Fishermen protest SC nod for Kudankulam


TIRUNELVELI, May 15, 2013

 

Special Correspondent, The Hindu

Fishermen from coastal hamlets of Tirunelveli district stayed away from the sea on Tuesday as a protest against Supreme Court's judgment in favour of the commissioning of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project first reactor— Photo: A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN

Fishermen from coastal hamlets of Tirunelveli district stayed away from the sea on Tuesday as a protest against Supreme Court‘s judgment in favour of the commissioning of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project first reactor— Photo: A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN

Fishermen in the coastal hamlets of Tirunelveli district abstained from fishing operations in protest against the Supreme Court verdict that allowed the commissioning of the first reactor of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP).

The anti-KKNPP activists, who are staging a series of protests against the upcoming nuclear power project for the past several months, had announced that they would not accept the Supreme Court verdict that allowed the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, the proponent of the project, to commission the first of the two 1,000 MW reactors being built with Russian assistance at Kudankulam.

At a meeting at Idinthakarai last Thursday to discuss the apex court’s judgment, they appealed to the fishermen of Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari districts to abstain from all fishing operations on Tuesday.

Responding to the appeal, country boat fishermen struck work on Tuesday and staged demonstrations in their hamlets against the KKNPP, alleging that the nuclear power project would wipe out their livelihood.

 

Rumours on Kudan­kulam radiation leak trigger scare


Deccan Chronicle | AR. Meyyammai | 17th Feb 2013

MaduraiPanic gripped the fishing hamlets and other villages in the coastal districts of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu and other seaside hamlets in Kerala since the midnight hours of Saturday following a bout of wild rumours on radiation leak from Kudan­kulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP).

Church bells tolled at intermittent hours since midnight and public address systems blared warnings asking the people to assemble at open spaces in their villages since mid night. Fear stricken fishermen and villagers with their families fled their houses half-awake and panicked.

Many, fraught with terror that they would be wiped out at one go if the radiation reached their villages, assembled at the common fast site at Idinthakarai village when the church bells tolled as warnings.

They made frantic calls in their mobiles to their friends and relatives who also rushed to the places to evacuate them. Many had left their villages in available trucks and vehicles to distant towns such as Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Kanya­kumari, Nagercoil and Kollam and Tiruvana­nt­hapuram in Kerala.

KNPP site director R.S.Sundar told Deccan Chronicle, “There is no radiation leak whatsoever. About 4000 people were inside the plant today. It is unfortunate that such rumours are being floated and people believe them.”

With the authorities pointing fingers at the anti-nuke activists for the rumours, People’s Mov­ement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) said conflicting statements from central ministers and plant officials had triggered the alarm among the fishermen. Sundar, however, reacting to the charges of technical faults in the plant, said, “We cannot say technically everything is alright.

Integrated checks on several components of the plant are being conducted and we are finetuning the testing process. It will take some more days for the tests to be completed after which the work would be audited by regulators.”

 

Immediate Release- Tamil Nadu Assembly Should Pass Resolution to Protect Pechiparai Water from KKNPP


