India and Canada finalise conditions of nuclear deal


Electricity cable in IndiaIndia‘s rapid economic expansion in recent years has resulted in a surge in demand for energy
7 November 2012

India and Canada have finalised the terms for their nuclear deal, paving the way for Canadian firms to export uranium to India.

Once implemented, the deal is likely to provide a boost to India’s plans to increase its nuclear capacity to meet growing energy demands.

The deal was agreed in 2010, but there had been differences over supervision of the use of uranium in India.

Canada has banned the trade of nuclear materials with India since 1976.

“Canada with its large and high quality reserves of uranium could become an important supplier to the Indian nuclear power programme,” India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper said in a joint statement.

‘Important economic opportunity’

India’s economy has seen rapid expansion in recent years resulting in a surge in demand for energy in the country.

In a bid to meet its growing energy needs, India has been looking to increase its dependence on nuclear energy.

It is planning to set up some 30 reactors over as many years and get a quarter of its electricity from nuclear energy by 2050.

As a result it has been looking to secure supplies of uranium to achieve that target.

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that being able to be a part of India’s nuclear power plans was “a really important economic opportunity for an important Canadian industry… that should pay dividends in terms of jobs and growth for Canadians down the road”.

Earlier this month, India agreed to begin negotiations on a civil nuclear co-operation agreement with Australia, which holds an estimated 40% of the world’s uranium.

Last year, it agreed a deal that will allow South Korea to export its nuclear energy technology to India.

 

CNDP Appeals To The Australian PM Against Uranium Export to India


 

Dear Prime Minister,

We urge you to reconsider the decision to supply uranium to India. This uranium will fuel the massive expansion of nuclear power programme that the Indian government is undemocratically pushing on poor people of India, criminally overlooking the concerns of safety, environment, livelihoods of surrounding populations and the financial implications.

Supplying uranium to India also amounts to legitimizing its status as a nuclear weapons state. At a time when people’s aspirations for comprehensive nuclear disarmament have heightened globally, any such dilution of disarmament norms would be unfortunate.

As the struggles of common people, farmers, fisherfolk, women and children in places like Koodankulam, Jaitapur(Maharashtra), Mithivirdi (Gujaratat), Fatehabad (Haryana), Chutka (Madhya Pradesh), Kovvada (Andhra Pradesh) etc have highlighted, the nuclear expansion is in no way helping the poor, as it was claimed by you while reversing the Australian Labour Party’s policy of not supplying uranium to India. In fact, under the Indo-US nuclear deal, the Indian elite offered the lives and livelihoods of its poor people, India’s huge consumer market and rehabilitating global nuclear corporates in return for an elusive seat on the nuclear high table.

In Koodankulam 2 fishermen have died recently in a brutal police repression while large numbers of protesters are languishing in jail. Charges of sedition and ‘war against the Indian state’ have been leveled against thousands of non-violent protesters in past few months. In the pursuit of this nuclear insanity, the government has brushed aside the voices of its own secretaries, the Chief Information Commissioner, members of the National Advisory Council and voices of independent experts and eminent citizens. We reiterate our demand to drop all fictitious charges against the Koodankulam protesters and initiate a broad-based public consultation on nuclear energy.

Parliamentarians from UK and Australia, human rights organizations like Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, and citizens groups from more than 165 countries have condemned the police brutalities on the anti-nuclear protesters in India. We urge you to take a principled stand and reconsider supplying fuel to the Indian government’s nuclear insanity.

For CNDP,

Achin Vanaik
Admiral L. Ramdas
Amarjeet Kaur
N D Jayaprakash
Praful Bidwai
Sukla Sen
Anil Chaudhary
Lalita Ramdas

 

Al Jazeera: Report says EU nuclear reactors need $ 32 BILLION to prevent disaster!


 

Report says EU nuclear reactors need repair

A leaked report on Europe’s nuclear reactors found that up to $32bn needs to be invested to prevent disaster.
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2012 09:23

Almost all of Europe’s nuclear reactors are in need of an urgent overhaul that could cost as much as $32bn, according to a leaked draft-report by the European Commission.

The Commission is expected on Thursday to finalise its stress test report, which was designed to ensure that a disaster similar to the one at Japan‘s Fukushima could not happen again.

The report will be debated by EU ministers later this month..

After that, the Commission intends in 2013 to propose new laws, including on insurance and liability to “improve the situation of potential victims in the event of a nuclear accident”, the draft obtained by Reuters news agency said.

Of the 134 EU nuclear reactors grouped across 68 sites, 111 have more than 100,000 inhabitants living within 30 km.

Safety regimes vary greatly and the amount that needs to be spent to improve them is estimated at $13-32bn across all the reactors, the draft says.

France‘s nuclear watchdog has already said the country, which relies on nuclear power for about 75 per cent of its electricity, needs to invest billions of euros.

The lesson of Fukushima was that two natural disasters could strike at the same time and knock out the electrical supply system of a plant completely, so it could not be cooled down.

The stress tests found that four reactors, in two different countries, had less than one hour available to restore safety functions if electrical power was lost.

By contrast, four countries operate additional safety systems fully independent from the normal safety measures and
located in areas well-protected against external events. A fifth country is considering that option.

The main finding, the draft says, is that there are “continuing differences” between member states’ safety regimes.

It also says provisions to ensure the independence of national regulators are “minimal”.

Imad Khadduri, a nuclear analyst, told Al Jazeera that this report reflects “what is now an issue in Japan, which is the complacency of the nuclear industry, and the following up with modifications and updates on safety issues.”

“European power reactors should take much more strident efforts in fixing and implementing the safety issues.

Khadduri went on to say that if the public “is going to be alarmed by the $30bn cost of it all, they should be more worried about how much it could cost to decommission reactors, which is incredibly costly.”

Voluntary exercises

The stress tests are a voluntary exercise to establish whether nuclear plants can withstand natural disasters, aircraft crashes and management failures, as well as whether adequate systems are in place to deal with power disruptions.

All 14 member states that operate nuclear plants took part, however, as did Lithuania, which is decommissioning its nuclear units.

From outside the 27-member bloc, Switzerland and Ukraine joined in the exercise.

The tests were meant to have been completed around the middle of the year, but countries were given extra time to assess more reactors.

Non-governmental organisations are among those who have criticised the process as not going far enough and having no powers to force the shut-down of a nuclear plant.

“The stress tests only give a limited view,” said Roger Spautz, energy campaigner at Greenpeace, which believes nuclear power should be phased out.

He cited independent research earlier this year which said some European reactors needed to be shut down immediately, as well as the example of Belgium, where the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 reactors have been halted because of suspected cracks.

The draft report says the stress tests are not a one-off exercise and will be followed up. Existing legislation also needs to be enforced, it said.

The deadline for passing the existing nuclear safety directive into national law was July 2011. The Commission started infringement proceedings against 12 member states that missed it.

To date, two have still not complied but the report did not specified which ones.

The Commission does not comment on leaked drafts.

But on Monday, the EU energy spokeswoman said the recommendations were being finalised and would not be “very,
very detailed”.

In France, the nuclear watchdog and operator EDF said they would not comment before seeing the official report.

 

 

Flunking Atomic Audits- CAG Reports and Nuclear Power


 

English: Internationally recognized symbol. De...

English: Internationally recognized symbol. Deutsch: Gefahrensymbol für Radioaktivität. Image:Radioactive.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Vol – XLVII No. 39, September 29, 2012 | M V Ramana

 

The recent Comptroller and Auditor General‘s report on the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and, more broadly, on nuclear safety regulation has highlighted many serious organisational and operational flaws. The report follows on a series of earlier CAG reports that documented cost and time overruns and poor performance at a number of nuclear facilities in the country. On the whole, the CAG reports offer a powerful indictment of the department of atomic energy and its nuclear plans.

M V Ramana (ramana@princeton.edu) is a physicist who works at the Nuclear Futures Laboratory and the Program on Science and Global Security, both at Princeton University, on the future of nuclear power in the context of climate change and nuclear disarmament.

The new report (Report No 9 of 2012/13) of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the acti­vities of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) could not have come at a more appropriate time (CAG 2012). Concern about nuclear safety has naturally increased significantly since the multiple accidents at the Fukushima Daichi ­nuclear reactors. The response of the ­Indian nuclear establishment and, more generally the Government of India, to Fukushima can largely be characterised as an attempt to placate people’s concerns about the potential for accidents at Indian nuclear facilities. One element in that strategy was to emphasise that safety regulation at the Nuclear Power Corporation’s (NPC) facilities was impeccable. The CAG report has essentially demo­lished this claim.

Independence of Regulator

A basic tenet of regulation is that the safety regulator must be independent of industry and government. Article 8 of the international Convention on Nuclear Safety, which India has signed and ratified, calls upon signatores to “take the appropriate steps to ensure an effective separation between the functions of the regulatory body and those of any other body or organisation concerned with the promotion or utilisation of nuclear energy” (CNS 1994). The absence of such separation has been identified as one of the factors that led to the Fukushima accidents by the Independent Investigation Commission.1

India’s nuclear regulatory regime suffers from the same lack of effective separation. Despite India’s international commitments, awareness of best practices, and criticism by various outsiders, the CAG report pointed out, “the legal status of AERB continued to be that of an authority subordinate to the central government, with powers delegated to it by the latter” (CAG 2012: vi).

