that the reactor would be started that month itself, but it did not happen.

From NPCIL’s continuing inability to start-up KKNP-1 till now , it is very obvious that the Indo-Russian commissioning team at Koodankulam is facing some serious problems which they never anticipated.

The congenital lack of transparency from which the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the nuclear sector organisations are suffering always prevents the public from knowing the real story. The DAE Secretary’s reasons for the delay in KKNP-1 start-up is that “ the engineers have opened up a few of the valves and such components for maintenance and it’s taking some time.” M.R Srinivasan, Member (AEC), is reported to have said, “We sought an additional safety mechanism , which consists of valves. The original reactor design had to be altered and I believe this is the basic cause for delay . The valves were designed partially in India and Russia and compatibility with the reactor led to some hiccups.”

The fact that a high-cost , high-risk nuclear reactor is facing defects and deficiencies in its components and equipment even before it is started up is highly unusual, and this indicates gross failures at several levels in the DAE-AERB-NPCIL-Atomstroyexport combine.

If designs have been checked and followed , procurement of materials and fabrication have been done as per technical specifications, testing and quality control at the manufacturer’s shops were comprehensive, and NPCIL’s Quality Assurance (QA) before acceptance of supplies at site were strictly as per nuclear norms, these problems could not have arisen at the commissioning stage.

If news trickling out of KKNP-1 site is to be trusted, the Russian special check valves in the passive long-term core flooding system (hydroaccumulator system- stage 2) are defective as received and, at this late hour an order to manufacture one or more such valves has been placed on a reputed Hyderabad company. One or more of the new Russian valves show cracks even at the finish of initial commissioning tests. Similarly, the passive heat removal system (PHRS) is not functioning as per specifications, because the damper — air heat exchanger — vane system has not been integrally tested at the Russian manufaturer’s works as required and problems were not sorted out there itself . There are other problems to list, but the above are typical of the flaws holding up the reactor commissioning. Almost all these malfunctioning components and sub-systems have been produced by ZiO-Podolsk, and all of them are crucial to the safety of the plant, under beyond-design-basis accidents.

The Bellona Foundation, an international environmental NGO based in Norway
(), stated (http://www.anti-atom.ru/en/node/3468 ) in February 2012 that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) had arrested Sergei Shutov, the procurement director of ZiO-Podolsk, on charges of corruption and fraud. The FSB has charged Shutov with buying low-quality raw materials on the cheap over the years, passing them off as high-quality materials, and pocketing the difference.

It is not clear how many reactors have been impacted by this alleged crime, but reactors built by Russia in India, Bulgaria, Iran and China are among those suspected to have received sub-standard equipment and components, given the timeframe of work completed.

Bulgaria has already asked Atomstroyexport and ZiO-Podolsk to provide details of materials used in their reactors, including quality certificates. Similarly , China’s Tianwan plant has two VVER-1000 reactors, and the Chinese have raised several hundred queries regarding the low quality of materials and components.

Investigative Journalists, an NGO based in the Armenian capital, has said that the use of substandard materials could lead to a nuclear disaster. “Stopping and conducting full scale checks of reactors where equipment from ZiO-Podolsk has been installed is absolutely necessary,” Vladimir Slivyak, co-chair of Russian environmental NGO Ecodefence, said recently.“Otherwise the risk of a serious accident at a nuclear power plant, whose clean-up bill, stretching into the tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars, will have to be footed by taxpayers.”

The problems with ZiO-Podolsk supplies to the KKNP-1 Project, seen in the context of the widespread allegations of corruption and poor quality, indicate that the root cause of KKNP-1 problems lies in those sub-standard supplies. Recent questions raised under RTI to the AERB and NPCIL resulted only in evasive and pointless replies. Asked about parts supplied by ZiO, AERB says “the selection of a company for supplying any equipment to NPCIL is not under the purview of AERB.” For the same query, NPCIL says, “No information regarding any investigation against ZiO-Podolsk is available to NPCIL”. Both these DAE organisations were lying in these replies, as is evident from the following facts.

The website of the Russian Embassy in India carries the news of a senior Indian delegation headed by AP Joshi, Special Secretary, DAE having visited ZiO-Podolsk from July 15-18, 2012, just about five months after the arrest of Sergei Shutov, Zio-Podolsk’s Procurement Director, for fraud and corruption in sending out inferior products to national and foreign reactor projects , including KKNP-1 & 2.

