An Open Letter to the Media houses in India!


English: Construction site of the Koodankulam ...

 

The Struggle Committee                                                                     June 16, 2013
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Tirunelveli District
Dear friends:
Greetings! Please allow us to bring the following to your kind attention in the larger interests of our country, people and most importantly, our democracy and freedom. As the Fourth Pillar of our democracy, the media in India plays an important role in the smooth running of our country and the perpetuation of our democratic heritage.
We are sure that you have noticed the postponement of the commissioning of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) to July 2013 without giving any reasons or explanations. It is really so disappointing and upsetting why no print or visual media in our country asks the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) or its Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) about this. There has not been one single editorial in any Indian newspaper or an informed debate on any TV debate on the repeated postponement of the KKNPP commission since 2005. Don’t the people of India need to know the reasons behind this constant postponement and continued ducking and dodging by the prime minister, central ministers, chief minister, and nuclear officials?
We have been crying from the roof top that there has been massive corruption in the KKNPP and shoddy, substandard components and spares have been used in the project, but no mediahouse in India has shown any interest to probe this issue further. Most of the northern Indian mediahouses have not even shown any interest in the Koodankulam issue as if we were not part of India.
Although we cannot complain about the media coverage of our various struggles and campaigns here in Tamil Nadu both in the Tamil and the English media, a few irresponsible mediahouses have been portraying a very negative picture of our movement because of their connection with the nuclear industry, or their “higher caste” bias, or for cheap monetary gains. They go for sensationalism, profiteering, and unprincipled and unprofessional reporting. We would also like to point out that there have been good reports and analysis about the KKNPP issue but there is hardly any incisive inquiry into the commissions and omissions of the Indian nuclear industry in the larger media. Also many mediahouses in India tend to fall silent when power centers frown at them, or twist their arms.
As a result of the gross failure of the Fourth Pillar in our democracy, criminals wander about as leaders; ‘Merchants of Venice’ dominate the economic affairs; and all-knowing-scientists and engineers adopt an anti-people attitude in their mega-development projects. Consequently, there is rampant corruption, inefficiency, wastefulness, depression, inflation, regress, and overall moral decay all over the country.
Hence it is high time we undertook a thorough and comprehensive soul-search about the duties and responsibilities of the media in India. The Koodankulam struggle can be a cornerstone for undertaking this analysis.
We would earnestly request you to do a review of your own mediahouse’s policies and practices and see if you feel and write for the “ordinary citizens” of India or for the vested interests of our country and the world. We enclose a write-up pointing out the salient features of the crippled KKNPP that deserves national attention and nation-wide debate. If the Indian mediahouses fail to do this, all the Neo-East India Companies from the United States, Russia, France and everywhere else will come to dominate our socioeconomic-political affairs and enslave us all over again.
Looking forward to your careful consideration of our letter and favorable actions, we send you our best personal regards and all peaceful wishes,
Cordially,
S. P. Udayakumar       M. Pushparayan          F. Jayakumar               M. P. Jesuraj
Coordinator
R. S. Muhilan              Peter Milton                V. Rajalingam             Ms. S. Lidwin
Please allow us to bring the following dangerous developments, difficulties and discrepancies in the Koodankulam nuclear power project (KKNPP) to your kind consideration and request your immediate intervention to expose the irregularities and improprieties in the nuclear energy sector in India and save the people from massive disasters:
[1] Shoddy and Substandard Equipment from ZiO-Podolsk, Informtech Etc.
First and the most important of all, the KKNPP has been constructed with substandard equipment and parts supplied by ZiO-Podolsk, an engineering subsidiary of the Russian company Rosatom. The company’s official website has declared unequivocally: “Over the past few years ZiO produced and implemented a set of equipment for foreign nuclear power plants with VVER-1000: Tianwan (China), Busher (Iran), Kudankulam (India)” (http://aozio.ru/production/ob-atom/). ZiO-Podolsk began shipping shoddy equipment in 2007 or perhaps even earlier. In February 2012, the procurement director, Mr. Sergei Shutov, was arrested for buying low quality and cheap raw material, passing it off as more expensive grade and pocketing the difference. The Federal Security Service, or FSB, the successor organization to the KGB, has been investigating the case that has serious implications for the safety of nuclear power plants built by Russia.
During July 15-18, 2012, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) delegation that included Special Secretary Mr. A. P. Joshi, Deputy Secretary Mr. Ninian Kumar and the Manager of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Mr. Dzhogesh Pady visited ZiO-Podolsk and discussed a range of issues related to the preparation for the launch of KKNPP-1, the progress of the KKNPP-2 etc. and signed a number of contracts relating to the implementation of the current phase of the KKNPP. (AtomEnergoMash, Posted 19.07.2012).
However, when we asked the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) under RTI on January 28, 2013 for “a list of those equipment and parts that have been supplied by Zio-Podolsk to the KKNPP units,” the NPCIL replied tersely on February 20, 2013 (No. NPCIL/VSB/CPIO/2460/HQ/2013/371): “No Information regarding any investigation against Zio-Podolsk is available to NPCIL.” It is a gross untruth and deception because the top DAE officials had just visited the ZiO-Podolsk and they must have followed up the developments. The NPCIL is hiding serious and important information from the Indian public and misleading the entire nation possibly to protect some Russian and Indian middlemen and profiteers.
When we asked the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) on January 28, 2013 for “a list of those equipment and parts that have been supplied by Zio-Podolsk to the KKNPP units” they responded on February 12, 2013 (No. AERB/RSD/RTI/Appl. No. 329/2013/2421) very evasively: “Selection of a company for supplying any equipment to NPCIL, is not under the purview of AERB. However, with respect to Quality Assurance (QA) during design, construction, commissioning and operation, a set of well established AERB documents on QA Codes and Guides are published and they were followed during the safety review of KKNPP.”
Later the NPCIL confirmed officially (in its letter No. NPCIL/VSB/CPIO/2574/KKNPP/2013/737 dated April 29, 2013) that the controversial and corruption-ridden M/S ZiO Podolsk has supplied the following equipment and parts to the KKNPP: “Steam Generators, Cation and anion filters, Mechanical Filter, Moisture Separator and Reheater, Boric solution storage tanks, Regenerative blow down heat exchanger, Pipelines and fittings of different systems, Insulation materials, PHRS Heat exchanger.” In other words, the Koodankulam project in its entirety is unsafe and dangerous.
Another Russian court has convicted one Mr. Alexander Murach, Director of another notorious Russian company, Informtech, for fraud and sentenced him to three years in prison for selling counterfeit measuring equipment for nuclear and hydro power plants’ turbines. The NPCIL has just confirmed in its letter dated May 24, 2013 (No. NPCIL/VSB/CPIO/2670/HQ/2013/884) that they have received “Communication equipment” from Informtech.
Some ten Czech and Slovak companies have also supplied valves, pumps and cables to the Koodankulam project. Leoš Tomíček, Executive Vice-president of Rusatom Overseas says: “We already work with Czechs today. For example, for two blocks of the Indian Koodankulam nuclear power plant, nine Czech companies supplied us with valves, pumps, cables and other equipment worth 58 million dollars.” There have been many cable-related accidents and deaths at the KKNPP. T. S. Subramanian says in a 2009 article: “Cabling is under way in the state-of-the-art control room for Unit-1, which is akin to an aircraft’s cockpit. M.I. Joy, Additional Chief Engineer (Site Planning), KKNPP, said, “Once the cabling is completed, the entire control of the plant, including the reactor and turbine, will be done from the control room.” The plant’s control room is humidity-controlled. “The atmosphere is so pure here that the cables will not be spoiled,” said Joy.
