#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  

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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

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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

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Zio-Podolsk Scandal – Save Our Souls – Part -1 #Nuclear


By- CharlesDigges

Corruption in Russian Nuclear Industry

If corruption in general is dangerous, it is quite deadly when it happens in the nuclear industry. The ecological group Ecodefense! believes the risks are high enough to result in another Fukushima, while the National Anti-Corruption Committee (NAC) has urged Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Prosecutor General Yury Chaika to initiate investigations into the broadly reported violations and abuses in the nuclear industry, including at new nuclear power plant (NPP) construction sites.

The NAC further refers to reports by the official national daily RossiiskayaGazeta as it says: “[…] in the past six months alone, removed from their posts on suspicion of corruption and other abuses were heads of twelve Rosatom enterprises. In 2010, 35 industry officials were dismissed for the same reasons. In a notorious development last summer, officials with the Main Department for Economic Security and Countering Corruption of the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation detained former Rosatom deputy director YevgenyYevstratov and charged him with embezzling budget funds allocated toward the construction of a number of the corporation’s sites.”

Some of the details concerning the urgent issue of “abuses perpetrated with respect to the industry’s purchases in NPP construction and modernisation projects,” as highlighted by the NAC, which cites media reports, are, in particular, purchases of technological equipment for the cooling towers of the fourth reactor of Kalinin NPP, in Udomlya (some 200 kilometres northwest of Moscow) and the second line of construction at Leningrad NPP, near St. Petersburg:

“Recently, equipment purchases for NPPs have been conducted outside the tender procedure, which is contrary to the law. […] a specially issued regulation […] adopted in 2007 by [Rosatom’s daughter company, national NPP operator] Concern Rosenergoatom allows for the selection of equipment to be bought without conducting a tender – or solely based upon the decision of the design organisation.”

The consequences of corruption schemes that are allegedly employed by Rosatom companies – such as the use of counterfeit and non-certified equipment in the construction of new nuclear reactors – could not have escaped the scrutiny of the federal industrial and ecological safety oversight agency, Rostekhnadzor. As evidenced by facts published in Rostekhnadzor’s yearly report of 2009, new reactor construction is compromised by run-of-the-mill theft – perpetrators substitute cheaper, subquality materials for the ones approved for construction. The federal service reports, for instance, the following incidents at the construction sites of Rostov and Leningrad NPPs:

Problems that apparently plague the construction of new reactors in Russia finally manifested themselves vividly on July 17, 2011, in the crumbling of steel structures and the carcass of a containment building under construction for a new reactor at the site of Leningrad NPP-2.

Besides implementing a number of domestic projects, Rosatom is also building or preparing to build new reactors in other countries – such as the former USSR republics of Ukraine and Belarus, where environmentalists and NGOs are likewise concerned that corruption and below-par construction quality may eventually affect the safety of the future reactors.

“The numerous violations of construction norms and standards, and working conditions, which lead to even serious incidents at NPP construction sites in Russia, cast doubt on the capability of the State Corporation Rosatom and its subcontractor companies of carrying out quality and reliable construction projects as per [Rosatom’s] export contracts, in particular, in Ukraine,” said, for instance, a statement on the website of the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine.

And the Belarusian Anti-Nuclear Campaign, which is one among many Russian and Belarusian organisations trying to prevent the construction, in Belarus’s town of Ostrovets, of a new nuclear power plant to an as-yet untested Rosatom design, wrote this in an address to Russia’s Putin and Belarus’s President Alexander Lukashenko: “The known incidents and deficiencies in the operation and construction of Russian-built NPPs in Russia, Iran, and China, as well as the recent collapse of reinforcing steelwork at the construction site of the containment building at [Leningrad] NPP-2, are evidence that Rosatom and its structures have serious problems of a systemic nature and cannot guarantee the quality of their sites. This propagation of dangerous nuclear technologies places a special responsibility on the Russian government.”

What the Belarusian Anti-Nuclear Campaign is referring to is the less than perfect performance record Rosatom has been showing in its international construction contracts, such as problems with completing and launching the reactor at Iran’s Bushehr or the 3,000 or so complaints brought by China to Rosatom’s notice with regard to the quality of the equipment supplied to a station Rosatom is building there.

At the end of 2010, the Moscow-based ecological group Ecodefense! and Transparency International Russia presented a study that took a look at corruption risks in Rosatom’s purchasing practices – the results of an analysis of some 300 orders placed by the state corporation and posted on its website for open access.

At issue are contracts concluded by Rosatom with external organisations for goods or services needed for particular projects – orders paid with budget funding – and the study highlights prominent corruption risks present in Rosatom’s purchasing activities. Because of a special status the corporation enjoys in the country, Ecodefense! and Transparency International Russia conclude, Rosatom’s purchases are not subject to the jurisdiction of the federal law that establishes procedure for procuring goods or services for state or municipal needs. And even though Rosatom itself provides a set of guidelines for such activities in its Unified Industry Purchases Standard, the restrictions these impose on the purchaser or ordering party are less clearly defined than in that federal law.

Furthermore, a monitoring study of a selected sample of 200 purchasing agreements made by Rosatom revealed numerous violations of the Industry Standard, such as with, for instance, the selection of a particular method for placing an order, failure to provide cost estimate documentation when ordering construction or renovation works, and more.

Altogether, violations of Rosatom’s own purchasing standard were found in 83 contracts – 27 percent of the total sample or 41 percent of the 200 contracts selected for in-depth analysis. Another conclusion was that the laws and regulations that govern Rosatom’s activities where buying goods and services for the corporation’s needs is concerned are fraught with serious deficiencies that leave ample room for corruption risks.

“Corruption in the nuclear industry leads to an impaired safety culture, substandard construction quality, and, as a result, accidents at nuclear sites. With respect to Rosatom, there is no outside control, so there are truly gigantic opportunities there for corruption,” Ecodefense!’s co-chair Vladimir Slivyak told Bellona. “There was corruption [within Rosatom] before, too […] But it is just recently, brought along with a new wave of NPP construction, that corruption processes [within Rosatom] may have reached a record high in the [corporation’s] history.

Rosatom’s former functionary Yevstratov was charged with embezzling 50 million roubles ($1.8 million) in state funding earmarked for the development of spent fuel management technologies. The arrest was hailed as a success in an anti-corruption crusade undertaken jointly by Rosatom and the Ministry of Interior, but it did not look convincing to Bellona’s Alexander Nikitin.

Nikitin, who heads the St. Petersburg-based Environment and Right Center Bellona, said that the term “corruption” is tossed around in contemporary Russia as frequently as charges of espionage, and that a possible explanation for the arrest could be Rosatom’s ardent post-Fukushima efforts to polish its image – something that would make Yevstratov, the head of safety programmes, a sitting duck for an anti-corruption sweep.

Notes:

[1] Corruption: A new Russian Fukushima in the making? (2011 article).

[2] http://www.bellona.org/articles/articles_2011/corruption_rosatom

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

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

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

Your Laughter by Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda


laughter

Poster by  Kamayani Bali Mahabal

 

Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
… do not take from me your laughter.

Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.

My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.

My love, in the darkest
hour your laughter
opens, and if suddenly
you see my blood staining
the stones of the street,
laugh, because your laughter
will be for my hands
like a fresh sword.

Next to the sea in the autumn,
your laughter must raise
its foamy cascade,
and in the spring, love,
I want your laughter like
the flower I was waiting for,
the blue flower, the rose
of my echoing country.

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air,
light, spring,
but never your laughter
for I would die.

Pablo Neruda

 

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