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


TNN | Mar 12, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

India importing nuclear reactors to please foreign countries; former AERB chairman #WTFnews


Date: 16 February 2013
Subject: DNA – India importing nuclear reactors to please foreign countries; former AERB chairman

 

The decision to import 40,000 MWe capacity Light Water Reactors (LWRs) in early 2006 was taken without any techno-economic evaluation by Atomic Energy Commission or any other agency to assess the need for these imports, said Dr. A Gopalakrishnan, former chairman, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).

“The decision was merely a quid-pro-quo to give business to the reactor manufacturers in those countries which helped India get a Nuclear Supply Group (NSG) waiver,” said the former chief. He was talking on the occasion National Seminar on People’s Science Movement on Saturday in Hyderabad.

The agreement to import was signed immediately after the nuclear energy framework agreement with the US was finalised in July 2005. In 2006, an Integrated Energy Policy was prepared by the Planning Commission which set 63,000 MWe as the projected nuclear capacity target for 2032, which included these imports as well.

The then chairman of the AEC colluded with the Prime Minister’s Office and went along with this purely political decision, and even the non-official scientific members of the AEC meekly consented, he added.

Dr. Gopalakrishnan alleged that even a conservative estimate of Rs. 20 crores per MWe for importing these reactors during next 20-25 years would cost tax-payer about Rs. 8, 00,000 crores.

“The decisions, price negotiations and supply terms are being negotiated by the UPA- 2 government in hasty is with the intention of fulfilling the PM’s commitments to these foreign governments and their companies before he demits office,” said Gopalakrishnan.

The decisions are taken by a closed group consisting of government officials, who are acting at the behest of Indian & foreign corporate giants. And the Prime Minister’s Office is overseeing the process to protect varied political interests, he added.

He further pointed out that there is absolutely no transparency in this process and a tight cover of secrecy is unnecessarily maintained over these essentially civilian, non-

strategic purchases. Even the Comptroller and Audit General (CAG) has limited authority to question DAE’s transactions. This current situation is certainly conducive to ferment corrupt practices, and potential malpractices in these reactor imports may turn out to be the next biggest financial scam.

It was really the role of the non-official scientific members of the AEC to seriously question the UPA government’s motives in neglecting the indigenous three-stage nuclear program from 2005 onwards.

It is high time we clean out the entire set of non-official members from the current AEC and replace them with an ethical set of comparatively younger generation senior scientists , so that public trust in the management of the Indian nuclear sector can be restored, he said.

 

ARTICLE URLhttp://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_india-importing-nuclear-reactors-to-please-foreign-countries-former-aerb-chairman_1800671

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