(http://www.frontline.in/navigation/?type=static&page=flonnet&rdurl=fl2616/stories/20090814261612). It is this “so pure” atmosphere that has killed six workers in the past three months in electrocution accidents. The quality of the Czech cables and the checkered electrical work, and the role of Mr. M. I. Joy in all these are important questions must be looked into.
Since shoddy and substandard equipment and parts in a massive nuclear power park pose enormous dangers of epic proportion to millions and millions of innocent people in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and elsewhere, this issue has to be thoroughly and comprehensively probed in collaboration with the officials of Rosatom, Atomstroyexport, Federal Security Service (FSB) and most importantly, with independent nuclear experts in India.
[2] The Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) Lies!
Izhorskiye Zavody, which is part of United Machinery Plants (OMZ) holding, signed a contract with India for the construction of two nuclear reactor bodies for Kudankulam’s station in 2002. They shipped a new nuclear reactor body that would be the first power unit of India’s Kudankulam nuclear power plant to the city’s sea port. Yevgeny Sergeyev, general director of Izhorskiye Zavody, said at a ceremony sending off the reactor: “We were so sure of our partners that we started to produce the first reactor bodies four months before the official contract was signed.” Sergeyev said the reactor was completed six months before deadline (The St Petersburg Times, 19 November 2004,http://sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=2135).
The Koodankulam reactor pressure vessel (RPV) arrived at the Tuticorin Port in January 2004. The first unit of the power plant was expected to be synchronized in December 2007, and the second unit by December 2008. Mr. S. K. Aggarwal, the then project director said: “The project officials have targeted to complete the works for synchronisation of both the units in March and September 2007 respectively.”
The Russian Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Nuclear Supervision, Rostekhnadzor, claimed in 2009: “The main causes of violations in the NPP construction works are insufficient qualifications, and the personnel’s meagre (sic) knowledge of federal norms and rules, design documentation, and of the technological processes of equipment manufacturing. In particular, the top management of Izhorskiye Zavody have been advised of the low quality of the enterprise’s products and have been warned that sanctions might be enforced, up to suspending the enterprise’s equipment production licence”
(http://www.gosnadzor.ru/osnovnaya_deyatelnost_slujby/otcheti-o-deyatelnosti-sluzhbi-godovie/). Unlike the original design of the Koodankulam RPVs, the erected ones have beltline welds, questionable quality and corruption charges.
[3] Fiddling with the Reactor Design and Doing an Unauthorized Refit
When the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)’s dialogue with the Central Government’s Expert Group got aborted due to the violent attack on us by some anti-social elements, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister appointed a team of four members to study the KKNPP issue. When that group included Dr. M. R. Srinivasan, the former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), we objected to his inclusion in the team. However, he continued to be part of the team and we did have a dialogue with the team on February 19, 2012 in Tirunelveli.
During our interaction that was held in the presence of the Tirunelveli District Collector and other officials, Dr. Srinivasan never mentioned once that the DAE had made changes in the core of the reactor. It is also not revealed to the public until now if he and the team included this unauthorized fiddling in the report they submitted to the CM. However, Dr. Srinivasan has publicly acknowledged now: “We sought an additional safety mechanism well before the Fukushima disaster. The safety mechanism consists of valves. The original reactor design had to be altered and I feel this is the basic cause for delay.” According to him, the valves were designed partially in India and Russia and compatibility with the reactor led to some hiccups (http://newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/article1517314.ece).
After fiddling with the original design of the KKNPP reactors, the Indian authorities went back and did an unauthorized “refit” without revealing the details to anyone. All these things point out the inherent deficiencies of the Russian reactors, their vulnerability due to all the fiddling, and their untrustworthiness after the refit. Since this matter has to do with the lives and sustenance of millions and millions of people, all the relevant details must be made public.
[4] Blaming the Protests for Atomic Inefficiency and Inept Engineering
The Russian and the Indian nuclear authorities are hiding their corruption, wastefulness and inefficiency by conveniently blaming the struggling people for all the delay and cost overrun. The Indian Express newspaper asserts that the “delay is on the supply side from Russia as a whole lot of components have been replaced, some of which had to be shipped in.” The KKNPP sources have also confessed that the “containment vessel of the nuclear core too has been changed since the old one had sprung a leak, which was detected three months ago during testing” (http://newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/article1517314.ece).
The KKNPP authorities claim that “most components meant for Unit-II that were already in the warehouse were used as replacements for Unit-I.” It is not clear why they were kept in the warehouse since Unit 2 was also being concurrently constructed along with Unit 1. The nuclear authorities are hiding the plain truth that Unit 1 is a complete failure and hence they are trying to revive it with the parts of Unit 2. Nobody knows the total loss that India has suffered because of all these shifting and shuffling.
The Srinivasan-confessed “refit” of KKNPP-1 is being blamed on its “idling for months together because of a major agitation plus litigation in the Supreme Court.” This is an outrageous falsehood! Even when our agitation was going on between September 2011 and March 2012, regular and full-swing maintenance work was going on at the Koodankulam plant on a daily basis. When the Tamil Nadu government changed its stand on our agitation on March 19, 2012 and pushed us to the village of Idinthakarai, the Site Director of KKNPP Reactors I and II, Mr. R.S. Sundar, said the “water chemistry” of the water being used in the coolant was encouraging as proper maintenance had been carried out with skeletal staff during the protests (P. Sudhakar, “Croatian experts to inspect the condition of equipment,” The Hindu, March 23, 2012).
Mr. S. T. Arasu, Senior Maintenance Engineer at KKNPP said: “We have operated all the pumps to measure the vibration level, which is less than the desirable baseline data and it shows the quality of our skilled workforce. Though this section could not be given complete attention during the past five-and-a-half months, the equipment are functioning in an amazing fashion” (P. Sudhakar, “Employees at Kudankulam project site a charged lot,” The Hindu, March 24, 2012).
Mr. Yevgeniy N. Dudkin, the head of the Russian Specialists Group, said that none of the Russian specialists of Atomstroyexport had left the project site during the protests. He pointed out that some additional works needed to be done and said, “It is not a huge work.” (P. Sudhakar and S. Sundar, “Primary coolant pumps to undergo another trial,” The Hindu, March 29, 2012.)
Similarly, when the Supreme Court began its hearing on a batch of petitions in September 2012, they refused to give a ‘stay’ to halt the ongoing work at KKNPP and allowed the authorities to continue with their work. Accordingly, the AERB allowed fuel loading in September 2012 dismissing the feelings and sentiments of millions of struggling people in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Now the Supreme Court has given a green signal to run the project subject to 15 stringent recommendations.
But the KKNPP, NPCIL, AERB, and the DAE officials are conveniently blaming their inordinate delay in commissioning the KKNPP-1 on the “corrosion and leakage since sea water was used as the coolant.” If the pipes leak and corrode within such a short time, the government should order a probe into the quality of these pipes, the quality of the various equipment and spares that were sent by the Russians. If these pipes and parts cannot withstand one year of sea water circulation, how are they going to function safely for 40-60 years?