The Indian Embassy in Moscow and the NPCIL / DAE personnel stationed there must have certainly known about Shutov’s arrest , and the inherent serious implications of his actions on the safety of KKNP-1 & 2. They would have briefed the DAE Secretary about it immediately and through him the PMO would also have been alerted . And yet , both AERB and NPCIL pretend to take the ZiO-Podolsk matter very lightly and feign ignorance .

One can only surmise that the PMO & the DAE quickly realied the gravity of the potentially explosive situation that could develop vis-a-vis Koodankulam reactor safety, following Shutov’s arrest, because by then several crucial equipment, components and materials with alleged poor quality and deficiencies have been already installed in various parts of both units at KKNP and Unit-1 was on its way to commissioning. The PMO & DAE seem to have decided to weather the storm through the joint execution of an Indo-Russian cover-up plan, and hold a firm position that all is well with KKNP supplies.

After a fire-fighting strategy was framed in India , it would appear that the PMO despatched the Special Secretary, DAE, and his team to visit ZiO-Podolsk and spent three days to firm up the modus operandi of tackling the rather tricky situation which could develop in India once the protesters and the courts of law come to know of the scam details. After all , the PMO’s top priority is to meet the PM’s promise to President Putin that KKNP-1 will be started up in April 2013, and public safety and corruption come only after that .

There could be a large number of equipment, components and materials of substandard quality from ZiO-Podolsk already installed in various parts of KKNP-1& 2 whose deficiencies and defects are dormant today, but these very same shortcomings may cause such parts to catastrophically fail when the reactor is operated for some time .

Many such parts and materials may have been installed within the reactor pressure vessel itself, which is now closed and sealed in preparation for the start-up. Once the reactor is made critical and reaches power operation, much of these components and materials inside will become radioactive and/or will be in environments where they cannot be properly tested for quality or performance.

Under the circumstances , KKNP Unit-1 commissioning and KKNP-2 construction work must be stopped forthwith, and there can be no question of resuming these works towards start-up of both these reactors until a thorough and impartial investigation is carried out into the impact of this corruption scandal and sub-standard supplies on the safety of these reactors.

And these investigations must be carried out by a team, where majority membership must not be from DAE , NPCIL and AERB, but include subject experts from other organisations in the country.

India must also seriously consider inviting an IAEA expert team specially constituted to investigate the specific issues which this scandal has thrown up.

 

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

 

 

#India -Zio-Podolsk Scandal – Save Our Souls – Part -4 #nuclear


Zio-Podolsk and India Connection

 CharlesDigges

[1] February 9, 2011
“ZIO-Podolsk” and IR “ZIOMAR” a delegation of Indian firms WALCHANDNAGAR INDUSTRIES LTD (WIL)

The President of the Technology Centre of the company WALCHANDNAGAR INDUSTRIES LTD (WIL) Mr. N.M. Nadaf  led the Indian delegation, February 8 – 9, 2012 paid a visit to the machine-building plant “ZIO-Podolsk” and visited the EC “ZIOMAR.” The purpose of the visit – negotiations to establish a joint venture for the localization of equipment manufacturing plant in India. The talks brought together representatives of WALCHANDNAGAR, plant management and engineering company “ZIOMAR.” Company WALCHANDNAGAR, which consists of 3 factories of all kinds of equipment – from nuclear energy and space to boilers for the sugar industry, is actively developing its management plans – building a new plant for the production of heavy equipment. This reactor vessel, steam generators, etc.

During the two-day visit of Indian delegation guests visited the factory museum, learned about the history, achievements, quality system of our businesses. As experienced production workers, they are very closely acquainted with the activities of the factory, and they were interested in our products, and tools, and mechanisms that are used in workshops, and technology. Thoroughly acquainted in the shops of the main production with the manufacture of equipment for the nuclear power industry, continued to meet in the meeting room. There were many questions about the manufacture of products plant nomenclature ZIO from which to conclude that the Indian IT firms have come to us on a tour, and with the clear intention to learn from and to establish close contacts for long-term cooperation.
http://www.aozio.ru/news/2011/09-02-2011-1/

[2] February 17, 2011

“ZIO-Podolsk” and WIL can be established in India co-production of equipment for nuclear power plants

Machine-Building Plant “ZIO-Podolsk” and “Walchandnagar Industries Ltd.” (WIL) may set up a joint venture in India for the production of equipment for nuclear power stations. February 9-10, the Indian delegation led by President of Technology’s Center WIL NM Nadaf visited “ZIO-Podolsk” and the engineering company “ZIOMAR” in Podolsk, near Moscow. As reported by the JSC “ZIO-Podolsk” during the visit, the negotiations on the establishment of a joint venture in India in the framework of local production of equipment for nuclear power plant construction projects of the future of Russian technology.