People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)                                           April 2, 2012
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu
Phone: 98656 83735; 98421 54073
Press Release
Tamil Nadu Assembly Should Pass Resolution to Protect Pechiparai Water from KKNPP
According to newspaper reports dated February 19, 2012, the Public Works Department (Water Resource Organisation) of the Government of Tamil Nadu has prepared a Rs.83-crore project proposal for the renovation of Pechipparai dam and Rs.5 crore is going to be spent for desilting the dam. The timing of this plan makes one wonder if there is a secret plot to divert water from the Pechiparai dam to the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP).
The 42-feet high Pechiparai dam was opened in 1906 and feeds some 50,000 acres of paddy crop in the fertile Kanyakumari district. When the KKNPP officials had tried to utilize Pechiparai water for their nuclear project, there was a huge uproar against the plan in Kanyakumari district. And ever since the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) authorities and the State and Central government officials have been reassuring the local people that Pechiparai water would never be taken for the Koodankulam project.
However, it is important to note that pipelines have been laid all over Kanyakumari district and two such lines have been extended all the way up to the coastal villages of Kanyakumari and Kovalam. They can be extended to Koodankulam at a very short notice. The doubt if the Pechiparai dam water would be taken to the KKNPP has raised its head once again as the Government of Tamil Nadu has decided all of a sudden to renovate and desilt the dam at a huge expense after its recent U-turn on the Koodankulam project.
There have been several references to the Pechiparai dam water in the planning and execution of the KKNPP project:
[1] A leading English daily reported as far back as on August 29, 2000: “To another query on the dependence of potable water for cooling the reactors, Mr. Chaturvedi [the then chairman and managing director of NPCIL] said though about 3.5 cusecs of water was likely to be drawn from the Pechiparai reservoir, the authorities would make alternative arrangements such as sinking bore wells and installing desalination plants.”
[2] The “Comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment” for the Koodankulam projects (prepared by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute) states very clearly on pages 2.35 and 2.36 (under Chapter 2.3 – Water Environment, Subheading 2.3.2 Water Requirement): “Fresh water from Pechipparai dam, which is about 65 Kms NW of the project site, is proposed to be used for meeting various water demands. The quantities of fresh water for various purposes are as follows:
Domestic use: 414 m3/day
Service Water: 480 m3/day
Fire Water Make-Up: 500 m3/day
Chemical Water Treatment
(Process Water for proposed 4 units): 19200 m3/day”
The report further states that “For meeting fresh water demands, water from Pechipparai dam will be brought to the site through embedded pipeline.” The above breakdown amounts to 20,594 m3 water per day and this much water is used only for four nuclear power plants. If and when all the planned eight power plants start functioning in Koodankulam, some 41,000 m3 water would be required per day.
[3] In an article entitled “The VVERs at KudanKulam” (published in Nuclear Engineering and Design, 236, 2006), Mr. S. K. Agrawal, the former Koodankulam project director and the director (projects) of NPCIL, and his co-authors state very clearly on page 835: “The requirements of fresh water are very small and will be drawn from the Pechiparai Reservoir. The fresh water requirements will thus not affect the drinking water and agricultural needs of the local population.” This article confirms the Pechiparai water usage detailed in the “Comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment.”
Given this situation of contradictory claims and confusing stands of the nuclear authorities and the State and Central governments, the Tamil Nadu Assembly should pass a resolution that the Pechiparai dam water will never be taken for the Kooddankulam nuclear power project. If the authorities have really decided against taking Pechiparai water for the Koodankulam plants, they should prepare a new Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that details the fresh water sources for the Koodankulam plants.
Some people have suggested utilizing the Pazhayar river water from Kanyakumari district for the KKNPP project. It is pertinent to note that eleven dams have already been built across the Pazhayar to feed 13,000 acres of double crop paddy lands.
The Struggle Committee
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

Must Watch- Music Video on Koodankulam Anti Nuclear Protest


The first Inter-Governmental Agreement for setting up two 1000MW light water reactors was signed between India and the erstwhile USSR in 1988. In spite of people’s opposition to the project since then the authorities were careful not to publicise the Environmental Impact Assessment Report, and the Site Evaluation Study and Safety Analysis Report.

In a radius of 2 to 5 km declared as sterilization zone, there are 15989 local residents .More than 1 million people live within a 30 km radius. The Plant’s coolant water and low-grade waste can kill fish and fish eggs as other Power Plants are doing already.

The Atomic Energy Regulation Board has said, that there should be no tourism site within a radius of 20 km from the plant when Kudankulam is only 14 kms from Kanyakumari and only 60 kms by air from Thiruvananthapuram. An accident at
Kudankulam will be unmanageable because of the high density of population.

The functioning of this Nuclear Power Plant will destabilise the livelihood of the people living in the vicinity, pollute the environment in an unimaginable magnitude; and in case of an accident, the fallout will be beyond boundaries and uncountable! This protest is for those trying to make a living now and for posterity, as a Nuclear Plant anywhere is like having a Nuclear Plant everywhere…

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