[5] Mounting Costs and Massive Corruption
Every single deal that India has signed with Russia has proved to be a disaster and big loss for India. The INS Vikramaditya/Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier has been delayed by five years with the final cost hovering in the $2.9 billion range. The time overrun and cost escalation also plagues another mega Indo-Russian defense deal of upgrading MiG-29 fighter planes. The KKNPP is yet another disaster.
The approved cost of the KKNPP 1 & 2 project is Rs. 13,171 crores. But the DAE and the NPCIL claim that they have spent an additional amount of Rs. 4,000 crores on the non-performing project. Nobody knows the exact end cost of the KKNPP or the breakdown of the final amount. The former AERB Chief, Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, has claimed that the decision to import 40,000 MW capacity Light Water Reactors (LWRs) in early 2006 was taken without any techno-economic evaluation by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) or any other agency. According to Dr. Gopalakrishnan, “The decisions, price negotiations and supply terms are being negotiated by the UPA- 2 government in haste, with the intention of fulfilling the PM’s commitments to these foreign governments and their companies before he demits office. .The decision was merely a quid-pro-quo to give business to the reactor manufacturers in those countries which helped India get a Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) waiver” (DNA, February 16, 2013).
The Russian nuclear company, Atomstroyexport, has just released its financial statement for the year 2011. The company claims that losses in 2011 were twice bigger than the losses of 2010, and that the company is on the brink of bankruptcy. This has seriously affected the Russian nuclear projects at Koodankulam in India and Busher in Iran <http://www.interfax.ru/business/txt.asp?id=283928>. We wonder if the Indian government is secretly helping the Russian company with its losses and bankruptcy.
The NPCIL authorities have claimed that the Rs.4,000 crores cost overrun at Koodankulam is due to the “increase in interest during construction (IDC), escalation on works, contractor’s overheads and establishment charges” (RTI reply dated February 20, 2013). It is pertinent to note that the Russian government is not making such financial compensation to India for all the delay and cost overrun in all of the above projects.
Instead of explaining these mounting costs and massive irregularities, the Russian Ambassador to India Mr. Alexander Kadakin simply misleads Indians by unnecessary and unacceptable comments on our internal affairs. We wonder if the Indian nuclear establishment is secretly helping the Russian company with its losses and bankruptcy.  We wonder if the Koodankulam financial irregularities involve both Indian and Russian nuclearocrats, diplomats and politicians.
[6] Commissioning the KKNPP Every 15 Days
Instead of reporting to the citizens of India inside India about the largest and imported nuclear power park at Koodankulam, the Prime Minister of India goes to South Africa and reassures the President of Russia of its commissioning process (no pun intended). When the Prime Minister had announced in Moscow that the KKNPP would be commissioned “in a couple of weeks” on December 15, 2011, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister expressed her dissent and displeasure immediately.
The calendar for commissioning of KKNPP-1 has been shifted some 20 times in the past one year by politicians, bureaucrats and the nuclear authorities. In fact, this “commission dating” process has been going on from 2005 onwards and the Union Minister of State, Mr. V. Narayanasamy has set a record of sorts for himself in this calculated and irresponsible misinformation campaign. All these people have been lyingto the nation repeatedly and recklessly and hence we cannot trust these authorities with our and our families’ safety and well-being. If there is any truth and decorum in public life in India, all these officials should resign from their respective posts.
[7] No Information, No Liability, No Pollution Safeguard
The Government of India and the DAE have not shared any basic information with us about the KKNPP. Even after the Central Information Commission (CIC) has instructed them, they have not shared the Site Evaluation Report (SER) and the Safety Analysis Report (SAR) with us. They have not heard our opinions or allayed our fears and concerns about the lack of fresh water resources, the changes in the design of the Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV), the management of liquid and solid waste and so on.
Neither have the Indian nuclear authorities got any liability from the Russian government and/or companies for KKNPP 1 and 2. The Government of India is not even willing to share the secretive Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) that they signed with the Russian government in 2008. Even as we are dealing with KKNPP 1 and 2, the Government of India is announcing the agreement on KKNPP 3 and 4 with utter disregard for the sentiments of the local people and the people of Tamil Nadu as a whole.
The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has also given consent to discharge enormous amounts of sewage, trade effluent, desalination plant effluent, demineralization effluent, steam generator effluent, suspended solids, dissolved solids, and many other waste products into the sea. The TNPCB fixed the temperature of the effluents at the discharge point as 45 degrees and later summarily reduced it to 36 or 37 degrees. They have also allowed the KKNPP to release significant amounts of Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, particulate matters and many other harmful radioactive pollutants into the air. Nobody seems to bother about the impact of all these on the sea, sea food, crops, dairy, food security, nutrition, health and wellbeing of us, our children and grandchildren.
Furthermore, it is revealed now that the NPCIL does not hold valid and legitimate clearances for all the various buildings and installations in the KKNPP from the Tamil Nadu Coastal Zone Management Authority under the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification of 2011.
[8] The Tamils Get Elegy and the Others Get Energy!
Even though the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has written to the Prime Minister on March 31, April 25 and August 19, 2012, demanding all the power from the KKNPP to Tamil Nadu, the Prime Minister or his PMO never even acknowledged those letters. Earlier the CM had demanded more power from the Central Pool and financial help for various power generation schemes, but the UPA government always ignored her genuine requests and earnest efforts.
If this is the way the UPA government treats the Chief Minister of an important State and popular leader of millions of Tamil people, one can possibly imagine the feelings and attitude they may have towards the poorest of the poor who have been struggling on our own for almost two years now. The Congress Party and the UPA government seem to have scant regards for the Tamil fishermen, Tamil women, and the Tamil people as a whole.
It is also strange that our neighboring states would not share the Nature-given river waters with us but we, the Tamil people, have to suffer nuclear waste, thermal pollution, saline refuse, and most importantly, nuclear radiation and give them all risk-free electricity. It is quite preposterous that the Congress government in Kerala stakes a claim for 500 MW from the KKNPP; in fact, the Congress governments in Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram can together decide to set up a few nuclear power plants somewhere in Kerala. The intelligent and Nature-loving people of Kerala would never allow that and the political parties there, whether Congress or Communists or BJP or others, would never let that happen also.
Given the above situation, may we request you to demand an inquiry into the construction, equipment, overall quality, performance and the viability of the entire Koodankulam nuclear power project; removal of the fuel rods from the core of the Unit 1 reactor; conversion of the KKNPP into a pro-people and Nature-friendly Model New Energy Park; bringing about renewable energy projects all over our country; rectifying the transmission and distribution issues, and protecting the interests and well-being of the Tamil people and our progeny please.
If we let this shoddy, substandard, unsafe, and corruption-ridden nuclear power project to go critical and fail in our collective historic duty to protect our people, preserve our Natural resources and prop up the interests of newborn and unborn generations of India, we all will be held responsible and answerable for all the upcoming calamities and uncalculable harms to our people.