At first glance the AERB does seem independent of the department of atomic energy (DAE) and the NPC. It reports to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) rather than the DAE. The problem, as the CAG observed, arises from the “fact that the chairman, AEC and the secretary, DAE are one and the same” and this fact ­“negates the very essence of institutional separation of regulatory and non-regulatory functions” (p 12). The chairman of the NPC is also a member of the AEC. ­Another significant constraint on the AERB’s activities is that the organisation “is dependent on DAE for budgetary and administrative support” (p 13). What all this means, in effect, is that despite all pretences and claims to the contrary by the DAE and its attendant institutions, the AERB lacks power and independence. As common experience would indicate, it is hard to criticise one’s boss or force action in ways that he or she does not want. Of the 3,200 recommendations by the AERB’s Safety Review Committee for Operating Plants, the DAE had not complied with 375, with 137 recommendations dating back to earlier than 2005 (p 42).2

The lack of separation is not an accident, but a choice made by the nuclear establishment. As early as the 1970s, Ashok Parthasarathi, a senior bureaucrat and science adviser to the prime minister, had suggested that the

inspection of all nuclear installations from the point of view of health and environmental safety should be administered by a body with a suitable name and located in department of science and technology, as that department had been assigned the national responsibility for ensuring the preservation of environmental quality (Parthasarathi 2007: 131-32).

But even the idea of having an external agency monitor its environmental record was not acceptable to the AEC, let alone having someone monitor safety in its facilities.

In the subsequent decades, many have emphasised the importance of having an effective and independent regulator, in particular, A Gopalakrishnan, the chairman of AERB from 1993 to 1996 (for example, Gopalakrishnan 1999). Gopalakrishnan has also recounted many instances where the DAE and NPC have actively interfered with the safety activities of the AERB. Others from AERB have tried to defend the board, its independence, and its ability to monitor safety (for ­example, Parthasarathy 2011). Unfortunately, the situation for any regulatory agency is like that of Pompeia, Julius Caesar’s wife, of whom, Caesar is supposed to have said, “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion”. Now, the CAG report adds to public suspicion of the independence of the AERB and it is not going to be easy for the AERB to be seen as capable of effectively regulating nuclear power.

From the AERB to the NSRA

The situation described by the CAG might change with the Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (NSRA) Bill of September 2011 being introduced in Parliament by the Government of India. Indeed, the DAE did state to the CAG “that the process of improving the existing legal framework for introducing greater clarity in respect of separation of legal responsibilities concerning promotional and regulatory functions had already been taken up”, mentioning the NSRA Bill (p 11). Essentially, the same argument has been offered by AERB secretary R Bhattacharya in response to the CAG report (Jog 2012).

Technically, that may be a valid defence, but just because the AERB is to be replaced by the NSRA – assuming, of course, that the government manages to get it through Parliament – should we be confident of the safety of the DAE’s nuclear facilities? The underlying problem highlighted by the CAG is not just the legal status, but one of effectiveness. And looking at the content of the bill and the context under which the NSRA has been created, it seems unlikely that it will create an effective separation between the regulatory authority and the nuclear establishment.

In the NSRA as has been envisioned, many of the key processes involved in ensuring effective regulation will continue to be controlled by the AEC. The power for crucial steps like the appointment of members is vested with the central government. But for most purposes, the authority empowered to act on behalf of the central government is the AEC. The AEC chairman will also be one of the key members of the Council of Nuclear Safety that will set the policies with respect to radiation and nuclear safety that will fall under the purview of the NSRA.

There is another problem that the CAG did not discuss. The AERB suffers from a lack of technical staff and technical facilities, and this lacuna has been exploited by the DAE (Ramana and Kumar 2010: 53). Further, there is little expertise outside the nuclear establishment on technical issues relating to nuclear facilities, and no proposed method of enhancing such independent expertise. For these reasons, there will continue to be cause for concern about nuclear safety in the country.

Plan Not, Care Not?

A different structural and institutional problem highlighted by the CAG report has to do with protection of workers from radiation. Earlier, each nuclear plant had a Health Physics Unit that was part of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). However, in 2009, these units were transferred from BARC to NPC. This “meant that the functions of monitoring of radiological exposure as well as the responsibility of radiological surveillance” is now with NPC – the operator of the reactors (p 45). In other words, “AERB had no direct role in conducting independent assessments and monitoring to ensure radiological protection of workers despite being the nuclear regulator of India” (p vii).

The CAG report also shows that the AERB has not exactly been particularly zealous about promoting nuclear safety, illustrating this through a plethora of examples. One is that it never fulfilled an official requirement from 1983 to prepare an overall nuclear and radiation safety policy, which would have given structure to practical radiation safety planning at lower levels. The AERB has not been proactive in participating in emergency planning exercises; the CAG notes that these exercises have highlighted ­inadequate emergency preparedness (p 61). Nor does the AERB have the mandate to take follow-up action with district or state authorities when it detects deficiencies in emergency preparedness (p 60).

The AERB has also not paid any attention to planning for decommissioning nuclear reactors. Nor has NPC. All nuclear plants in the country were operating without any decommissioning plans, including plants that are over 30 years old (p 65). The AERB did put out a safety manual on decommissioning in 1998, but neither the plants that were operating then nor the ones that were commissioned subsequently have produced a decommissioning plan. Now, on paper, each reactor that started operations after 1998 was required to submit such a plan before the AERB issued a construction or operating licence. This leaves two possibilities: The AERB did not insist on NPC following its regulations – or NPC did not bother to comply with the requirement, and there was not much AERB could do about it. Neither of these possibilities is comforting.

The CAG vs the DAE

Though this is the first time the CAG has looked at nuclear regulation, the agency has exposed various other problems with the DAE in its audits from earlier years. It is perhaps the most prominent government body to openly criticise several aspects of the DAE’s functioning. The few examples listed below should ­illustrate the agency’s ongoing monitoring of various facets of the DAE and how the nuclear establishment has fallen short on so many dimensions.

The trend started with the 1985-86 report, which included for the first time an audit of a nuclear power project (Chandrasekharan 1990: 1024).3 In what was to become a pattern, this first report documented cost and time overruns in the case of the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS). Approved in 1965 at a cost of Rs 60 crore each, the capital cost more than doubled for each of the reactors, with substantial increases in 14 of 20 expenditure heads, and the projects were delayed by over eight years for each reactor. These “constituted inadequacies in planning of the projects rather than wages of development of indigenous technology” (Chandrasekharan 1990: 1026). Even with inadequate provisions for decommissioning, repairs, waste management, and so on, the CAG found that the rate of return on capital was only 3.5% and not the 12% expected of power projects.

A couple of years later, the CAG found a similar pattern of cost and construction time increases with the Narora reactor, noting that in 10 major heads of expenditure there had been cost overruns of 188% or more (CAG 1988). This was well before the reactor was commissioned, and the final cost figures were significantly higher. What was important was that the CAG’s conclusion that the revision of costs indicated that the project got “approved on unrealistic cost estimates” and its censure of the DAE saying, “Unrealistic cost estimates and optimistic time schedules make financial allocations and controls less meaningful” (CAG 1988).

Some years later, in 1993, the CAG studied yet another reactor – the Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) – and found again not only the pattern of cost increases and time overruns, but also that its performance was wanting (CAG 1993). The CAG documented that by the time the reactor first became critical in 1985,4 the net time overrun had become 220% and the corresponding increase in cost had gone up by 164%. The CAG also described several of the incidents and accidents involving the FBTR during just the first five years of operation. These included a nitrogen leak in 1987, followed by “a complex mechanical interaction due to fuel handling error in the reactor damaged certain ‘in-vessel’ components” that took two years to rectify; and the failure of the load cell and damage to the Capsule Transfer Gripper (CTG) in 1989.

Over the years, the CAG has also documented cost increases, time overruns, and/or poor functioning with a number of other nuclear facilities. These include the Tuticorin (Chandrasekharan 1990: 1028-29), Baroda (CAG 1988), and Manuguru heavy water plants (CAG 1994),5 Dhruva research reactor (Chandrasekharan 1990: 1029), Waste Immobilisation Plant (WIP) and Solid Storage Surveillance Facility (S3F) at Tarapur (CAG 1996), the Nuclear Fuel Complex (CAG 1998), and the Nuclear Desalination Demonstration Plant at Kalpakkam (CAG 2008).

In 1999, the CAG audited another aspect of the DAE’s functioning: its propensity for making large-scale expansion plans. Such grandiose projections have been a staple of the DAE’s strategies to garner political and financial support (Ramana forthcoming). In 1984, the DAE drew up a plan to set up 10,000 MW of nuclear power by the year 2000. What actually materialised from the profile was shocking:

Against the targeted additional power generation of 940 MW by 1995-96, gradually increasing to 7,880 MW by 2001 AD, the actual additional generation of power under the profile as of March 1998 was nil in spite of having incurred an expenditure of Rs 5,291.48 crore” (CAG 1999: 20).

The implications of this abject failure to deliver for current projections of nuclear expansion are profound.

This impressive, if depressing, series of reports by the CAG points to an even more depressing reality: the DAE cannot be easily forced to change its ways. For example, despite the CAG’s warning after its Narora case study not to get projects approved on “unrealistic cost estimates and optimistic time schedules”, the DAE continues with this practice till today. Its flagship project – the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor – was initially expected to be commissioned in 2010 (Subramanian 2004), but has been delayed by more than three years; the update from January 2012 was that the reactor would go critical in early 2013 but that would be followed by “a year of testing” before it is declared commercial (IANS 2012). Its cost estimate has gone up from Rs 3,492 crore to Rs 5,677 crore, as of November 2011, when approximately 80% of the work on the reactor had been completed (Srikanth 2011).

Conclusions

Many have written about the nuclear establishment’s safety problems, problems with radiation exposure, accounting problems, and so on (some examples are Bidwai 1978; Subbarao 1998; Gopalakrishnan 1999; Gopalakrishnan 2000; Subbarao 1999; Dias 2005; Ramana 2007; Ramana and Kumar 2010). The CAG’s advantage has been in its access to various documents that would be unavailable to members of the public.6 Put together, the CAG reports, including the latest one, amount to a pretty damning assessment of the DAE and its activities. The CAG has done its bit. It is up to Parliament, and to the population at large, to hold the DAE accountable.