The structure consists of three WIL plant equipment for a range of industries, including nuclear power. The company plans – building a new plant for the production of heavy equipment for nuclear power plants – reactor vessels, steam generators, etc. During his visit to Podolsk Indian delegation familiarized with the activity “ZIO-Podolsk”, paying special attention to the range of products, technologies, machines and equipment, which are used in plants for the production of equipment for nuclear power. According to the report, “ZIO-Podolsk” WIL representatives arrived at the factory “with the clear intention to learn from and to establish close contacts for long-term cooperation.”    http://www.atomic-energy.ru/news/2011/02/17/18801

[3] July 18, 2012

The delegation of the Departme of Atomic Energy of the Government of India visits of “ZIO-Podolsk” (Another news item from the Russian Embassy in India about the visit)

A delegation of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) of the Government of India as part of a special department of the Secretary A. Joshi, Deputy Secretary of the DAE N. Kumar, manager of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission P. Dzhogesha.Accompanied the delegates head of JSC “ASE” / JSC “NIAEP” J. Kucher. The purpose of the visit – familiarity with the company and discuss issues related to preparations for the construction of the block number 3 and number 4 NPP “Kudankulam“.

Met the guests executive director, chief engineer of the plant Davydov and chief technology officer – Deputy Chief Engineer Terekhov. A small digression on the history of the company has been illustrated exhibits of the exhibition hall, and the film presentation helped to get an idea of ​​the current state and strategic plans “ZIO-Podolsk.” The most fully functioning members of the DAE presented at the factory Quality Management System (QMS) Quality Director T. Lizunova revealed the overall structure of the QMS, and the head of the Central Laboratory of non-destructive testing N. Zlobin responded to questions regarding used at different stages of the monitoring equipment.

The delegates were then conducted on the block production facilities engaged in the manufacture of equipment for nuclear power plants, including those offered to examine the site of a clean build of welding and assembly shop, where is an extremely important operation: filling the steam generator tube bundle.

Of particular interest aroused by the possibility of an Indian company in welding and drilling is thick, and the obvious signs of modernization of the plant: the production processes involved in the machinery of world famous brands and the vacated space for the installation of new CNC machines.

Demonstrating the process of plasma cutting, rolling and welding of metal shells in one of the machine shops, Andrei Davydov said: “We have made equipment for nuclear power plants in China, now produce equipment for the Bulgarian NPP” Belene “and we hope soon to begin work for new NPPs” Kudankulam. “

His impressions shared by Mr. Joshi: “Excellent presentation and representation of the plant, everything was wonderful. We really liked what we saw. Striking that at the beginning of the way was a locomotive repair plant, and then, by the progressive introduction of new and more modern technology, has become one of the leading enterprises of nuclear engineering. “

24/07/2012

[4] July 19, 2012

A delegation of the Department of Atomic Energy of the Government of India visited ZIO-Podolsk

AtomEnergoMash, Posted 19.07.2012

From 15 to 18 July the delegation’s visit to Moscow, the Department of Atomic Energy of the Government of India. The delegation included Special Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy A. Joshi, Deputy Secretary of the DAE Ninian Kumar and manager of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission Dzhogesh paddy.

During the visit, talks, where he was considered a range of issues related to the preparation for the launch nuclear power N1 “Kudankulam” the progress of the power unit N2 and preparation for construction of the third and fourth units, as well as signed a number of contracts relating to the implementation of the current phase of cooperation nuclear power plant (NPP) “Kudankulam”.

During the visit, the parties signed a protocol to the Russian-Indian intergovernmental agreement on the conditions of the Russian state credit for the third and fourth reactors at NPP “Kudankulam”.

Another purpose of the visit of Indian delegation was visiting engineering plant “ZIO-Podolsk” (included in the engineering division of “Rosatom” – “Atomenergomash”).

Representatives of the Department of Atomic Energy of the Government of India acquainted with the company and discussed issues related to preparations for the construction of the block number 3 and number 4 NPP “Kudankulam”.