 

 

 

 

Does the Supreme Court care about Indian lives?


The reasons behind clearing the Koodankulam nuclear plant defy logic and democratic principles
SP Udayakumar

18-05-2013, Issue 20

This week, a bench of the Supreme Court (SC) cleared the commissioning of the nuclear power plant at Koodankulam, against which the residents of the area have been protesting for the last 630 days. We find this verdict to be highly unfortunate, and feel that it doesn’t take into account the value of Indian lives.

Ten days before the judgment, our supporters Poovulagin Nanbargal (friends of the earth) filed an affidavit before the Court that ZiO-Podolsk, which has supplied much of the equipment to the plant, is a discredited and corrupt company. Sergei Shutov, the procurement director of the company, was arrested in February 2012 on charges of using substandard metal in their equipment. When we filed an RTI with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) this January, they denied having received equipment from ZiO-Podolsk, and it was only after repeated enquiries that the NPCIL was forced to admit the truth. This is a very serious matter; if anything were to go wrong, crores of lives would be lost. Yet, the SC refuses to consider this issue while announcing its verdict.

Even accepting, for the sake of argument, that this matter came to light after the Court reserved its judgment, and thus cannot be admitted, what about waste management? The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) told the Court that the waste would be buried under the Kolar gold fields in Karnataka, but the plan was dropped after the residents protested. And that was that. The Court didn’t ask again what alternative the DAE had, and passed its judgment without settling the question. So what happens to this highly toxic waste?

As for liability, an inter-governmental agreement of 2008 holds that the Russians would not be liable in case the faulty equipment malfunctions. What a great deal! You buy whatever rubbish they give you, and you exempt them from liability. So much money has been stolen by both rich Indians and Russians, and the poor locals have to bear the brunt of the greater risk. Who is liable? Is Manmohan Singh liable? He might not be in power two months from now. Would it be the DAE? The KKNPP site director Kasinath Balaji has disappeared, and someone else is in his post. The NPCIL? SK Jain, who was the chairman, is now leading a cushy life in Tokyo as the chairman of the governing board of the World Association of Nuclear Operators. Who will be here to answer for something going wrong? We do not trust these bureaucrats and officials, and now we can’t even trust the SC. If the SC cared about Indian lives, it should have asked these questions.

But no, the Court says that a balance has to be struck between the right to life and sustainable development, that the larger public interest should prevail over minor inconveniences caused to local people. If the inconvenience is really minor, why don’t they build the plant near Parliament? The “larger public interest” it speaks of is nothing but the interests of large corporations for which poor fishermen, women and children should apparently sacrifice their lives and livelihoods.

Regardless, our struggle continues. We may not be successful in closing the plant tomorrow, or in the next few months, or few years. We are patient. We shall persevere. For we have persevered despite the government’s campaign to spread lies and libel us. They have claimed that those who oppose the Koodankulam plant are foreign stooges and that we receive money from abroad. VS Achuthanandan, the former chief minister of Kerala, opposes the plant. Did he take money from abroad? Dr A Gopalakrishnan, the former head of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, has written extensively against the plant. Does he do so for foreign money? Admiral (Retd) Ramdas opposes the plant. Medha Patkar is against it. So is Aruna Roy. Who paid them? Why, when such luminaries have stood up against the government’s anti-people stance, should nameless, faceless Udayakumar be singled out by the Americans for payments?

I don’t take the government’s vilification seriously, because I have nothing at stake. I am not trying to join politics, and I don’t need a certificate of approval from anybody. It’s not me anyone should be worried about, but the people of Idinthakarai, of Koothankuli, of other villages that will be affected, who have lost so much because they chose to take a stand. They have lost their incomes, they have been arrested, they have been attacked by the police. With the opening of the plant, things will only get worse.

But we persist, because we firmly believe that we are fighting for the good of our country, for which we have an enormous amount of love. India needs development, we agree, but in seeking that development, we must not undermine our natural resources, or the basic health of our people and our nutrition security. What are our priorities, after all? Half of our population lives under 20 a day, half of our population barely has any sanitation. We don’t have the basic necessities. People are dying for want of safe drinking water. Instead of addressing these issues, why does our government persist in its obsession with nuclear power, which only adds to the suffering of the poor? Yes, we need electricity, but there needs to be leadership in how we go about harnessing it. If a country like Germany can develop so much electricity from solar power, why can’t we? We have been vilified as fighting against the interests of our country. We have been called Luddites standing in the way of progress. But it must be made clear that we are not against electricity, only nuclear power. We are not against development that benefits Indians, but against that which benefits corrupt Russian companies. We want our people to live as human beings, in a State that does not compromise their safety or on the basic necessities of life.

The greatest challenge we have faced in the course of our protest is the power differential between the people and the State. We celebrate our country as the world’s largest democracy, but its people are hopelessly powerless. Nobody listens to the people. The Parliament wastes our time, energy and resources. Even to ask a question in Parliament, we must bribe MPs, and even when they ask the question, it is just a ritual. No serious debate takes place. This democracy we speak of is a sham. It works only to cheat the poor of their rights.

As told to Ajachi Chakrabarti

letters@tehelka.com

(Published in Tehelka Magazine, Volume 10 Issue 20, Dated

 

KKNPP: Shoddy Parts and Shabby Leaders


People’s Movemenmt Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

Idinthakarai 627 104
Tirunelveli District
Mobile: 9842154073, 9865683735
Email: koodankulam@yahoo.com                                                      For Immediate Release
May 3, 2013
Shoddy Parts, Shabby Leaders, and Shaky Indian Lives!
The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) accuses that the corrupt Congress Party and government in India, the Indian nuclear establishment and the Russian nuclear establishment consider Indian lives base and valueless and prepare to put our lives in danger for their own profits, commissions, power and prominence.
The Koodankulam reactors present a clear and present danger to the safety and well-being of Indian citizens with many substandard equipment and parts supplied by discredited Russian companies such as ZiO-Podolsk, Informtekh and Izhorskiye Zavody. The NPCIL has just confirmed officially (in its letter No. NPCIL/VSB/CPIO/2574/KKNPP/2013/737 dated April 29, 2013) that the controversial and corruption-ridden M/S ZiO Podolsk has supplied the following equipment and parts to the KKNPP: “Steam Generators, Cation and anion filters, Mechanical Filter, Moisture Separator and Reheater, Boric solution storage tanks, Regenerative blow down heat exchanger, Pipelines and fittings of different systems, Insulation materials, PHRS Heat exchanger.” In other words, the Koodankulam project in its entirety is unsafe and dangerous.
In February 2012, the procurement director, Mr. Sergei Shutov of Zio-Podolsk was arrested for buying low quality and cheap raw material, passing it off as more expensive grade and pocketing the difference. Another Russian court has convicted one Mr. Alexander Murach, Director of another notorious Russian company, Informtekh, for fraud and sentenced him to three years in prison for selling counterfeit measuring equipment for the Russian nuclear power plants’ turbines.
This technological horror is compounded by the moronic and imbecilic attitude and announcements of people from the Indian nuclear establishment and the Congress government in Delhi. The Indian nuclear industry’s gruesome Goebbels and Minister of State at the PMO, Mr. V. Narayanasamy, leads this pack with little understanding of how dangerous the Koodankulam project is and what is at stake for all Indians. The basic premise underneath all this recklessness is the little value they all attach to Indian lives.
Our friends have just filed an affidavit/application in the Indian Supreme Court about corruption and substandard reactor and equipment in KKNPP in connection with a pending case. But Mr. Narayanasamy has told the Rajya Sabha that the External Affairs Minister Mr. Salman Khurshid has conveyed to the Russian side that the first unit of the Kudankulam power project is at sub-critical stage and is expected to be commissioned “any day” in May.
Do these Congress Ministers in New Delhi know that reputed car companies, pet food manufacturers, tooth paste producers and toy makers have recalled their products just to respect human safety and well-being?

In October 2012 Toyota company recalled 7.4 million cars after discovering faulty window switches in 12 of its world-famous models. It was the biggest single recall since Ford had taken 8 million vehicles off the road in 1996 for a faulty ignition module. In November 2012 Toyota called back 2.8 million cars to fix faulty steering columns and water pumps.

On March 16, 2007, popular brands of pet food were withdrawn across the United States because of the presence of ‘melamine,’ an industrial chemical found in plastics and resins. In July 2007, the European Union’s RAPEX (rapid alert system) had alerted the member states’ governments to pull two brands of Chinese-made toothpaste, Spearmint and Trileaf Spearmint, from the European shelves because they contained ‘diethylene glycol,’ a constituent of anti-freeze. In August 2007, the world’s biggest toy company, Mattel, recalled millions of toys modeled on Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Elmo, and Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer because of high lead levels in the paint used.