Notes

1 As the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission’s Official Report to Japan’s Diet put it, “The TEPCO Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and TEPCO, and the lack of governance by said parties. They effectively betrayed the nation’s right to be safe from nuclear accidents” (Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission 2012: 16).

2 There are other ways in which the DAE has marginalised the AERB. In the case of the Kalpakkam Atomic Reprocessing Plant, AERB approval for construction was sought only in 1994 when “construction of the plant was already in progress” (Sundararajan, Parthasarathy and Sinha 2008: 26). What, one wonders, were the odds that AERB would disapprove of the project even if it had found a problem with the design?

3 Earlier reports had, in the words of an official history of the CAG, not included any “worthwhile comments” on the AEC or the DAE “despite the massive expenditure incurred in the development of nuclear energy and connected research and development” all of which was “virtually kept shrouded in mystery and secrecy, except the publicised benefits leaked out to the media by the Department/Commission” (Chandrasekharan 1990: 1024).

4 Even then, the reactor was not fully functional and the steam generator, essential for producing electricity, began operating only in 1993 (Hibbs 1997).

5 We have already written about the case of the CAG and heavy water plants in the pages of this journal (Ramana 2007).

6 The CAG “scrutinised records relating to issue of consents, authorisations, licences, and regulatory inspections; minutes of various committee meetings; utility correspondence files; project reports, etc, during the period September to November 2010 and September to October 2011” (p 5).

References

Bidwai, Praful (1978): “Nuclear Power in India – A White Elephant?”, Business India, 4 September.

CAG (1988): Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Comptroller and Auditor General, New Delhi.

– (1993): Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, New Delhi.

– (1994): Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, New Delhi.

– (1996): Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, New Delhi.

– (1998): Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, New Delhi.

– (1999): Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, New Delhi.

– (2008): Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, New Delhi.

– (2012): Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, New Delhi.

Chandrasekharan, R K (1990): The Comptroller & Auditor General of India: Analytical History 1947-1989 (New Delhi: Ashish Publishing House).

CNS (1994): “INFCIRC/449 – Convention on Nuclear Safety”, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Infcircs/Others/inf449.shtml

Dias, Xavier (2005): “DAE’s Gambit”, Economic & Political Weekly, XL (32): 3567-69.

Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (2012): The Official Report of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (Tokyo: The National Diet of Japan), http://naiic.go.jp/en

Gopalakrishnan, A (1999): “Issues of Nuclear Safety”, Frontline, 13 March. http://www.flonnet.com/fl1606/16060820.htm

– (2000): “Undermining Nuclear Safety”, Frontline, 24 June.

Hibbs, Mark (1997): “Kalpakkam FBR to Double Core, Load First Thorium-232 Blanket”, Nucleonics Week, 38 (48): 10.

IANS (2012): “India’s First PFBR to Go Critical Early 2013”, Zee News, 21 January, http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/igcar-finalises-design-of-commercia…

Jog, Sanjay (2012): “AERB Downplays CAG Report, Says High Safety Standards Maintained”, Business Standard India, 24 August,http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/aerb-downplays-cag-report-sa…

Parthasarathi, Ashok (2007): Technology at the Core: Science and Technology with Indira Gandhi (New Delhi: Pearson Longman).

Parthasarathy, K S (2011): “Atomic Energy Regulatory Board Not Quite Subatomic”, Economic Times, 19 April.

Ramana, M V (2007): “Heavy Subsidies in Heavy Water”, Economic & Political Weekly, XLII (34): 3483-90.

– (forthcoming): The Power of Promise: Examining Nuclear Energy in India (New Delhi: Penguin India).

Ramana, M V and Ashwin Kumar (2010): “Safety First? Kaiga and Other Nuclear Stories”, Economic & Political Weekly, XLV (7): 47-54.

Srikanth, R (2011): “80% of Work on Fast Breeder Reactor at Kalpakkam Over”, The Hindu, 27 November.

Subbarao, Buddhi Kota (1998): “India’s Nuclear Prowess: False Claims and Tragic Truths”, Manushi, 109: 20-34.

– (1999): “Is Our Nuclear Regulator Effective?”, The Observer of Business and Politics, 9 December.

Subramanian, T S (2004): “A Milestone at Kalpakkam”, Frontline, 19 November.

Sundararajan, A R, K S Parthasarathy and S Sinha, ed. (2008): Atomic Energy Regulatory Board: 25 Years of Safety Regulation, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, Mumbai.

 

 

 

Sayonara nuclear power


Editorial- The Hindu , sEPT 22, 2012

The much needed big push towards low-cost,, highly-efficient, cutting-edge renewable energy technologies was lacking till recently. Even the compulsion to cut down carbon dioxide emission levels by 2020 failed to overcome the inertia. But the landscape has squarely and dramatically changed following the 9 magnitude earthquake and killer tsunami waves that resulted in the catastrophic accident in the Fukushima nuclear reactor units in Japan. In what may appear as well co-ordinated announcements made very recently, Japan and France, both major nuclear power champions, have announced their departure from nuclear energy dependence. If March 11, 2011 has gone down in history as a dark day for Japan, the government’s September 14 decision to end its reliance on nuclear power by 2040 by closing down all 50 reactors will forever be remembered as a defining moment. This will, in all probability, mark the beginning of a renewable energy technology revolution. If after World War II, the Japanese people transformed their nation into one of the world’s most industrially developed ones, the possibility of the country producing an encore with alternative energy technology developments cannot be ruled out.

Japan is not alone. The Fukushima shiver has had its reverberations in France as well. By 2025, France will cut its reliance on nuclear energy by 25 per cent from the current level of 75 per cent by shutting down 24 reactors. Six months after the Fukushima catastrophe and following Germany’s decision to get out of nuclear energy by 2022, Siemens had made public its decision to exit nuclear power business. The engineering giant intends to shift its focus to alternative energies. By 2020 Germany intends to derive 35 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources. While critics decry Japan’s plan to wait another three decades before switching off its last nuclear plant, the decision is not without basis. Some 30 per cent of the country’s power requirement is met by these plants. Decommissioning operating plants that have not completed their lifetime will mean economical suicide. This period also gives Japan the time to develop and scale up revolutionary technologies that are better adapted to harness power from even very low wind speed, and low-intensity sunlight for the better part of the year in countries situated in higher latitudes. The focus will also be on developing technologies for harnessing wave energy. To begin with, the cost of production using these alternative technologies may be higher than even nuclear. But costs are bound to fall over time and wider acceptance is inevitable.

Keywords: renewable energy technologies, nuclear power, alternative energy, Fukushima catastrophe, Kudankulam

Nuclear Roulette:David Swanson


By David Swanson

Source: Warisacrime.org
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

As the Coalition Against Nukes prepares for a series of events in Washington, D.C., September 20-22, including a Capitol Hill rally, a Congressional briefing, a fundraiser at Busboys and Poets, a ceremony at the Museum of the American Indian, a rally at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), a film screening, and a strategy session, the time seems ideal to take in the wisdom of Gar Smith’s new book, Nuclear Roulette: The Truth About the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth.

Most dangerous indeed, and most useless, most inefficient, most destructive, and dumbest. How does nuclear energy make the human species look like the stupidest concoction since the platypus? Let me count the ways:

1. After the mining, processing, and shipping of uranium, and the plant construction, maintenance, and deconstruction, a nuclear plant only produces about as much energy as went into it — not counting the need to store the only thing it actually produces (radioactive waste) for hundreds of thousands of years — and not counting the sacrifice of areas of the earth, including those poisoned with uranium, which has a half life of 4.5 billion years and causes lung cancer, bone cancer, and kidney failure.

2. Wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal have far better net energy ratios.

3. If nuclear power actually worked against climate change, that fact would not be useful, because there is no way enough nuclear power plants to significantly contribute to the required difference could be built quickly enough.

4. If nuclear power plants could be built quickly enough, that wouldn’t matter, because the financial cost is prohibitive. Only with multi-billion-dollar bailouts from the government can a tiny number of nuclear plants be considered for construction at all. The sainted Private Marketplace of Freedom will never touch nuclear construction on its own — or insure it. And the small number of jobs created by the “Job Creator” lobbyists who push for the generous public loan guarantees mostly show up in Japanese and French nuclear companies, thus depriving the whole enterprise of its anti-foreign-oil xenophobic appeal. (Not to mention, most of the uranium used in U.S. nuclear plants comes from abroad just like oil.) Deconstructing the plants when they grow too old to operate costs so much that the job is routinely and recklessly put off — and that doesn’t count the fairly common expense of compensating the victims of accidents.

5. The nuclear industry is in debt up to its ears already, without our feeding its habit any longer. For example, Washington State’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation has dumped 1.7 trillion gallons of contaminated waste into unlined trenches. The latest plan to try to deal with the mess comes with a $12.3 billion price tag.

6. Even if nuclear power worked when it worked, it’s remarkably unreliable. Between 2003 and 2007, U.S. nuclear plants were shut down 10.6 percent of the time, compared to 1 or 2 percent for solar stations and wind farms.

7. Nuclear power produces greenhouse gases in the mining, production, deconstruction, shipping, and waste storage processes. It also discharges 1000 degree Fahrenheit steam directly into the atmosphere. Considering the entire fuel cycle, a nuclear reactor burning high-grade uranium produces about a third as much carbon dioxide as a gas-fired power plant. As high-grade uranium runs out, low-grade ore will result in a nuclear plant producing just as much carbon dioxide as a gas plant.

8. Climate change may have reached a tipping point. Radioactivity could as well. Birds and insects near Chernobyl are adapting. Humans, too, may be beginning to evolve within the Radiocene era to which the earth has been condemned.