During the visit, a presentation of the Quality Management System (QMS) and non-destructive testing equipment, inspection of production facilities engaged in the manufacture of equipment for nuclear power plants, including the area clean build of welding and assembly plant, where the stuffing is the steam generator tube bundle.

Representatives of the Indian government delegation praised the production capacity of machine-building plant “ZIO-Podolsk” and expressed their satisfaction with the visit.

JSC “Machine-Building Plant” ZIO-Podolsk “(” ZIO-Podolsk “) – the largest producer of heat-exchange equipment for the fuel and energy complex: nuclear and thermal power plants, oil and gas industry. 40% of the installed generating capacity in Russia, CIS and Baltic countries are equipped with the brand “ZIO”, including 100% of nuclear power plants, starting with the world’s first nuclear power plant in Obninsk.

[5] July 20, 2012

A delegation of the Department of Atomic Energy of the Government of India visited ZIO-Podolsk

During the visit, talks , where he was considered the complex issues related to the preparation for the launch of power N1 NPP “Kudankulam” progress to the construction of the third and fourth units, as well as signed a number kontraktk Russian-Indian intergovernmental agreement and fourth units in engineering and discussed voprk construction blocks number 3 and number 4, and non-destructive testing equipment, inspection of manufacturing tsehv manufacture of equipment for nuclear power plants, including the area clean build of welding and assembly shop, where is filling the steam generator tube bundle. Representatives of the Indian government delegation praised the production capacity of machine-building plant “ZIO-Podolsk” and expressed their satisfactionvisit.

Source: http://www.atomic-energy.ru/news/2012/07/20/34953  

http://kractivist.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/zio-podolsk-scandal-save-our-souls-part-1-nuclear/

http://kractivist.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/zio-podolsk-scandal-save-our-souls-part-2-nuclear/

http://kractivist.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/zio-podolsk-scandal-save-our-souls-part-3-nuclear/

 

Zio-Podolsk Scandal – Save Our Souls Part – 3 #nuclear


Rosatom-owned company accused of selling shoddy equipment to reactors at home and abroad, pocketing profits

CharlesDigges, 28-02-2012

Russian Federal Prosecutors have accused a company owned by the country’s nuclear energy corporation, Rosatom, with massive corruption and manufacturing substandard equipment for nuclear reactors under construction both at home and abroad.

The ZiO-Podolsk machine building plant’s procurement director, Sergei Shutov, has been arrested for buying low quality raw materials on the cheap and pocketing the difference as the result of an investigation by the Federal Security Service, or FSB, the successor organization to the KGB.

It is not clear how many reactors have been impacted by the alleged crime, but reactors built by Russia in India, Bulgaria, Iran, China as well as several reactor construction and repair projects in Russia itself may have been affected by cheap equipment, given the time frame of works completed at the stations and the scope of the investigation as it has been revealed by authorities.

“The scope of this scandal could reach every reactor in Russian and every reactor built by Russia over the past several years and demands immediate investigation,” said Bellona President Frederic Hauge. “Were is the political leadership in the Russian government to deal with such a crime?”

Hauge expressed outrage that an alleged crime of such a massive scale was not leading to immediate action to check each reactor that may have been affected by the profit pocketing scheme, and he was frustrated that the FSB and prosecutors were not naming specific reactors that may be involved.

“As long as the Russian government is not investigating this case correctly, we will have to ask international society to do it,” he said.  “Bellona will be taking further action in this case.” Vladimir Slivyak, co-chair of Russia’s Ecodefense agreed.

“Stopping and conducting full-scale checks of reactors where equipment from ZiO-Podolsk has been installed is absolutely necessary,” said Slivyak. “Otherwise [there is] the risk of a serious accident at a nuclear power plant with cleanup bills stretching into the tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars [that] will have to be footed by taxpayers.”

The criminal case was opened against ZiO-Poldolsk in December, but information about the investigation was released in the Russia media via the official Rosbalt agency only last week –  a common circumstance in FSB-associated investigations.

The charges leveled against ZiO-Podolsk, which is Russia’s only manufacturer of steam generators for nuclear plants built by Rosatom domestically and by its international reactor construction subsidiary Atomstroiproyekt are a staggering blow to Rosatom’s credibility.

ZiO-Podolsk is a subsidiary organization of Atomenergomash, founded in 2006. Atomenergomash was acquired by Atomenergoprom, which is 100-percent state-owned, in 2007. Atomenergoprom is a part of Rosatom.