Mr. Narayanasamy and his ilk should understand that bad luck and harsh justice befall those who put innocent people’s lives on harm’s way. On August 11, 2007, Zhang Shuhong, co-owner of the Lee Der Toy Company, that was a major supplier to Mattel, committed suicide at one of his factories. On July 10, 2007, China executed the former head of its food and drug administration, Zheng Xiaoyu, for dereliction of duty and taking 6.5 million Yuan (about US $ 850,000) in bribes from the manufacturers of substandard medicines that had been blamed for several deaths. The blabbering mouths should learn a few things from these incidents.

The PMANE demands a comprehensive, complete, independent inquiry into the financial and technical scams of the Koodankulam project, and the closure of the KKNPP in the larger interests of the people of India.
The Struggle Committee
PMANE

 

Koodankulam Must Be Stopped: Dr. A Gopalakrishnan #nuclear


DiaNuke

Dr. A Gopalakrishnan, the former Chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, has raised some urgent issues in his article in the New Indian Express today that the government must address before commissioning Koodankulam.

Please click on the picture to read the article in the E-paperPlease click on the picture to read the article in the E-paper

The first of the two 1000 MWe VVER nuclear reactors at Koodankulam Project (KKNP-1), under commissioning and testing , is supplied by the Russian atomic energy corporation, Rosatom ,through its subsidiary, Atomstroyexport. On the Indian side , the KKNP project is owned by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) , a public sector undertaking of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) . The overall safety regulation responsibility is with the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) .

Crucial materials and reactor parts have been exported to KKNP-1 & 2 by a Russian government-owned company called Machine-Building Plant ZiO-Podolsk (ZiO) , which is another Rosatom subsidiary. ZiO-Podolsk supplies have been sent for years to all the Russian nuclear power plants, and to most of the VVER plants exported to countries like India, Iran, China and Bulgaria. These include important safety subsystems , equipment , components and materials supplied over the years to KKNP-1 & 2 .

KKNP-1 was originally scheduled to start operation in early 2010 , but presently even the final start-up testing is not completed . In January 2013 , the Secretary, DAE, stated that he was totally certain that the reactor would be started that month itself, but it did not happen.

From NPCIL’s continuing inability to start-up KKNP-1 till now , it is very obvious that the Indo-Russian commissioning team at Koodankulam is facing some serious problems which they never anticipated.

The congenital lack of transparency from which the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the nuclear sector organisations are suffering always prevents the public from knowing the real story. The DAE Secretary’s reasons for the delay in KKNP-1 start-up is that “ the engineers have opened up a few of the valves and such components for maintenance and it’s taking some time.” M.R Srinivasan, Member (AEC), is reported to have said, “We sought an additional safety mechanism , which consists of valves. The original reactor design had to be altered and I believe this is the basic cause for delay . The valves were designed partially in India and Russia and compatibility with the reactor led to some hiccups.”

The fact that a high-cost , high-risk nuclear reactor is facing defects and deficiencies in its components and equipment even before it is started up is highly unusual, and this indicates gross failures at several levels in the DAE-AERB-NPCIL-Atomstroyexport combine.

If designs have been checked and followed , procurement of materials and fabrication have been done as per technical specifications, testing and quality control at the manufacturer’s shops were comprehensive, and NPCIL’s Quality Assurance (QA) before acceptance of supplies at site were strictly as per nuclear norms, these problems could not have arisen at the commissioning stage.

If news trickling out of KKNP-1 site is to be trusted, the Russian special check valves in the passive long-term core flooding system (hydroaccumulator system- stage 2) are defective as received and, at this late hour an order to manufacture one or more such valves has been placed on a reputed Hyderabad company. One or more of the new Russian valves show cracks even at the finish of initial commissioning tests. Similarly, the passive heat removal system (PHRS) is not functioning as per specifications, because the damper — air heat exchanger — vane system has not been integrally tested at the Russian manufaturer’s works as required and problems were not sorted out there itself . There are other problems to list, but the above are typical of the flaws holding up the reactor commissioning. Almost all these malfunctioning components and sub-systems have been produced by ZiO-Podolsk, and all of them are crucial to the safety of the plant, under beyond-design-basis accidents.

The Bellona Foundation, an international environmental NGO based in Norway
(), stated (http://www.anti-atom.ru/en/node/3468 ) in February 2012 that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) had arrested Sergei Shutov, the procurement director of ZiO-Podolsk, on charges of corruption and fraud. The FSB has charged Shutov with buying low-quality raw materials on the cheap over the years, passing them off as high-quality materials, and pocketing the difference.

It is not clear how many reactors have been impacted by this alleged crime, but reactors built by Russia in India, Bulgaria, Iran and China are among those suspected to have received sub-standard equipment and components, given the timeframe of work completed.

Bulgaria has already asked Atomstroyexport and ZiO-Podolsk to provide details of materials used in their reactors, including quality certificates. Similarly , China’s Tianwan plant has two VVER-1000 reactors, and the Chinese have raised several hundred queries regarding the low quality of materials and components.

Investigative Journalists, an NGO based in the Armenian capital, has said that the use of substandard materials could lead to a nuclear disaster. “Stopping and conducting full scale checks of reactors where equipment from ZiO-Podolsk has been installed is absolutely necessary,” Vladimir Slivyak, co-chair of Russian environmental NGO Ecodefence, said recently.“Otherwise the risk of a serious accident at a nuclear power plant, whose clean-up bill, stretching into the tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars, will have to be footed by taxpayers.”

The problems with ZiO-Podolsk supplies to the KKNP-1 Project, seen in the context of the widespread allegations of corruption and poor quality, indicate that the root cause of KKNP-1 problems lies in those sub-standard supplies. Recent questions raised under RTI to the AERB and NPCIL resulted only in evasive and pointless replies. Asked about parts supplied by ZiO, AERB says “the selection of a company for supplying any equipment to NPCIL is not under the purview of AERB.” For the same query, NPCIL says, “No information regarding any investigation against ZiO-Podolsk is available to NPCIL”. Both these DAE organisations were lying in these replies, as is evident from the following facts.

The website of the Russian Embassy in India carries the news of a senior Indian delegation headed by AP Joshi, Special Secretary, DAE having visited ZiO-Podolsk from July 15-18, 2012, just about five months after the arrest of Sergei Shutov, Zio-Podolsk’s Procurement Director, for fraud and corruption in sending out inferior products to national and foreign reactor projects , including KKNP-1 & 2.

The Indian Embassy in Moscow and the NPCIL / DAE personnel stationed there must have certainly known about Shutov’s arrest , and the inherent serious implications of his actions on the safety of KKNP-1 & 2. They would have briefed the DAE Secretary about it immediately and through him the PMO would also have been alerted . And yet , both AERB and NPCIL pretend to take the ZiO-Podolsk matter very lightly and feign ignorance .

One can only surmise that the PMO & the DAE quickly realied the gravity of the potentially explosive situation that could develop vis-a-vis Koodankulam reactor safety, following Shutov’s arrest, because by then several crucial equipment, components and materials with alleged poor quality and deficiencies have been already installed in various parts of both units at KKNP and Unit-1 was on its way to commissioning. The PMO & DAE seem to have decided to weather the storm through the joint execution of an Indo-Russian cover-up plan, and hold a firm position that all is well with KKNP supplies.