9. Climate change limits nuclear energy, as the heat forces plants to shut down for lack of cool water.

10. The Three Mile Island disaster killed birds, bees, and livestock. Pets were born dead or deformed. In humans, cancer, leukemia, and birth defects spread. Chernobyl gave cancer to about a million people. Fukushima looks to be far worse. Meltdowns and other major malfunctions are common, in the United States and abroad. Gar Smith documents dozens. The worst nuclear disaster in the United States was in Simi Valley, California, and no one was told about it. The rates of disease and death led residents to investigate. I shouldn’t use the past tense; the disaster is still there and not going anywhere in the span of human attention.

11. The rate of break downs and failures thus far is very likely to grow as nuclear plants age. Meanwhile, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), subservient to the nuclear profiteers, is drastically reducing safety standards.

12. In the normal course of proper nuclear power production, the water, air, and earth are poisoned.

13. The NRC publicly dismisses concerns about earthquakes, but privately panics. Earthquakes are on the rise. Fracking may cause even more of them. Fukushima should scare us all; but closer to home, a plant at Lake Anna, in Virginia, was shut down by an earthquake last year, possibly caused by fracking, and the first response was the publication of lies about the damage.

14. If anticipated solar flares (or anything else) collapse power grids, nuclear plants could overheat, melt down, or explode.

15. An average nuclear plant produces 20-30 tons of high-level waste and 70 tons of low-level waste per year. No proven long-term storage site exists. If one ever does, we won’t know what language to post the warning signs in, as no human language has lasted a fraction of the time the nuclear waste will remain deadly.

16. When a country develops nuclear energy, as the United States encouraged Iran to do in my lifetime, it brings that country very close to developing nuclear weapons, which has become a leading excuse for launching and threatening wars. It doesn’t help for the CIA to give Iran plans for building a bomb, but ridding the world of that sort of stupidity is just not within our reach. Ridding the world of nukes needs to take priority.

17. There is no purpose in a nation developing nuclear weapons if it wants to target an enemy that possesses nuclear power plants. Sitting duck nuclear catastrophes waiting to happen — by accident or malice — exist in the form of nuclear power plants within 50 miles of 108 million people in the United States. Nuclear reactors could have been somewhat protected by being built underground, but that would have cost more. Haruki Murakami, a Japanese novelist, commented on Fukushima: “This time no one dropped a bomb on us. . . . We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands, and we are destroying our own lives.”

18. The latest designs in nuclear reactors don’t change points 1-17.

19. The Associated Press in 2011 found that, “Federal regulators [at the NRC] have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation’s aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them.”

20. Helping to shake the nuke habit would take 30 seconds and be ridiculously easy, and yet many won’t do it.

David Swanson’s books include “War Is A Lie.” He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works as Campaign Coordinator for the online activist organization http://rootsaction.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswansonand FaceBook.

It is one of India’s best kept secrets-A Nightmare Called Jaduguda #Mustread


Disclaimer: this article contains some disturbing pictures.

Anuj Wankhede

The Dark Underbelly of Uranium Mining in India

It is one of India’s best kept secrets. This is the story of genocide.

After over 50 years of Independence, there is another India which nobody talks about.

Why?

Because nobody knows about Jaduguda.

I spoke to hundreds of people in Mumbai and not one person has ever heard of Jaduguda or its sad legacy.

What is happening in the name of National Pride and Self-Sufficiency is a NATIONAL SHAME. A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY.

Next time you charge your mobile phone, switch on the AC or your TV, think about the enormous and horrifying cost being extracted. Jaduguda in Jharkhand is one such cursed place. Cursed, because it has India’s largest uranium mines. A curse called uranium has poisoned generations and will continue to haunt all future generations too.

This is a story which a few people have tried to tell. Many times over.
Yet, no solution is in sight to this living horror.
But then, probably nobody has found an answer because nobody WANTS to find an answer?

SUMMARY:
The power that is fed into homes using nuclear energy has its genesis in Jharkhand, from where the raw material – Uranium – to power the reactors is extracted.

India has sufficient uranium deposits to build a few hundred nuclear bombs but it does not have the required amount of uranium to fuel its Atomic Power Plants. The largest deposits were found in the 1960s at Jaduguda and the nuclear lobby in India rushed in to exploit the ore there. Since 1967, the Jaduguda region of Bihar has been exploited for its uranium and so have its people.

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) formed the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd. (UCIL) with a mandate to explore and mine this precious ore. UCIL started the exploitation of man and nature the very next year in 1968.

Forty four years later it has created a tragic legacy which includes loss of health, disease, deaths, ruining of social fabric and professions, environmental destruction and irreparable damage to the ecology.

The only ones who have profitted from this deprivation are those associated with the Nuclear Club – those who need uranium for dubious power and atomic weapons.

THE FACTS:
The Jaduguda mines (and to a small extent, the uranium mines in Meghalaya and Andhra Pradesh) supply the bulk of the uranium needed as fuel to the ever increasing reactors in India. Currently, India has one Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) at Hyderabad in Southern India which is over a thousand kilometers from Jaduguda and even further from the North Eastern mines in Meghalaya.

The original mines at Jaduguda have since been expanded and now include the Narwapahar mines a few kilometres away. Together, they make it possible to extract thousands of tonnes of earth each day using a mix of techniques.

IN THE BEGINNING:

As it usually happens, the land where the uranium was discovered belonged to the tribals (adivasis), who had lived there for hundreds of years and co-existed with nature. Elders recall that the tribals were strong and rarely (if ever) fell ill. The ecology was self-sufficient with man and nature providing and caring for each other.

Enter UCIL.

As usual with any nuclear project, there was complete secrecy. This was easy in India of the 1960s and remains so even today. Anything nuclear is considered top secret and classified information and the DAE has to be brought kicking and screaming into courts before they divulge any information – at times even misinformation.

UCIL’s job was of course made easier because of the remoteness of the mines and the lack of education among the tribals. Moreover, the tribals were a trusting lot – as they would later discover to their peril.

Ergo, when UCIL commenced operations there, they acquired tribal land and made no mention about the kind of material that would be mined. Nor did they inform the locals about the hazardous nature of radiation.

As long as uranium remains in nature, buried deep within the earth, it is not dangerous. But the mining process brings it out in concentrated quantities, which is further ground into dust, and it is this phase where radiation starts taking its toll by entering the body and the ecology.

To understand this better look at the uranium cycle below –

At Jaduguda, the ore is mined, milled, refined into Yellow Cake and despatched to the Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), Hyderabad by road and then by trains.

As can be seen, uranium ore goes through a number of processing phases and at each stage it pollutes the environment in more ways than one.

It is important to note that unlike this diagram above, it is alleged that the depleted (or spent) uranium waste is brought back to Jaduguda for “disposal,” i.e. thrown away as debris!

When UCIL started operations, locals were promised firm jobs, medical facilities, schools, roads, better opportunities and some say even bribe money. There are stories of locals being taken to far off nuclear facilities so as to impress them about the high technology, cleanliness and safety of the project.

The tribals trusted the government and were trapped.

For UCIL, there was a need for people to go down into the bowels of the earth and come up with the uranium ore for which it deployed the tribals. They needed labour because even the best of mining technology still needs physical labour. The open pit mining requires people to physically go deep down into the mines to dig further and load the ore for transportation to the surface. From there on, the other processes are also labour intensive.

What this means is that ALL these people working in the mines were subjected to radiation for prolonged periods of time. They inhaled the uranium, worked with no protective clothing and ate contaminated food. When they finished work, they returned home and their contaminated uniforms were handled and washed by the other people at homes who started getting affected by the secondary contamination.

This, however, was only one form of the uranium poisoning.

The process used for uranium extraction involves conversion into a slurry from which the precious metal is extracted. The rest of the sludge is sent into to the “tailing ponds” which are supposed to hold the highly radioactive slurry.

In reality what happens is that the tailing ponds are unable to hold all the slurry and frequently overflow, especially during the monsoons. More radioactive uranium seeps into the ground and contaminates the groundwater and rivers.

The locals are forced to use the downstream river waters for everything ranging from washing, bathing, sowing and irrigation.

It is from here that the whole uranium contamination/ poisoning cycle takes a massive leap into the food chain spreading far and wide via crops, fruits, and animals. The grass growing here is highly radioactive and when animals graze, it enters their bodies and contaminates the milk and meat.

In short, uranium enters every part of the ecosystem and continues to spread further and further via the rivers, fish, the vegetables and fruits grown there and thus, what starts as a local mine affects a vast region within no time at all.

It was the legal, moral and ethical duty of UCIL to warn the locals about what was about to hit them. But that would obviously have not suited the government.

Ideally, the whole land which was acquired for mining, blasting, processing should have been out of bounds for people and the tailing ponds made in such a manner that there is no seepage into the ground. Warning boards put up to indicate high radiation and danger zones, limit the access to site only message workers and decontaminate all material worn and handled by the workers at the site itself. The processed ore should have been safely transported in well covered vehicles to the nearest railway yard for its thousand kilometer journey to NFC Hyderabad.

All this is not a utopian dream. It is common sense.

But then, I forgot that we are talking about the DAE and UCIL. Agencies for which only the ends matter – not the means to achieve these nefarious ends.

Here are the stark realities at Jaduguda and Narwapahar –

The river, which runs past Jaduguda, is met by the murky outflow from the mine workings. Here, people wash vegetables, sow and bathe in this extremely poisonous water.

Nowhere in the region does one see warning boards. It is an open invitation to use the resources here and get poisoned.