But the paperwork is rather a technicality for a machine works that has been involved with the nuclear industry since its inception. Founded in 1919, ZiO-Podolsk produced the boiler for the first electricity-producing nuclear reactor at Obninsk in 1952, and has produced the boilers for every Russian reactor built ever since.

A shudder in the environmental community

According to prosecutors, ZiO-Podolsk began shipping shoddy equipment in 2007 or perhaps even earlier. This has implications for the safety of nuclear power plants built by, or that bought equipment from, Rosatom in Bulgaria, China, India and Iran – as well as Russia – striking a chord of outrage and distress among environmental groups.

ZiO-Podolsk is also making critical parts for the reactor pressure vessel and other main equipment for the BN-800 fast reactor at Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant, in Russia’s Sverdlovsk Region in the Urals, a source told Bellona on the condition of anonymity.

The machine works giant is also making steam generators for Russia’s Novovoronezh, Kalinin, and Leningrad Nuclear Power Plants, and Belene in Bulgaria, according to the London-based World Nuclear Association.

The case assembled against ZiO-Podolsk involves embezzlement of state funding intended for purchases of raw material that are compatible with contemporary safety standards for nuclear reactors, Rosbalt reported.

The FSB investigation

According to the FSB investigation – which was described in unusual detail by the news wire – procurement director Shutov allegedly purchased low-grade steel for equipment in collusion with ZiO-Podolsk’s supplier AТОМ-Industriya. That company’s general director, Dmitry Golubev, is currently at large after embezzlement charges were filed against him by the same Moscow court that ordered Shutov’s arrest, Rosbalt quoted FSB sources as saying.

The scheme between Shutov and Golubev allegedly involved Shutov turning a blind eye to inferior quality steel in return for a large portion of the profits reaped by ATOM-Industriya, the FSB told Rosbalt, citing transactions that were accounted for in bookkeeping documents the security service said it confiscated from the financial director of ATOM-Industriya.

“This company purchased cheap steel in Ukraine and then passed it off as [a] more expensive [grade]; the revenues were shared by the scam’s organizers,” an FSB source was quoted by Rosbalt as saying.

FSB agents said that ATOM-Industriya produced some 100 million roubles’ (€2.5 million) worth of pipe sheets, reactor pit bottoms, and reservoirs for ZiO-Podolsk – equipment that was delivered to Russian and foreign reactors – including an order of so-called tube plates for high-pressure heaters at Bulgaria’s Kozloduy NPP. High-pressure heaters, while having no relation to the safe operation of reactors, are used to improve efficiency of power output.

Bulgarian plant expressing concern

When Rosbalt ran its detailed story last week, the management of Kozloduy NPP was quick to respond by releasing an early statement saying its two heaters had been “functioning flawlessly”  since their installation dates in 2010 and 2011.

A statement released 10 hours later that day carried by a different news agency, however, reported that Kozloduy NPP CEO Alexander Nikolov had sent off a letter to ZiO-Podolsk and Atomstroiexport demanding that they certify the quality of the metal in the heaters.

The FSB alleged to Rosbalt that the use of shoddy steel in the case of the heaters manufactured for Kozloduy NPP alone netted a black profit of 39 million roubles (€1 million) for ATOM-Industriya.

Detailed report likely true

Ecodefense’s Slivyak said he believed the Rosbalt report and its copious quotations from the typically secretive FSB to be on the level.

Aside from the suspicions raised by Kozloduy NPP, Slivyak also said that the Russian built Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant in China had previously complained to Rosatom with over 3,000 grievances regarding the low quality of materials delivered to construct the plant, lending credence to the FSB’s version of events.

Slivyak further noted the FSB, which functions as an attack dog for the government of Vladimir Putin, has nothing politically to gain by giving Rosatom – a pet corporation in Putin’s  “power vertical” – a black eye.

The week following Robalt’s article, Rosatom, which had previously refused comment, and Atomenergomash, released a bristling denial as interesting for what it does say as for what it leaves unsaid.

“Rosatom and Atomenergomash deny information related to substandard equipment at nuclear power station that was delivered by ZiO-Podolsk,” read the joint statement. The companies say that “all possible announcements about unsuitable production quality at ZiO-Podolsk are knowingly incorrect and mistaken.”

The statement continued, saying: “A stringent multi-layered system of quality control is in place at ZiO-Podolsk, encompassing all level of production: from expert evaluations of received materials and ores to final inspection of products. Evaluations of the compliance of equipment’s quality delivered to foreign nuclear power stations is carried out by the authorized organization OAO Zarubezhatomenergostroi.”

