Press Release- PMANE’S RESPONSE TO NPCIL’S SER – Koondankulam


People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)                   May 24, 2012

Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104

Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu

Phone:             98656 83735      ;             98421 54073

koodankulam@yahoo.com

pushparayan@gmail.com

 

 

Press Release

[1] As per the Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2012/000544/18674 dated 30.4.2012, the Central Information Commissioner ordered “to provide an attested photocopy of the Safety Analysis Report and Site Evaluation Report after severing any proprietary details of designs provided by the suppliers to the appellant before 25 May, 2012.” The CIC has stated categorically that “if the said reports have details of designs of the plant which are specially provided by the suppliers,” “the PIO can severe such design details which have been provided by the supplier as per the provisions of Section 10 of the [RTI] Act.”

 

[2] The NPCIL in its reply to the CIC argues that the Safety Analysis Report (SAR) “is a ‘third party document’ and therefore, without the prior consent of the third party, the same cannot be shared with anyone.” Although they are holding the SAR in a ‘Fiduciary Capacity,’ the NPCIL has said it is “ready and willing to show the copy” of SAR to the CIC. But they cannot share it with the people of India. Obviously, the NPCIL is more interested in the safety of the Russian company and the Russian benefactors but not in the safety of the people of India.

 

[3] The Central Public Information Officer, Shri S. K. Shrivastava, has sent “the copy of Site Evaluation Report for KKNPP 1 & 2” with the cover letter No. NPCIL/VSB/CPIO/620/KKNPP/2012/769 dated May 17, 2012.

 

Physical Shape of the so called SER:

The so-called Site Evaluation Report (SER) consists of twelve (12) pages of hardly-legible typed-material with no cover page, no authorship, no ownership, no publisher, no date, no index, and no head or tail. If the print quality of the so called SER is anything to go by to assess the standard of the overall Koodankulam nuclear power project, we have so much to worry about our and our country’s future. You can hardly read a word and rarely decipher a number. Maybe that is the way NPCIL prepares its important public safety reports so that no one can and will read, understand, discuss, debate and ask more questions.

 

Moreover, the so called SER mentions the Soviet Union in several places and it proves that the report is also quite old and outdated. Common sense tells us that this is certainly not the original or complete ‘Site Evaluation Report’ for KKNPP 1 and 2. And if it really is, then Indian citizens have something serious to worry about. In all probability, what we have received is some loose old notes of the NPCIL hurriedly put together to meet the CIC deadline and to mislead the public. It is very strange that the SER of India’s first largest mega nuclear complex that may allegedly house six to eight large imported reactors is 12 loose A-4 sheets. It is unbelievable that an ambitious India-Russia joint project built with a whopping outlay of Rs. 14,000 crore has such a lackadaisical site evaluation study.

 

In the so called SER that has been sent to us, pages 1, 2, 3 and 13 have been expunged without any explanation. It is unlikely that this report may have “details of designs of the plant.” It gives rise to a suspicion that the NPCIL still hiding some crucial public safety-related information from the Indian public. On Page 4, the last paragraph mentions “the site selection committee” and “[t]he present committee” without mentioning the number of members or their names. It is unclear why the NPCIL is trying to hide this vital and relevant information.

 

Startling Revelations in the so called SER:

 

[i] Pechipari Water Will be Taken

The so called SER records on Pages 6-7: “In order to enhance additional reliability for water supply, which is essential for functioning of various safety systems of the reactor, intake well at Pechiparai Dam should be provided at lower elevation than the minimum draw-down level of the reservoir. However, it should be ensured by proper management of water distribution that the water level is maintained above this minimum level.” On Page 11, the SER discusses “Fresh water for make-up and domestic use” and establishes that it is “Assured by State Government. One pipe line from Pechiparai dam (at 65 km) to be laid.” Indeed two pipe lines have already been laid from the tail end of the Kuzhithurai Tamirabharani river along the Kanyakumari district coast and from a location some 5 kms away from the Pechiparai dam through Nagercoil town. The NPCIL authorities simply parrot the unserious assertion that they would not take water from the Pechiparai dam, and the Government of Tamil Nadu ignores our long-standing demand of passing an Assembly resolution against taking the Pechiparai water. As a matter of fact, the Tamil Nadu government has recently allotted nearly some Rs. 5 crore to desilt the dam and maintain it.

 

 

 

[ii] No Evacuation Routes Planned or Prescribed

The so called SER claims on Page 8: “At least two evacuation routes from plant site during an emergency should be provided.” It established on Page 16: “3 routes exist for possible evacuation. Schools and other public buildings exist for adequate temporary shelter, Nagercoil (30km), Tirunelveli (100km), and Tuticorin (100km) can provide communication, medical facilities and administrative support.” But there is no discussion about the escape routes, the condition of these roads, the status of the relief shelters and so forth.

 

[iii] Possible Future Expansion

Under Topography, the so called SER asserts: “Sufficient land available for future expansion.” But the NPCIL officials keep saying that they will not take more land for the KKNPP.

 

[iv] Incomplete and Incoherent Info on Hydrology, Geology, Oceanography and Seismology Aspects

All these important issues are very briefly mentioned in a Table with cursory information and without any in-depth analysis.

·         Tsunami is explained away by saying “Not significant as per preliminary report of CRPPS.”

·         As far as seismotectonic environment is concerned, the report asserts simply that “No active fault within 5 km. Site is seismic zone II as per IS-1893; 1984.”

·         The report says on Page 14: “A lime stone quary of about 70 acres falls within the sterilized zone. The lease for this area expires in 1994. Termination of the lease beyond the period has been requested.” In fact, this quarry has functioned until very recently.

Important and relevant issues such as Karst in the area, the slumps in the sea and the recent mega earthquake in the Indian Ocean have not been mentioned or discussed.

 

[v] Radioactive Waste Details

Solid Waste

The so called SER says:

·         “160-180 m cu per year of cemented waste including spent absorption materials, 40 m cu/yr of compacted waste and 5 m cu/yr of cemented ash will be generated from one reactor.”

·         “Low level solid waste to be buried within exclusion zone in leak-proof RCC Vaults/trenches/tile holes.”

·         Spent Fuel: “Each unit layout can store spent fuel of 5 reactor years in the spent fuel pool located inside the containment.”

 

Liquid Waste Dumped into the Sea

According to the SER, the liquid waste is “[t]o be diluted to 2x10E-7 micro Ci/l when discharged into the sea.” So it is clearly established that the radioactivity in the liquid waste of 6000 mCu/year from two units will be removed in the Ion exchange resin and as evaporator concentrate. It will be further diluted by condenser cooling water to meet the AERB limits and discharged into the sea.

 

Gas Release

The daily releases of gaseous discharge from KKNPP 1 and 2 will contain noble gases, I-131, long-life nuclides and short-life nuclides.

 

Thermal Pollution

According to the SER, “Depth of sea water and large dilution due to sea will avoid thermal pollution.”

 

[vi] Population

The so called SER asserts wrongly that there are no center of more than 10,000 people within 10 km radius zone and no center of more than 100,000 people within 30 km radius zone.

 

There is hardly any mention of desalinations plants, the transportation of the nuclear waste and other crucial issues. To sum up, this SER reads like a practical joke being played upon the innocent people of southern Tamil Nadu and southern Kerala. The PMANE rejects this so called SER and demands the NPCIL to share the real, complete and updated Site Evaluation Report with the people of India along with the Safety Analysis Report as per the orders of the CIC.

 

The Struggle Committee

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

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


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

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