Trucks which carry the processed material from the mines are open dumpers with just a piece of plastic thrown over the top – most often, even this is missing. The dumpers spill the material on the roads all the way from the mines to the rail yards. Radiation level meters (Geiger counters) frequently go berserk as the radiation count exceeds the maximum limit which can be displayed on these meters.

Scientists designing these counters probably never imagined that any civilian region would possibly have this amount of radiation.

School buildings have been made of stone which was extracted during blasting of the mines. Placing the radiation meters on their walls makes the counters beep furiously.

Probably military grade instrumentation with higher limits needs to be used in these “civilian” areas.

Transport

The transport from the mines to Hyderabad is another horror story. Look at the picture of this open topped dumper truck below. Often, not even a plastic sheet is thrown over it. The trucks spill the ore along the way on the road sides. The hazardous material is loaded casually on goods trains which carry this material along with rakes filled with edible items.

Look at the handling of the drums in advanced countries and how the handling happens in the developing world.

A technical committee advising the government, comprising representatives of pollution control board, industries wing and a retired atomic energy expert, noted that radioactive radiations were less than the permissible limits in Jaduguda.

The Director of UCIL’s technical department Diwakar Acharya said this in defense – “They are all retired employees. Mining methods have changed a lot in the past two decades. Earlier, the workers’ health was in grave danger due to the lack of protective clothing and modern machinery. The technology we have today keeps them, as well as the local population, completely out of harm’s way,” he says.

The sad truth is that NOTHING has changed over the years here.

What has changed is the increased greed of UCIL, NPCIL, DAE and Government of India for more and more yellow cake…….

 

Anuj Wankhede

Anuj is a Microbiologist and has a Masters in Management. A keen observer and commentator, he is an avid environmentalist who believes that ‘bigger the problem, bigger the opportunity.’He can be reached at benchmark.anuj (at) gmail.com and 9757475875.

N-fuel complex in Rajasthan faces public anger


Sunny Sebastian

The Hindu

There appears to be considerable opposition from the local population to the Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) proposed to be set up at Rawatbhata near Kota in Rajasthan. The complex, with an envisaged capacity of 500 tonnes fuel a year, is to cater to the four PHWR (Pressurized heavy water reactors) plants of 700 MWe capacity each coming up by 2016 in Rajasthan and Gujarat. In capacity, the Rawatbhata fuel complex is to be next to only Hyderabad NFC in the country which produces 850 tonnes fuel a year.

A “jan sunwai” or public hearing, organized by the Department of Atomic Energy and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) at Anu Pratap Colony in Rawatbhata on Wednesday witnessed angry protests from the local villagers. The hearing — the villagers said they were never consulted when the nuclear power plants were set up one by one, starting from 1973 — first of its kind, found the villagers and representatives of the casual labourers union complaining of unfilled promises made by the management in the past.

The hearing was attended by NFC Hyderabad’s senior official N. Sai Baba, Pollution Control Board representative K.C. Gupta, Additional District Magistrate and scientists from NEERI besides scientists, Surendra Gadekar, Sanghamitra Gadekar and energy expert, Soumya Dutta. Dr. Sanghamitra rubbished the environment study on the complex prepared by NEERI (National Environmental Engineering Institute) and termed it as a “document of untruths”.

The palpable tension perhaps justified the heavy presence of police in the premises of the New Community Centre where the hearing was held. The complaints pertained to poor development of the area, lack of employment avenues to the local population and the requirement of huge quantity of water for the existing power plants as well as the proposed fuel complex.

On June 15, the villagers held a massive rally at Rawatbhata protesting against the risks brought about by the existing plants and the proposed fuel complex. The latest incidence of radio active exposure has been as recent as that of June 23, when two workers got affected by radio active tritium vapour at Unit 5. A case currently debated is the affliction of contract labour Nand Kishore Mehar, who complains that he is not being admitted to the hospital or allowed to access the report on his urine status.

The radiation threats, complaints of risks faced by the casual labourers – who, the labourers said, are removed once they get affected — and denying the medical facilities available at the well equipped hospital in the nuclear plant premises to the local population also were points highlighted by the public and the social activists. “People are being evacuated from the area in the name of four wildlife sanctuaries but then how can the authorities allow a nuclear fuel complex in the same area,” wondered Harak Jain, leader of the local Sangarsh Samiti.

Besides, the locals feared that the uranium brought to the place for processing by truck or by train would contaminate the water and air in the area and as such the Chambal river itself was at risk.

India’s nuclear radiation threat to Sri Lanka


June 6, 2012, 8:44 pm

by David Soysa

“God is so far away, and US is so near”. So goes a popular Mexican saying which is equally applicable to Sri Lanka’s plight, being so close to India.

Although Sri Lanka survived even India’s (under Indira and Rahul Gandhi) ‘Agni’ Terrorism, we and even our future generations may not be able to survive from a possible nuclear disaster to Kudankulam 2000 MW nuclear reactor in India. The Russian-built reactor is only 150 miles from Jaffna, and less than 600 miles from Hambantota.

Justice C. G. Weeramantry (former Judge of the International Court of Justice) in a letter addressed to the world’s Environmental Ministers (and published by our newspaper after Japan’s Fukushima disaster) under the title “Halt Construction of new reactors” highlights; a) lethal doses of radiation to exposed persons 150 miles away from the damage to a nuclear reactor and the radio active contamination of the environment more than 600 miles away are a dire note of warning; b) radioactive contamination of the environment could result in congenital deformities for a thousand generations to come; c) no power on earth can insure against, earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, insurrections, negligent management and other disasters; d) several nuclear accidents have already occurred even in developed countries like the US, Russia and Japan. Even the resources of those countries were strained on damage control. Smaller states (like Sri Lanka) could be completely crippled and e) besides accidental damage reactors, radioactive nuclear waste disposal poses a grave threat to humanity.

These are dire warnings from an internationally respected authority on international law. I could hardly add a word, to wake up Sri Lankans, who are sleeping at noon, while the clock is ticking away in Kudankulam. This is not the first time either. When India announced plans to launch Sethu Samudram project in violation of the international law, even our High Commission in New Delhi took no notice. It took a full page article published in The Island of 13th October 2004 to wake up Sri Lankans. Fortunately, our ablest Foreign Minister Laxman Kadirgamar and Secretary H. M. G. Palihakkara took prompt and effective action to save Sri Lanka from that potential danger to our environment, security and shipping. It was done diplomatically and scientifically.

India, which is seeking a seat in the Security Council as a permanent member, has been notorious for violating and treating UN conventions and decisions with impunity and contempt. To date India has failed to implement the famous UN Security Council Resolution on Kashmir, passed several decades ago. Instead, the Indian army is maintaining a reign of terror against the majority Muslims. It is not surprising therefore that India has built a massive nuclear reactor at Kudankulam close to the sea and only 150 miles from Jaffna, without either informing Sri Lanka of the project or obtaining a no objection clearance from the latter as required by International law.

In an article published in The Island of 05.08.2007, I alerted our authorities with the following. I followed this with another published in The Island of 03.12.2007. But that too did not wake up Sri Lankans. “A two thousand mega watt nuclear power project on the coast of Tamil Nadu is being built, to be completed by 2008, like the Sethu Canal project. Indian citizens are now demanding to be informed of the safety aspects of the nuclear fuel complex at Halaya Kadal and the fast breeder reactor at Kal Pattikam, where 30% of the staff lost their lives due to last Tsunami in December 2004. A nuclear submarine base is planned to be sited at Ramanatha Puram in the Sethu Canal.

Indian security analysts of Tamil Nadu have begun to express their grave fear that a devastating nuclear disaster could occur due to one of the following. First, as it happened to Kashiwasaki Kariwa plant in Japan, an earthquake could damage the nuclear plants in Tamil Nadu coast end so close to Sri Lanka resulting in deadly radioactive leaks affecting both Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu. Besides earthquakes, the area is also prone to tectonic activity, cyclones and tsunamis, according to Indian meteorological department. The department has assigned Palk Bay area as an area for volcanic and cyclonic activity”. (The Sunday Island of 05.08.07).

In conformity with Sri Lanka’s current culture of damage control after the damage (remember the pre-Geneva and post-Geneva debacle) our authorities are now seeking to negotiate with India a Radiological Emergency Preparedness Programme. Thus, we have given our approval for India’s nuclear plant in Kudankulam implicitly. What use are these programmes in the event of an accident? Such programmes could not prevent disaster due to the Fukushima accident. While Japan and Germany are closing down their nuclear reactors, since accidents cannot be prevented, India is planning to build more nuclear plants as stated by Indian Prime Minister after the Fukushima disaster.

Besides UN Conventions on Nuclear Safety, International Law requires ‘every State to ensure that activities under its jurisdiction are conducted so as not to cause any damage by pollution to other states and their environment.’ Article 146 of United Nations Convention on “Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)” also deals with the need to protect human beings and the environment. India has violated these UN Conventions.

While Sri Lankans have been sleeping, in India long before Fukushima disaster, Peoples’ Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) organized some 9,000 people to perform satyagraha and several hundreds are on an indefinite fast against Kudankulam plant. AMANES indictment adds “as a result of our rulers’ nuclear madness, our land, water, air, sea, marine life and food security will become poisoned”. Shouldn’t we enlighten our fishermen in the North and the East on this danger? Minister of Fisheries may not be concerned.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalaam, missile scientist and India’s former President visited Sri Lanka recently. It is a pity that our media (or the authorities) could not ask Kalaam, how he plans to prevent an earthquake, tsunami, cyclone (or even an enemy attack on the prime target) from damaging the Kudankulam plant? Judge Weeramantry in his open letter referred to earlier adds: “Indeed, we are committing the gravest possible crime against future generations and are doing so with a full consciousness of the effect of our actions”. What a judgment on the crime of indifference, by those sleeping at noon!