But the joint statement failed to contradict information supplied to Rosbalt by prosecutors concerning the arrests of upper-management officials at ZiO-Podolsk and ATOM-Industriya.

Two spokesmen for the FSB contacted by Bellona confirmed the version of events their colleagues described to Rosbalt, but refused to discuss “an ongoing investigation” further. They also refused to comment on what other nuclear power plants besides Kozloduy may have been affected by defective materials from ZiO-Podolsk.

http://www.bellona.org/articles/articles_2012/podolsk_corruption

http://kractivist.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/zio-podolsk-scandal-save-our-souls-part-1-nuclear/

http://kractivist.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/zio-podolsk-scandal-save-our-souls-part-2-nuclear/

http://kractivist.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/india-zio-podolsk-scandal-save-our-souls-part-4-nuclear/

 

Zio-Podolsk Scandal – Save Our Souls – Part 2 #Nuclear


Zio-Podolsk: The Complete Story

By- CharlesDigges

It all started on May 2, 1919 as the repair assembly plant called the Steam-Engine. Repair of locomotives was carried out until 1930. A total of 863 locomotives repaired.

In 1931, the plant was converted to KES – Cracking-electric locomotive and in the same year, in a record time (for 3 months and 25 days), produced the first Soviet cracking unit for the petrochemical industry. In those years, the company, except for crackers, produced narrow-gauge steam locomotives, railroad cars, industrial and mining locomotives locomotives, tubing for the Moscow metro, and many other products.

At the request of the workers on April 8, 1936 the plant was named commissar of heavy industry, and the plant was called Podolsk Engineering Plant named after Ordzhonikidze (ZIO).

In 1941 the factory ceased production of civilian products (part of the equipment along with the workers had been evacuated to the Urals), and all the facilities were transferred to large-scale production for the needs of the defense industry. The plant manufactured the case of grenades, anti-tank obstacles, repairing tanks and guns were equipped with armored combat aircraft IL-2.

In 1942, after the evacuation in Podolsk Taganrog Boiler plant, ZIO was carrying out repair of steam boilers, and then, in 1946, made the first steam boiler with the trademark “ZIO”. The plant has priority in the field of domestic quick steam generators, production of which began in the late 40’s. For 70 years, has produced over 700 boilers of different capacities and options for 152 domestic and foreign power plants with total capacity of over 66 million kW, including more than 16 million kWh for export.

Since 1952, starting with the construction of the world’s first nuclear power plant in Obninsk, the plant produced the most responsible of mechanical equipment for nuclear power plants. Equipment labeled “ZIO” installed on all nuclear power plants built in the Soviet Union. Foreign nuclear power plants with VVER-440 and VVER-1000 is also equipped with the equipment of the plant.

Since 2000, the plant is called of “Mashinostroitelnyyzavod” ZIO-Podolsk. ” Since 2007, the factory is a holding company “Atomenergomash” – power engineering division of the State Corporation “Rosatom”. The main customers include the State Corporation “Rosatom”, OAO “Gazprom”, and “Mosenergo.”

General manager:        Igor Kotov

Tel.: +7 (495) 747 25 October dob.2022
Fax: +7 (495) 747 25 October dob.2325
E-mail: zio@eatom.ru

Executive director :     Andrei Davydov, S.

Tel.: +7 (495) 747-10-02
Fax: +7 (495) 747-10-25 ext. 2325
E-mail: zio@eatom.ru

Chief engineer:                        Anatoly Rubtsov

Tel.: +7 (495) 747-10-25 ext. 2012
Fax: +7 (495) 747-10-25 dob.2325
E-mail: m.dragomir @eatom.ru

Director of Production: Sergeants Vladimir V.