After a fire-fighting strategy was framed in India , it would appear that the PMO despatched the Special Secretary, DAE, and his team to visit ZiO-Podolsk and spent three days to firm up the modus operandi of tackling the rather tricky situation which could develop in India once the protesters and the courts of law come to know of the scam details. After all , the PMO’s top priority is to meet the PM’s promise to President Putin that KKNP-1 will be started up in April 2013, and public safety and corruption come only after that .

There could be a large number of equipment, components and materials of substandard quality from ZiO-Podolsk already installed in various parts of KKNP-1& 2 whose deficiencies and defects are dormant today, but these very same shortcomings may cause such parts to catastrophically fail when the reactor is operated for some time .

Many such parts and materials may have been installed within the reactor pressure vessel itself, which is now closed and sealed in preparation for the start-up. Once the reactor is made critical and reaches power operation, much of these components and materials inside will become radioactive and/or will be in environments where they cannot be properly tested for quality or performance.

Under the circumstances , KKNP Unit-1 commissioning and KKNP-2 construction work must be stopped forthwith, and there can be no question of resuming these works towards start-up of both these reactors until a thorough and impartial investigation is carried out into the impact of this corruption scandal and sub-standard supplies on the safety of these reactors.

And these investigations must be carried out by a team, where majority membership must not be from DAE , NPCIL and AERB, but include subject experts from other organisations in the country.

India must also seriously consider inviting an IAEA expert team specially constituted to investigate the specific issues which this scandal has thrown up.

 

Evidence of substandard equipment from Zio-Podolsk in Koodankulam


Koodankulam Alert!
There are substandard equipment from Zio-Podolsk!
Concrete Evidence!
Over the past few years ZiO produced and implemented a set of equipment for foreign nuclear power plants with VVER-1000: “Tianwan” (China), “Busher” (Iran), “Kudankulam” (India).
JSC “Machine-Building Plant” ZIO-Podolsk, “starting with the construction of the world’s first nuclear power plant in the years 1952-1954. (Obninsk), is one of the leading Russian companies in the development and supply of equipment for nuclear power plants. Plant manufactures and supplies reactor vessels, steam generators, separators, steam heaters, heaters high and low pressure for the system recovery steam turbines, mains water heaters, heat exchangers for various purposes, ion-exchange filters and traps, blocks, parts and support for piping, tanks, block removable insulation, evaporating installation of metal inspection of the reactor vessel and other equipment for nuclear power plants.
At all nuclear power stations built in the Soviet Union, the factory installed equipment. Foreign nuclear power plant in Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, East Germany, Finland and the VVER-440 and VVER-1000 is equipped with equipment marked “ZIO”. The factory is a manufacturer of unique equipment for nuclear power plants with fast reactors with sodium-cooled BN-350 and BN-600 reactor vessels, intercoolers “sodium-sodium” steam generators. Reliable operation of the equipment for 25 years testifies to the correctness of the choice of design and manufacturing technology.
The plant started production of capital equipment for the installation of a new generation of reactor on fast neutron reactor BN-800 (reactor vessel, steam generator, an intermediate heat exchanger, separator, steam heaters, heaters (LDPE), etc.).
For nuclear power plants with VVER-440 plant has produced more than 100, and for nuclear power plants with VVER-1000 more than 120 steam generators, which operate at different nuclear power plants in Russia and abroad.
Since 1984, the plant started production of control systems (ACC-213, SC-187), which are designed for periodic monitoring and inspection of the body, heads, nozzles VVER-440, VVER-1000 and provide:
·         External ultrasonic testing of metal hulls, bottoms and nipples;
·         radiographic testing of welds zone pipes;
·         outer, inner, and television viewing periscope inside the reactor.
Monitoring system set both on domestic and on foreign nuclear power stations.
Over the past few years ZiO produced and implemented a set of equipment for foreign nuclear power plants with VVER-1000: “Tianwan” (China), “Busher” (Iran), “Kudankulam” (India).
The plant is constantly being modernized equipment operating nuclear power plants to improve the reliability, economic performance and increase the resource set. The modernization of equipment in nuclear power plants, “Kozloduy” (Bulgaria), Rivne (Ukraine), Armenia (Armenia), Novovoronezh, Kola, Volgodonsk, Beloyarsk (Russia). Together with “Rosenergoatom” was designed and implemented the program to survey and upgrade equipment intermediate separation and steam superheat at all nuclear power plants in Russia.
In the past few years there have been new designs of projects separator superheater, high-pressure heaters for units with VVER-1000, BN-800. In the design operating experience of similar equipment and cutting-edge science and technology (NGN applied centrifugal separators, used a more advanced design PVD chamber type instead of “collector”). In the design of PGV-1000 steam generators for nuclear power reactor VVER1000 applied all the latest developments in the field of parogeneratorostroeniya: bezzhalyuziyny separator, the new distribution of feed water and purging, eddy-current testing jumpers collectors and heat exchanger tubes along their entire length, low-temperature heat treatment of collectors and others. Plant designers are working to develop equipment for nuclear power plants with VVER-1000 with a lifetime of 60 years, including the steam generator of a new generation, developed in collaboration with FSUE EDO “Hydraulic”.
The plant constantly develops new types of manufacturing equipment for nuclear power stations. The manufacture of ion-exchange filters and filter traps for water treatment systems and special water treatment plant. Also mastered the production of equipment for evaporating systems, new types of heat exchangers with heat transfer surface of the spiral wound pipes, bubblers, tanks of up to 1,000 m3, jet-vortex capacitors accident localization system for VVER-440, block removable thermal insulation of equipment and pipelines of high and low pressure of atomic power stations and more.
The design uses the latest technologies that are protected by copyright certificates and patented a number of leading countries of the world. In manufacture the advanced and unique technology: a longitudinal fin tubes, hydraulic rolling and rolling by explosion, deep hole drilling, and others.
The main goal of the design and manufacturing of the equipment is to increase the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants.
Source:
Translated using Google Translate
This is from Zi0-Podolsk’s Russian Website

 

 

#India -Zio-Podolsk Scandal – Save Our Souls – Part -4 #nuclear


Zio-Podolsk and India Connection

 CharlesDigges

[1] February 9, 2011
“ZIO-Podolsk” and IR “ZIOMAR” a delegation of Indian firms WALCHANDNAGAR INDUSTRIES LTD (WIL)

The President of the Technology Centre of the company WALCHANDNAGAR INDUSTRIES LTD (WIL) Mr. N.M. Nadaf  led the Indian delegation, February 8 – 9, 2012 paid a visit to the machine-building plant “ZIO-Podolsk” and visited the EC “ZIOMAR.” The purpose of the visit – negotiations to establish a joint venture for the localization of equipment manufacturing plant in India. The talks brought together representatives of WALCHANDNAGAR, plant management and engineering company “ZIOMAR.” Company WALCHANDNAGAR, which consists of 3 factories of all kinds of equipment – from nuclear energy and space to boilers for the sugar industry, is actively developing its management plans – building a new plant for the production of heavy equipment. This reactor vessel, steam generators, etc.