There appears to be some Sri Lankans in authority who are too nervous to raise this issue with India, after India let this country down in Geneva on 22nd March 2012. This is a reflection of ignorance of how other friendly countries settled such issues very amicably. Ireland, US, UK, New Zealand, Japan are well known examples. Space restrictions prevent me from going into details which find themselves in an article I wrote to the People’s Bank Economic Review – August – December 2005. As trustees of the environment, should we betray the unborn future generations just to please India?

Soviet Union leader Kruschev said after a nuclear disaster “the living will envy the dead”.

Why Koodankulam reactors are Killers of Indians and Fisheries


From- dianuke.org

Just  as a highly irritated snake  kills a man, nuclear plants silently  kill  mankind and nature for providing illegal money to the greedy contractors, officials and politicians ?

Nuclear Plants are just silent killers of man and Nature. In nature the Uranium ore contains 99.3% of  Uranium-238 and the remaining 0.7% is Uranium-235 and they are almost harmless in nature.  But greedy business people dig the Uranium ore and convert  the least harmful Uranium-235  into the fuel form of Uranium-235  by purifying it to make it a fuel by enriching it from 0.7% to about 4%.   It is packed into pellets  which are put into Fuel rods and inserted into the core of the nuclear reactor for producing both electricity and  Radioactive material for making the killer nuclear  bombs.   In the reactor  when the nuclear atom is given a blow  by a neutron, enormous intense heat and other poisonous Radio-active atoms like Xenon, Barium, Cesium, Strontium and  Plutonium and a few neutrons  are produced.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fission

These radioactive substances are discharged into the air and water by several ways and   they enter into the environment consisting of air, water and soil and foods like vegetables, fishes, prawns and they ultimately get into human beings and produce cancers and birth defects in generations of people for many decades to come.

http://library.thinkquest.org/17940/texts/fission/fission.htmlhttp://sites.google.com/site/shivajirao32/nuclearsafety-2

These poisonous radioactive substances  destroy natural and human life and culture and convert lands upto hundreds of kilometers into permanent nuclear burial grounds for ever.

1) AS A THREATENED COBRA KILLS A MAN, PURIFIED URANIUM IN REACTORS POISON MANKIND AND NATURE:

How the harmless Uranium ore materials in nature are converted by man  into destructive and killer materials can be understood by the following simple example. For instance king cobras live in nature in anthills in forests and lead their normal life peacefully by catching their prey for food during nights.   But greedy who want to extract their venom people go and poke their iron rods into their abodes and disturb the Cobras when they become angry and bite the trespassers to inflict death over them by their poisons.   Similarly, the selfish business people are mining the harmless Uranium and converting it into harmful  Enriched Uranium and then using it to produce electricity by means of the Nuclear plants and in the process they are producing Radioactive pollutants that poison man and nature as radioactivity gets into the environment.  In course of time if an accident occurs in the Nuclear plant due to several reasons like in Fukushima or Chernobyl, the poisonous pollutants are thrown into the atmosphere and they kill thousands of people slowly and inflict cancer to millions of people living downstream upto hundreds of Kilometers as in case of Fukushima and Chernobyl accidents.

2) NUCLEAR EXPERTS MISLEAD ON ABSOLUTE SAFETY OF NUCLEAR PLANTS:

The Nuclear plant operators are misleading the public by stating that Nuclear power is safe and cheap just like the medical representatives of various pharmaceutical companies praise before the doctors about the virtues of their medical tablets and tonics as part of their sale promotion activity the nuclear authorities are praising the nuclear plants as safe and cheap energy producers which is a social crime.  This misinformation is dangerous to public health and welfare because in European states almost all people agree that safety of Nuclear power is a Myth as accepted by Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany. She had consulted the genuine experts on nuclear plants and realized that nuclear safety is a myth and ordered for gradual closure of all the nuclear plants in Germany.  If Indian Prime Minister and Union Cabinet Ministers including the Chief Ministers of the states want to know the truth about the safety of the nuclear power plants they must go and visit advanced countries like Germany and Japan and discuss the issue with foreign experts so that they can refrain from promoting nuclear plants as is done by the peoples leader like Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal.   For more scientific details see the above web sites on this topic prepared by independent experts.

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20110530/coalition-agrees-nuclear-free-germany-by-2022-110530/

 

i)  Center and State Government Nuclear experts are recklessly propagating that  nuclear reactors are absolutely safe because firstly they are not at all experts as per Section 45 and 51 of Indian Evidence Act and they cannot understand nuclear safety  as envisaged by the standards specified by International Atomic Energy Agency.

Websites: http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1004&context=krishnaareti

                  http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1273_web.pdf

ii)  The Government appointed experts have never studied how Fukushima reactors exploded only due to a series of human failures as had happened even in the case of Bhopal disaster.  The experts never studied  the case of Bhopal disaster to realize that human errors cause disasters for several reasons.   The experts never studied even the 1985 reports on Environmental Impact Assessment  report published by the British Government for 1100MW nuclear power plant at Sizewell including the risk analysis, disaster scenario depicting the travel of radioactive pollutants upto 160km from the reactor, the emergency evacuation procedures, rehabilitation of the victims  and the cost benefit analysis.  They have never studied even the causes and effects of nuclear reactor explosions in Three Mile Island in USA in 1979,  the Chernobyl disaster in Russia in 1986 and  Fukushima explosion in Japan in March 2011 and the damaging effects on public health and ecological systems and the enormous costs of compensation amounting to 4 lakh crores of rupees leading those countries to virtual economic bankruptcy.

http://www.whatisnuclear.com/articles/nucreactor.html

3) SAFE LIGNITE COAL TO BE USED FOR ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION IS DIVERTED FROM TAMILNADU TO UTTARA PRADESH AND THRUST IMPORTED AND RISKY REACTORS OVER THE HEADS OF TAMILIANS:

  While it was the duty of the  experts to identify several alternate methods of producing the same amount of electricity in place of the proposed hazardous reactors they have omitted describing such alternatives by utilizing the cheaper, safe and socially acceptable solar power, wind power, natural gas and lignite coal which are available in plenty in India itself.  The experts failed to point out to the state and central Governments that their plan to divert lignite coal from Neyveli of Tamilnadu to a far-off sate like  Uttara Pradesh in North India to generate same electrical power amounts to denying the supply of electricity by using their own local resource instead of dumping on the heads of the people the most costliest and deadliest large reactors to be imported all the way of from the far off country like Russia.  Such an action amounts to denying the right to life, right to health and right to livelihood of lakhs of people of Tamilnadu.

i) Since the Tamilnadu expert committee consists of 2 mechanical engineers, one commerce Post Graduate and one Physicist,  they do not have the necessary  academic background to grasp the fundamentals of the different kinds of radioactive substances in the natural background and their damaging impacts on the mode of braking the single strand and double strands of the helix in the DNA located in the Chromosomes present in the nucleus of the different kinds of cells present in different organs of humanbeings, animal population, marine fishery organisms and the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.  They may not be in a position to grasp the food chains and food webs in nature through which the different kinds of radiation may enter the fisheries and other food.   The biological magnification of some of these  radioactive particles with both short and long half life spans are bound to cause  prolonged damaging effects on normal cells and sperm cells which may  result in the birth of mutilated and unnatural offspring.

ii) Consequently the state nuclear experts are disabled to grasp that any increase in radiation above natural background radiation is bound to  damage  the life systems by causing sickness including cancer and loss of immunity that are conducive for promotion of the incidence of several  exotic diseases and new forms of  ill-health in the organisms.   Some of these experts blindly believe that as compared with the background level of radiation, their nuclear plants at Kudankulam containing one or more large sized reactors are going to contribute radioactive pollution to the Environment which will be negligible as compared with the background levels.  These experts are blind to the real facts that a nuclear reactor discharges enormous amounts of radioactivity into the atmosphere and into the natural water courses like lakes and oceans on a very large scale as can be seen by the data published by several honest nuclear plant operators in other countries.  See Website:

http://www.dianuke.org/nuclear-safety-experts-shivaji-rao/  

http://bhujangam.blogspot.in/2011/08/probable-nuclear-reactor-1100-mw.html     

iii) The Indian experts also bluff the public by designating the nuclear accidents as excursions and nuclear plant locations which will be nuclear burial grounds as nuclear parks.  They also do not know that nuclear reactors are responsible for several small scale, medium scale and large scale accidents running into hundreds of accidents per year as can be seen from the following website:http://www.ib.cnea.gov.ar/~protrad/biblioteca/3Accidentes.pdf (Item No.812, Page-115)

http://www.tshivajirao.blogspot.in/2011/10/why-nuclear-accidents-are-difficult-to.html

During all these accidents high levels of radioactivity will be discharged into the Environment but  the plant owners never present the true facts to the public and hence the people only know these facts by the increased levels of cancer and birth defects among the population living in the vicinity of the nuclear plants in Rajasthan, Uttara Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamilnadu as assessed by the independent medical practitioners located  in their respective areas.  Thus nuclear plants are just silent killers of mankind and nature.

4) SAFETY OF REACTORS:  In order to avoid the core melt-down, experts have provided a series of safety devices.  One major line of defence is emergency core cooling system (ECCS) which provides an instantaneous water supply that keeps the core from melting.  Another lineof defence is the concrete containment that surrounds the core and the pressure vessel so that even during a loss of coolant accident, no radioactivity will escape into the outside environment.  Such engineering safety measures also fail sometimes.  If the main pipe in the primary cooling breaks, immediately the control rods eliminate the nuclear fission process, halting the activity.  But the radioactivity  in the  already disintegrating fission products cannot be arrested.  In a 650MW plant, the heat formation by the radioactive disintegration process amounts to roughly 200MW three seconds after the reactor is switched off, 100 MW after one minute, 30MW after one hour and 12MW after 24 hours.