Tel.: +7 (495) 747-10-25 dob.2004, +7 (4967) 65-42-89
Fax: +7 (495) 747-10-25 dob.2211
E-mail: ziopr@eatom.ru

Chief Technologist – Deputy Chief Engineer: Viktor Terekhov

Tel.: +7 (495) 747-10-25 ext. 2031
Fax: +7 (495) 747-10-25 ext. 2213
E-mail: ogt@eatom.ru

Director of Quality:    Lizunova Tatiana

Tel.: +7 (495) 747-10-25 ext. 2013
Fax: +7 (495) 747-10-23
E-mail: t.lizunova @eatom.ru

Purchasing Director:   Bruises Andrey

Tel.: +7 (495) 747 10 25 * 2002
Tel.: +7 (495) 747 May 10
Fax: +7 (495) 747 25 October 2170 *
E-mail: a.sinyakov@eatom.ru

Director of Development and Investment: Arkady V. Kuznetsov

Tel.: +7 (495) 747 25 October 2007 *
E-mail: av.kuznecov@eatom.ru

FSB looked into nuclear reactor, atom industry

As the “Rosbaltu,” the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation is investigating the theft in the production of assemblies for nuclear power plants operating in Russia and abroad. According to the Russian Federal Security Service, the equipment for nuclear power plants was made from cheaper than normal steels, and the proceeds of fraud were divided among managers of several major companies of the nuclear industry. The Purchasing Director of Engineering Plant “ZIO-Podolsk” Sergei Shutov has been taken into custody.

As the “Rosbaltu” RF IC criminal case filed back in 2011 based on the Federal Security Service (into the theft of funds allocated by the state for the purchase of blanks for equipment for nuclear power plants). In December, in fact there were specific suspects. It is the leaders of the “Atom-Industry” (the supplier of products for the nuclear and power engineering) CEO Dmitry Golubev and Managing Director Olga Fedorova, as well as purchasing director of “Machine-Building Plant” ZIO-Podolsk “Sergei Shutov.” ZIO-Podolsk “- one of the largest Russian manufacturers of equipment for the nuclear industry (in particular, it supplies the machines for the nuclear power plants in Iran, India, Bulgaria and China ).

In the “Atom-industry” and “ZIO Podolsk” SK and the FSB raided, during which, according to a source in the security services agency, were seized documents showing that the misappropriation of funds of the nuclear industry have been put on stream. Believe in the RF IC, “Atom-Industry” supplied the blanks from cheaper brands of metal “ZIO-Podolsk,” and there are manufactured equipment for nuclear power plants. The plant on the poor quality of incoming goods “blind eye” Purchasing Director Sergei Shutov.

During a search of the “Atom-Industry” has been removed “black accounting”, hosted by Chief Financial Officer Diane Dmitrieva. The documents indicated that Shutov receive a share of profits received by JSC “Atom-industry” of large-scale fraud. The decision of the Basmanny Court of Moscow December 27, 2011 Sergei Shutov was arrested. He was charged under Section 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code (fraud on a large scale). Similar charges were brought against the leaders of the “Atom-industry”, and Dmitry Golubev – in absentia.

As explained by “Rosbalt” a source in the security services, “ZIO-Podolsk” since 2007, signed with JSC “Atom-industry” a series of agreements (the supply pipe plates, heads, shells, etc.) for a total amount of more than 100 million rubles. These blanks later used for the production of equipment supplied to the largest nuclear power plants in Russia and other countries. In particular, the tube sheets shipped “Atom-industry”, used in the production of high pressure heaters for the NPP “Kozloduy” (Bulgaria). Later, however, it became clear that the “Atom-Industry” delivered “ZIO-Podolsk” tube plate and the bottom, made of much cheaper grades of steel than was stipulated in the contract.

As a result of such substitution only on the supply of four tube sheets illegal proceeds “Atom-Industry” was 39 million rubles. “This company bought cheap steel in the Ukraine, and then betrayed her for the more expensive, the proceeds divided between the organizers of the fraud,” – said the source “Rosbalta” in the security services. He declined to say whether such fraud has affected the quality of the machinery supplied to nuclear power plants, as well as what other stations, except for Bulgaria, was sent with the equipment to use products from the “Atom-industry.”

In most of the “Atom-Industry” correspondent “Rosbalt” said they would not comment on the situation until the investigation is completed. “In 2010, the materials were considered SU UPC Russia in St. Petersburg, there passed a resolution not to institute proceedings in connection with the absence of crime, – one of the company’s employees. – However, more than a year after that the RF IC case filed. We did not do anything illegal, confirmed our right of arbitration awards. ” It is noteworthy that the site is “Atom-Industry” states that in March 2010, the company delivered the blanks for the hydro-power plant, which was then rebuilt after a major industrial disaster.

Notes:

[1] http://aozio.ru/company/predpr/

[2] Alexander Shvarev, http://www.rosbalt.ru/moscow/2012/02/22/949018.html

http://kractivist.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/zio-podolsk-scandal-save-our-souls-part-1-nuclear/

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