During the two-day visit of Indian delegation guests visited the factory museum, learned about the history, achievements, quality system of our businesses. As experienced production workers, they are very closely acquainted with the activities of the factory, and they were interested in our products, and tools, and mechanisms that are used in workshops, and technology. Thoroughly acquainted in the shops of the main production with the manufacture of equipment for the nuclear power industry, continued to meet in the meeting room. There were many questions about the manufacture of products plant nomenclature ZIO from which to conclude that the Indian IT firms have come to us on a tour, and with the clear intention to learn from and to establish close contacts for long-term cooperation.
http://www.aozio.ru/news/2011/09-02-2011-1/

[2] February 17, 2011

“ZIO-Podolsk” and WIL can be established in India co-production of equipment for nuclear power plants

Machine-Building Plant “ZIO-Podolsk” and “Walchandnagar Industries Ltd.” (WIL) may set up a joint venture in India for the production of equipment for nuclear power stations. February 9-10, the Indian delegation led by President of Technology’s Center WIL NM Nadaf visited “ZIO-Podolsk” and the engineering company “ZIOMAR” in Podolsk, near Moscow. As reported by the JSC “ZIO-Podolsk” during the visit, the negotiations on the establishment of a joint venture in India in the framework of local production of equipment for nuclear power plant construction projects of the future of Russian technology.

The structure consists of three WIL plant equipment for a range of industries, including nuclear power. The company plans – building a new plant for the production of heavy equipment for nuclear power plants – reactor vessels, steam generators, etc. During his visit to Podolsk Indian delegation familiarized with the activity “ZIO-Podolsk”, paying special attention to the range of products, technologies, machines and equipment, which are used in plants for the production of equipment for nuclear power. According to the report, “ZIO-Podolsk” WIL representatives arrived at the factory “with the clear intention to learn from and to establish close contacts for long-term cooperation.”    http://www.atomic-energy.ru/news/2011/02/17/18801

[3] July 18, 2012

The delegation of the Departme of Atomic Energy of the Government of India visits of “ZIO-Podolsk” (Another news item from the Russian Embassy in India about the visit)

A delegation of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) of the Government of India as part of a special department of the Secretary A. Joshi, Deputy Secretary of the DAE N. Kumar, manager of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission P. Dzhogesha.Accompanied the delegates head of JSC “ASE” / JSC “NIAEP” J. Kucher. The purpose of the visit – familiarity with the company and discuss issues related to preparations for the construction of the block number 3 and number 4 NPP “Kudankulam“.

Met the guests executive director, chief engineer of the plant Davydov and chief technology officer – Deputy Chief Engineer Terekhov. A small digression on the history of the company has been illustrated exhibits of the exhibition hall, and the film presentation helped to get an idea of ​​the current state and strategic plans “ZIO-Podolsk.” The most fully functioning members of the DAE presented at the factory Quality Management System (QMS) Quality Director T. Lizunova revealed the overall structure of the QMS, and the head of the Central Laboratory of non-destructive testing N. Zlobin responded to questions regarding used at different stages of the monitoring equipment.

The delegates were then conducted on the block production facilities engaged in the manufacture of equipment for nuclear power plants, including those offered to examine the site of a clean build of welding and assembly shop, where is an extremely important operation: filling the steam generator tube bundle.

Of particular interest aroused by the possibility of an Indian company in welding and drilling is thick, and the obvious signs of modernization of the plant: the production processes involved in the machinery of world famous brands and the vacated space for the installation of new CNC machines.

Demonstrating the process of plasma cutting, rolling and welding of metal shells in one of the machine shops, Andrei Davydov said: “We have made equipment for nuclear power plants in China, now produce equipment for the Bulgarian NPP” Belene “and we hope soon to begin work for new NPPs” Kudankulam. ”

His impressions shared by Mr. Joshi: “Excellent presentation and representation of the plant, everything was wonderful. We really liked what we saw. Striking that at the beginning of the way was a locomotive repair plant, and then, by the progressive introduction of new and more modern technology, has become one of the leading enterprises of nuclear engineering. ”

24/07/2012

[4] July 19, 2012

A delegation of the Department of Atomic Energy of the Government of India visited ZIO-Podolsk

AtomEnergoMash, Posted 19.07.2012

From 15 to 18 July the delegation’s visit to Moscow, the Department of Atomic Energy of the Government of India. The delegation included Special Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy A. Joshi, Deputy Secretary of the DAE Ninian Kumar and manager of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission Dzhogesh paddy.

During the visit, talks, where he was considered a range of issues related to the preparation for the launch nuclear power N1 “Kudankulam” the progress of the power unit N2 and preparation for construction of the third and fourth units, as well as signed a number of contracts relating to the implementation of the current phase of cooperation nuclear power plant (NPP) “Kudankulam”.

During the visit, the parties signed a protocol to the Russian-Indian intergovernmental agreement on the conditions of the Russian state credit for the third and fourth reactors at NPP “Kudankulam”.

Another purpose of the visit of Indian delegation was visiting engineering plant “ZIO-Podolsk” (included in the engineering division of “Rosatom” – “Atomenergomash”).

Representatives of the Department of Atomic Energy of the Government of India acquainted with the company and discussed issues related to preparations for the construction of the block number 3 and number 4 NPP “Kudankulam”.

During the visit, a presentation of the Quality Management System (QMS) and non-destructive testing equipment, inspection of production facilities engaged in the manufacture of equipment for nuclear power plants, including the area clean build of welding and assembly plant, where the stuffing is the steam generator tube bundle.

Representatives of the Indian government delegation praised the production capacity of machine-building plant “ZIO-Podolsk” and expressed their satisfaction with the visit.

JSC “Machine-Building Plant” ZIO-Podolsk “(” ZIO-Podolsk “) – the largest producer of heat-exchange equipment for the fuel and energy complex: nuclear and thermal power plants, oil and gas industry. 40% of the installed generating capacity in Russia, CIS and Baltic countries are equipped with the brand “ZIO”, including 100% of nuclear power plants, starting with the world’s first nuclear power plant in Obninsk.

[5] July 20, 2012

A delegation of the Department of Atomic Energy of the Government of India visited ZIO-Podolsk

During the visit, talks , where he was considered the complex issues related to the preparation for the launch of power N1 NPP “Kudankulam” progress to the construction of the third and fourth units, as well as signed a number kontraktk Russian-Indian intergovernmental agreement and fourth units in engineering and discussed voprk construction blocks number 3 and number 4, and non-destructive testing equipment, inspection of manufacturing tsehv manufacture of equipment for nuclear power plants, including the area clean build of welding and assembly shop, where is filling the steam generator tube bundle. Representatives of the Indian government delegation praised the production capacity of machine-building plant “ZIO-Podolsk” and expressed their satisfactionvisit.

Source: http://www.atomic-energy.ru/news/2012/07/20/34953  

https://kractivist.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/zio-podolsk-scandal-save-our-souls-part-1-nuclear/

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

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

 

Zio-Podolsk Scandal – Save Our Souls Part – 3 #nuclear


Rosatom-owned company accused of selling shoddy equipment to reactors at home and abroad, pocketing profits

CharlesDigges, 28-02-2012

Russian Federal Prosecutors have accused a company owned by the country’s nuclear energy corporation, Rosatom, with massive corruption and manufacturing substandard equipment for nuclear reactors under construction both at home and abroad.

The ZiO-Podolsk machine building plant’s procurement director, Sergei Shutov, has been arrested for buying low quality raw materials on the cheap and pocketing the difference as the result of an investigation by the Federal Security Service, or FSB, the successor organization to the KGB.

It is not clear how many reactors have been impacted by the alleged crime, but reactors built by Russia in India, Bulgaria, Iran, China as well as several reactor construction and repair projects in Russia itself may have been affected by cheap equipment, given the time frame of works completed at the stations and the scope of the investigation as it has been revealed by authorities.

“The scope of this scandal could reach every reactor in Russian and every reactor built by Russia over the past several years and demands immediate investigation,” said Bellona President Frederic Hauge. “Were is the political leadership in the Russian government to deal with such a crime?”