Under normal operating conditions, the reactor has an external fuel casing temperature of about 350oC, while the interior fuel rods remain at 2220oC.  If the cooling liquid is lost, the outer surface  of the rods heats up rapidly within 10 to 15 seconds, the fuel casing will begin to break down and within a minute, the casing will melt.

http://tshivajirao.blogspot.in/2011/09/why-indian-nuclear-plants-are-bound-to.html  

Unless the emergency cooling system comes into operation within a minute, the fuel (approximately 100 tonnes) and the supporting structure will all begin to melt, leading to a major accident.  At this stage even if the emergency cooling system works, it will make the situation worse.  The molten metals react with the cooling water to produce steam and hydrogen and heat from the fission products adds to this, thus  sinking the melten core to the ground.  In a 200MW nuclear reactor radio-fission products accumulated after one year would be equivalent to the amount released by approximately 1000 atom bombs of the Hiroshima variety.  Since the reactor pressure vessel contains the core, any loss in the pressure vessel in excess of the supply from ECCS leads to the escape of the coolant, thereby exposing the core that gets overheated within seconds.   The failure of the vessel can inflict serious damage to the core and also break the containment.

5)  EMERGENCY COOLANT FAILS: According to the advocates of nuclear power when the primary coolant comes out of the major pipe break in the coolant water loop, the control rods are immediately driven into the core to stop the fission reaction and the ECC system releases the cool water from the accumulators intended to cope with such emergencies.  But the environmental experts and opponents of nuclear power emphasise that by the time the emergency coolant water gets in the core, the temperature in the core would become so high that the water turns into high pressure steam, either obstructing the entry of more coolant or forcing it to exit through the breakage in the pipes  so that the reactor core gets overheated to cause a major disaster.  When the Aerojet Nuclear Company conducted tests of ECC system at the National Reactor Testing Station in Idaho, USA, mechanical failure occurred.  Subsequent tests at Oakridge National Laboratories indicated that the Zircalloyclad fuel rods may swell, rupture and obstruct the cooling channel thereby preventing the emergency cooling water from reaching the reactor core.  Fuel rod swelling commenced about 1400oF and at 1880oF the coolant channels were blocked by 50 to 100 percent and such a blockage could be catastrophic.  The combined effect of the rapid cooling during an emergency core cooling with the rapidly rising pressure in a reactor vessel could lead to its rupture, an accident that no nuclear plant is designed to cope with.  Failure of the vessel could occur due to inherent weakness in the construction of  the vessel itself or due to factors such as molten fuel coolant explosion or the gross failure of the vessel support system.  Steam generators also cause problems due to deformation of tubes  because of corrosion of support of plate materials, fatigue failures and tube pitting problems.  The feed water system piping is exposed to water-hammer, leading to the damage of valves.  These valves on their own face problems from packing, gasket leakage and erosion. http://armypubs.army.mil/eng/DR_pubs/DR_a/pdf/tm5_698_4.pdf

i) Places to be evacuated during accident at Kudankulam: When an accident at a nuclear plant releases enormous quantities of radioactivity into the air, water and soil environment, there will be immediate fatalities and long-term genetic damage among the exposed populations.  All the people within the zone of influence from the reactors must be evacuated.  Evacuation must be completed within 6 hours for 2 to 5km, 12 hours for 5 to 25km, 24 hours for 25 to 75km and 40 hours for over 75kms downwind from Kudankulam as per the British Accident scenario for the 1100MW, Sizewell reactor, based on a wind speed of 5m/sec rainfall of 1mm/hour and natural stability conditions of the atmosphere.  After thorough scrubbing and decontamination of lands, equipment and residences due to radioactive pollution from an accident, people may be permitted  to return to their original residence along with their cattle and other properties after three weeks upto 170kms, one year upto 140km, from 5 years upto 115km, 10 years upto 98km and 20 years upto 77kms distance from the nuclear plant.  Depending upon the weather conditions during the accident, certain places will be more affected than others.  Many villages of Ramanathapuram, Tirnelveli and Kanyakumari of Tamilnadu and Trivandrum and Quilon districts of Kerala will be affected seriously.  Killakkarai, Sattirakudi, Abiramam, Virudhnagar and Watrap of Tamilnadu and Gudalur, Thekkadi, Vengamala, Pantalam and Karunagapalli of Kerala lie within 170kms.  Sayalkudi, Nattakkadu, Sivakasi and Sattur of Tamilnadu, Edathora, Aruppokottair, Srivilliputtur and Rajapaliyam lie in between 140km and 170kms.  Karilgatti, Kalugumala and Puliyangudiof Tamilnadu, Tenmala, Kadakkal, Attingal and Kadiamkulam of Kerala lie within 115km.  Taruvaikulam, Kadambur, Tirumalapuram and Tenkasi of Tamilnadu and Palad and Attipara lie within 98kms.  Tuticorin, Kayattar and Trivandrum lie in between 98kms and 77kms, Sayarpuram Pudukkottai, tirunelveli, Ambassamudram, Mannar, Balaramapuram, Neyyattinkara, Nanguneri, Panakudi, Kolachel, Nagercoil and Cape Comorin lie within 77kms from the nuclear plant site.

http://tshivajirao.blogspot.in/2011/10/kudankulam-nuclear-plant-explosion.html

http://tshivajirao.blogspot.in/2012/02/kudankulam-nuclear-bomb-over-tamilnadu.html

http://www.dianuke.org/lessons-of-chernobyl-and-fukushima-nuclear-safety-is-an-oxymoron/#comment-2782

 

6)  WHY TAMILANDU NUCLEAR EXPERTS MISUNDERSTAND NUCLEAR SAFETY?:                    When radioactive atomic nuclei breaks up due to instability  or impinged by neutrons radiation is released as particulates or high energy wave radiation.  When such radiation hits on living cells the atoms in the cell get ionized.   The atomic nucleus contains in its electronic sheath negatively charged electrons equal to positively charged protons in the atomic nucleus and so an atom is electrically neutral in its outward effects.  If a negatively charged electron of Beta particle radiation bombards a neutral atom one or more electrons will be thrown out of the electoral sheath of the atom which becomes an ion that is a positively recharged atomic residue the newly formed ions have considerable electrical attractive power and so have capacity for strong chemical reaction.  If such reactions occur in air or dead matter nobody bothers but if ionization of atoms occurs in living tissue  it often causes damage resulting in cancer cells it causes severe damage like deformities, still births, enzyme defects and metabolic disorders.  It has to be assumed that even the smallest quantity of radioactivity can cause a corresponding damage in living cells.  If the radioactive particles or rays bombard a DNA molecule it causes ionization of atoms and the subsequent chemical reactions cause variations in basic arrangement of base sequels and break either a single strand or double strand of the double helix in DNA and so changes occur in the heritable information and the consequential damages on living organisms.  The strand of the helix sequences of phosphoric acid residual and Deoxyribose residues while the bases contain ,Adenine,Thymine, Guanine, and cytosinev residues.

 http://www.dianuke.org/nuclear-safety-experts-shivaji-rao/

 

 7) RADIATIONS DAMAGE THE HUMAN AND ANIMAL CELLS ALSO:                       Inside the nucleus of human cells there will be 23 pairs of chromosomes each of which is packed with DNA the genetic material to receive from the parents.  The DNA is always exposed to damaging agents like ultraviolet light, chemicals and reactive oxygen species generated by ionizing radiation.  Direct radiation like alpha or Beta (electrons) particles or X-rays which create ions that physically break one or both of the sugar phosphate backbones or break the base pairs of the DNA.  The base pairs of ATGC are held together by weak hydrogen bonds.  The bonding of these base pairs can also be damaged by ionizing radiation.  The base pairs of the DNA form sequences called nucleotides which inturn form the genes.  The genes direct the cell to make proteins which determine the cell type and regulate its working when such breaks occur the DNA repairs itself by a process called excision which occurs in 3 steps.

  1. Endonucleases cut out the damaged DNA
  2. Resysnthesis of the original DNA by DNA polymerase
  3. Ligation by which the sugar phosphate backbone is repaired

Since evaluation of species occurred in sea of radiation the DNA repair processes constantly occur.

8) WHY INDUSTRY HIDES FACTS ON RADIOACTIVE ROUTINE  RELEASES ALSO:

Everyday DNA gets 10,000 injuries due to routine chemicals.  A radioactive substance contains 1 curie when 37 billion radioactive disintegrations occur in it per cell.  Natural radioactivity of earth per gram is 1 pico curie equivalent to 1 trillionth of a cancer.  In dry air one Roentgen or Rad or Rem produces 2 billion ions per cm3.  One Rad is the radiation dosage given out by 100 ergs of energy for gram of any substance.  But since different radiations have different energy dosages their biological effectiveness is given a quality factor to identify Relative Biological effectiveness.  The RB factor is one for Beta, Gamma and X-Ray radiations.  While alpha and proton radiations have 10 times higher while neutron radiation has 4 units for slow neutron that gradually rise to 20 for fast neutron radiations.  Proton at one 10-millionth part of a gram can cause cancer as it emits alpha rays of very high radiation doses with a high factor of 3 lakh units.  If a lorry containing 25kg were to overturn in road accident the plutonium thus released could cause 250 billion cases of lung cancer.  25kg of Plutonium can be used for an atomic bomb.  Tritium with its weak Beta rays comes into waste water at 100 curies to 1000 curies per annum for a nuclear plant of 1000MW capacity.  During decay tritium atom emits an electron and is converted into stable Helium.  Tritium occurs in natural waters at 40 pico curies per liter and in public water supplies its concentration is limited to 3 million pico curies per liter.    If one strand of DNA breaks the second strand of helix as a duplicate repairs like replacing one spoiled bulb by a new one and holds the chromosome together.  Even when double strand breakages for a radiation of 100 to 500 rads exposure the repair is done in 2 to 8 hours.  But when dosage of 0.08 rads per year for a decade caused extra chromosomal damage among people of Alaska.  There will be 600 millions cells in one CC .  In Humans one percent of single strand lesions (breaks) are converted to about 50 double strand breaks in DNA for cell cycle.  Similar to the double produced by 1.52 to 2 Grays of sparsely ionizing radiation.  Although DSBs are repaired on a reliable basis, the errors in repair mechanism often cause high rate of cancer in human beings.  100 rads Gamma rays cause 300 tracks cross every nucleus of the cell based on 630KeV Gamma rays  from Ce 137 and one track for nucleus is due to 0.33 rads of Ce 137.  Background radiation causes a fraction of one track per year.  An X-ray produces 6 to 10 tracks per cell nuclei.  A Gamma ray produces one MeV( soft Gamma ray gives 100 KeV) Beta particle produces 2 MeV and Alpha particle produces 6 MeV.  1 Sv or 100 rems give one Joule per kg of energy in human tissue.  Radiation causes DNA damage in Million molecule lesions per cell per day. Human exposure to background radiation is about 2.4 mSv per year and the nuclear plants add to the public about 1 mSv  and 20 mSv for workers per year  and  this limit is based on the assumption that there is no threshold dose below which there would be no effect which means that any additional dose will cause proportional increase in damage to public health and it is based on the precautionary principle which is universally accepted. While one kg of granite or coffee produces 1000Bq, one kg of coal ash 2000  Bq, one kg 7000 Bq and 1 kg of low level radioactive waste produces one million Bq. Since the Indian Nuclear Power Corporation hides facts about routine releases of radioactivity from nuclear power plants  it becomes inevitable for Indians and others to know the  true facts from published literature in other countries dealing with nuclear power plants.  The following website present the detailed data http://www.ieer.org/sdafiles/16-1/tritium_releases.html

Consequently the common people cannot trust the experts of the Government organization about radiation exposure due to nuclear power plants and hence must anticipate that under different kinds of nuclear accidents there will be large scale radioactivity discharged into the environment at all the existing plants which are causing serious health impacts  as reported by independent scientists.  Since the nuclear plants cannot be prevented by the Indian experts to discharge radioactive pollution from the reactors the people have to make their own estimates in the matter and visualize what kinds of illnesses including cancer are waiting in the wings to harm lakhs of people in the near and distant places from Kudankulam reactors upto hundreds of kilometers downwind.

Description and Effects of Different Doses and Dose Rates

 Dose

Description / Effects

0.3 to 0.6 mSv/a

This is the typical range of dose rates from artificial sources of radiation, mostly medical.

0.2 to 0.8 mSv/a

This is the range of worldwide average annual radiation dose from ingestion of foodstuff and water.  Variations about the mean values by factors 5 to 10 are not unusual for many components of exposure from natural sources.

2.4 mSv/a (approximately)

The normal average background radiation from natural sources.  Approximately half of this exposure is from radon in air.

13 mSv/a

This is the highest known average annual dose from background radiation that occurs in the Kerala and Madras states in India where a population of over 100 000 people is exposed to this level.

20 mSv/a

This dose averaged over 5 years is the limit for regulated practices and working activities such as the nuclear industry employees and mining and mineral processing workers, who are closely monitored.

50 mSv/a

This dose is conservatively the lowest dose rate where there is any evidence of cancer being caused.  It is also the dose rate that arises from natural background levels in several places. Above this, the probability of cancer occurrence (rather than the severity) increases with dose.

1000 mSv

This dose accumulated over some time, would probably cause a fatal cancer many years later in 5 of every 100 persons exposed to it (i.e. if the normal incidence of fatal cancer were 25%, this dose would increase it to 30%).

1 000 mSv

This dose received as a short-term dose would probably cause (temporary) illness such as nausea and decreased white blood cell count, but not death.  Above this dose the severity of illness increases with dose.

Between 2 000 and 10 000 mSv

This dose over a short-term dose would cause severe radiation sickness with increasing likelihood that this would be fatal.

10 000 mSv

 This dose in a short-term dose would cause immediate illness and subsequent death within a few weeks.

 

9) DAMAGE TO LIFE FORMS IS OFTEN IRREVERSIBLE AND INEVITABLE MAKING NUCLEAR SAFETY A PIE IN THE SKY AND HENCE PEOPLE MUST OPPOSE THEM:

When  an electron passes through a biological cell the electron releases its energy along its path (called a track) by interacting with the electrons of nearby molecules.  The energy thus released is absorbed by atoms near the track causing excitation ( a push in the orbit of an electron to a higher energy level) or ionization (release of an electron from the atom) and the residue unstable atoms are known as radicalsand are chemically highly active.  X-ray and gamma rays unlike Beta particles release high speed electrons from atoms first.  Positively charged particles transfer energy to molecules in the cells electrically uncharged neutrons impact of the nuclei of hydrogen atoms namely protons.  Since the masses of the proton and neutron are similar the impact results in an elastic scattering process  as occurs in Billiards game.  The ejected protons work like charged protons.  Ionizations due to   radiation act directly on cell molecules or indirectly on water molecules causing water derived radicals which react with nearby molecules causing breakage of chemical bonds or addition of oxygen atoms by oxidation of the affected molecules.  The major effect in biological cells is at DNA breaks either in single strand or double strands and the later is important biologically.  Single strand breaks can be repaired normally because of the double stranded nature of the DNA(the two strands complement each other so that an intact strand serves as a template for repair of its damaged opposite strand) In case of double strand breaks  the repair is  more difficult and the erroneous rejoining of broken ends may occur and such misrepairs  cause mutations, chromosome abrasions or cell death.

Radiations  differ not only by their components like electrons, protons and neutrons but also by their energy.  Radiations by neutrons and alpha particles cause dense ionization along their track and are called High Linear Energy Transfer ,High LET  radiation that is energy released per unit length of the track.  Low LET radiations by X-Rays and Gamma rays produce ionizations sparsely along their track and homogeneously within the cell.  High LET radiations release energy in a small region of the cell and the localized DNA damage caused by High LET radiations is more difficult to repair than the diffuse DNA damage caused by the sparse ionizations from Low LET radiations.  The same radiation dosage produce the same total number of ionizations with the difference that Low LET radiation causes sparse ionizations whose damaging effects can be normally repaired while the High LET radiation causes dense ionization along their track causing double strand breaks which are more difficult for repair and hence are bound to cause cell deaths or mutations resulting in cancer and other forms of illness.http://www.rerf.jp/radefx/basickno_e/radcell.htm

10) CRUCIAL ROLE OF THE PUBLIC TO SAVE THEIR RIGHT TO LIFE, RIGHT TO HEALTH AND RIGHT TO LIVELIHOOD AT ANY COST:

When India became  independent Mahatma Gandhi addressed a public meeting on the occasion.  He said “by making Pandit.Jawahar Lal Nehru as the Prime Minister of India I call him an uncrowned King of India.  Like anyone of us he is a humanbeing and all of you know that to err is human.  In course of his work to uplift the nation he will plan and execute  several developmental projects during the course of administration he may commit some errors who will correct such errors.  His Minister or his administrative officers will not dare to point out his mistakes and rectify them and then who will take the responsibility to put the nations destiny on the right track”.  Since none of them people presented the meeting opened their mouths he told them point blank “ it is you, the people of this great social welfare state in the democracy who have to correct even the mistakes of a Prime Minister.  If you do not come forward to rectify such defects you are unfit as responsible citizen of the great social welfare state.  Similarly Prime Minister Mrs.Indira Gandhi also wanted all the responsible citizens to protect public interest and for the purpose amended article 51A and introduced sub clause “g”  by which she proclaimed that it is the first duty o the responsible citizen to protect the water, the air, the forests, the wild life and to develop compassion for all living creatures. “That is why it has been always said that eternal vigilance is a price that the Indian people have to pay to sustain their democracy.  Thus it is the people of India who have to fight against the anti peoples actions perpetrated by the Government at the state and Central levels to safeguard the health and welfare of the present and future generations of the people in India. Coming to the case of Kudankulam nuclear reactors the people must play an active role to stop them as they are just silent killers.

In case of Kudankulam reactors it is better that the local people and school children must collect funds by begging in Tamilnadu villages and towns and present the money to the Chief Minister and Prime Minister for abandoning the present reactors on the plea that in case these reactors experience explosions on the pattern of Fukushima rectors, the people have to pay a heavy penalty of Rs.4 lakh crores which will make the state and the country fall into the trap of economic bankruptcy.  Infact in one of the villages of Cuddapah the school children who found that their family members addicted to liquor are not only dying but also ruining their families because the state Government  has considered liquor business as their main economic source of survival.  The children wanted to pay that amount realized through liquor sales to the state Government to ban liquor sales so that the families will save their own heads of families who are  the bread winners.  In Tamilnadu the experiment can be copied and implemented to stop the reactors and thereby stop the state Government do indirectly declare a nuclear war on millions of people of South Tamilnadu.

Even in history there are many instances when a Kingdom was invaded a treacherous foreign ruler the local people used to fight against the invasion or alternatively purchase peace by paying compensation money to the invader.  Veera Pandya Kattabhraman refused to yield to the dictators of the treacherous British rulers so he was hanged in public.  Today the people of this historical Pandyan Empire have to save their lives and of their progeny against the invasion by the people in the North of Pandya Kingdom in Tamilnadu and those from the North India.  The Pandyans if they want the survival of their future generations they must resort to this  alternative course of action as followed by the children of the Cuddapah village of Andhra Pradesh.

 

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