Hauge expressed outrage that an alleged crime of such a massive scale was not leading to immediate action to check each reactor that may have been affected by the profit pocketing scheme, and he was frustrated that the FSB and prosecutors were not naming specific reactors that may be involved.

“As long as the Russian government is not investigating this case correctly, we will have to ask international society to do it,” he said.  “Bellona will be taking further action in this case.” Vladimir Slivyak, co-chair of Russia’s Ecodefense agreed.

“Stopping and conducting full-scale checks of reactors where equipment from ZiO-Podolsk has been installed is absolutely necessary,” said Slivyak. “Otherwise [there is] the risk of a serious accident at a nuclear power plant with cleanup bills stretching into the tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars [that] will have to be footed by taxpayers.”

The criminal case was opened against ZiO-Poldolsk in December, but information about the investigation was released in the Russia media via the official Rosbalt agency only last week –  a common circumstance in FSB-associated investigations.

The charges leveled against ZiO-Podolsk, which is Russia’s only manufacturer of steam generators for nuclear plants built by Rosatom domestically and by its international reactor construction subsidiary Atomstroiproyekt are a staggering blow to Rosatom’s credibility.

ZiO-Podolsk is a subsidiary organization of Atomenergomash, founded in 2006. Atomenergomash was acquired by Atomenergoprom, which is 100-percent state-owned, in 2007. Atomenergoprom is a part of Rosatom.

But the paperwork is rather a technicality for a machine works that has been involved with the nuclear industry since its inception. Founded in 1919, ZiO-Podolsk produced the boiler for the first electricity-producing nuclear reactor at Obninsk in 1952, and has produced the boilers for every Russian reactor built ever since.

A shudder in the environmental community

According to prosecutors, ZiO-Podolsk began shipping shoddy equipment in 2007 or perhaps even earlier. This has implications for the safety of nuclear power plants built by, or that bought equipment from, Rosatom in Bulgaria, China, India and Iran – as well as Russia – striking a chord of outrage and distress among environmental groups.

ZiO-Podolsk is also making critical parts for the reactor pressure vessel and other main equipment for the BN-800 fast reactor at Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant, in Russia’s Sverdlovsk Region in the Urals, a source told Bellona on the condition of anonymity.

The machine works giant is also making steam generators for Russia’s Novovoronezh, Kalinin, and Leningrad Nuclear Power Plants, and Belene in Bulgaria, according to the London-based World Nuclear Association.

The case assembled against ZiO-Podolsk involves embezzlement of state funding intended for purchases of raw material that are compatible with contemporary safety standards for nuclear reactors, Rosbalt reported.

The FSB investigation

According to the FSB investigation – which was described in unusual detail by the news wire – procurement director Shutov allegedly purchased low-grade steel for equipment in collusion with ZiO-Podolsk’s supplier AТОМ-Industriya. That company’s general director, Dmitry Golubev, is currently at large after embezzlement charges were filed against him by the same Moscow court that ordered Shutov’s arrest, Rosbalt quoted FSB sources as saying.

The scheme between Shutov and Golubev allegedly involved Shutov turning a blind eye to inferior quality steel in return for a large portion of the profits reaped by ATOM-Industriya, the FSB told Rosbalt, citing transactions that were accounted for in bookkeeping documents the security service said it confiscated from the financial director of ATOM-Industriya.

“This company purchased cheap steel in Ukraine and then passed it off as [a] more expensive [grade]; the revenues were shared by the scam’s organizers,” an FSB source was quoted by Rosbalt as saying.

FSB agents said that ATOM-Industriya produced some 100 million roubles’ (€2.5 million) worth of pipe sheets, reactor pit bottoms, and reservoirs for ZiO-Podolsk – equipment that was delivered to Russian and foreign reactors – including an order of so-called tube plates for high-pressure heaters at Bulgaria’s Kozloduy NPP. High-pressure heaters, while having no relation to the safe operation of reactors, are used to improve efficiency of power output.

Bulgarian plant expressing concern

When Rosbalt ran its detailed story last week, the management of Kozloduy NPP was quick to respond by releasing an early statement saying its two heaters had been “functioning flawlessly”  since their installation dates in 2010 and 2011.

A statement released 10 hours later that day carried by a different news agency, however, reported that Kozloduy NPP CEO Alexander Nikolov had sent off a letter to ZiO-Podolsk and Atomstroiexport demanding that they certify the quality of the metal in the heaters.

The FSB alleged to Rosbalt that the use of shoddy steel in the case of the heaters manufactured for Kozloduy NPP alone netted a black profit of 39 million roubles (€1 million) for ATOM-Industriya.

Detailed report likely true

Ecodefense’s Slivyak said he believed the Rosbalt report and its copious quotations from the typically secretive FSB to be on the level.

Aside from the suspicions raised by Kozloduy NPP, Slivyak also said that the Russian built Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant in China had previously complained to Rosatom with over 3,000 grievances regarding the low quality of materials delivered to construct the plant, lending credence to the FSB’s version of events.

Slivyak further noted the FSB, which functions as an attack dog for the government of Vladimir Putin, has nothing politically to gain by giving Rosatom – a pet corporation in Putin’s  “power vertical” – a black eye.

The week following Robalt’s article, Rosatom, which had previously refused comment, and Atomenergomash, released a bristling denial as interesting for what it does say as for what it leaves unsaid.

“Rosatom and Atomenergomash deny information related to substandard equipment at nuclear power station that was delivered by ZiO-Podolsk,” read the joint statement. The companies say that “all possible announcements about unsuitable production quality at ZiO-Podolsk are knowingly incorrect and mistaken.”

The statement continued, saying: “A stringent multi-layered system of quality control is in place at ZiO-Podolsk, encompassing all level of production: from expert evaluations of received materials and ores to final inspection of products. Evaluations of the compliance of equipment’s quality delivered to foreign nuclear power stations is carried out by the authorized organization OAO Zarubezhatomenergostroi.”

But the joint statement failed to contradict information supplied to Rosbalt by prosecutors concerning the arrests of upper-management officials at ZiO-Podolsk and ATOM-Industriya.

Two spokesmen for the FSB contacted by Bellona confirmed the version of events their colleagues described to Rosbalt, but refused to discuss “an ongoing investigation” further. They also refused to comment on what other nuclear power plants besides Kozloduy may have been affected by defective materials from ZiO-Podolsk.

http://www.bellona.org/articles/articles_2012/podolsk_corruption

https://kractivist.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/zio-podolsk-scandal-save-our-souls-part-1-nuclear/

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

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

 

Zio-Podolsk Scandal – Save Our Souls – Part 2 #Nuclear


Zio-Podolsk: The Complete Story

By- CharlesDigges

It all started on May 2, 1919 as the repair assembly plant called the Steam-Engine. Repair of locomotives was carried out until 1930. A total of 863 locomotives repaired.

In 1931, the plant was converted to KES – Cracking-electric locomotive and in the same year, in a record time (for 3 months and 25 days), produced the first Soviet cracking unit for the petrochemical industry. In those years, the company, except for crackers, produced narrow-gauge steam locomotives, railroad cars, industrial and mining locomotives locomotives, tubing for the Moscow metro, and many other products.

At the request of the workers on April 8, 1936 the plant was named commissar of heavy industry, and the plant was called Podolsk Engineering Plant named after Ordzhonikidze (ZIO).

In 1941 the factory ceased production of civilian products (part of the equipment along with the workers had been evacuated to the Urals), and all the facilities were transferred to large-scale production for the needs of the defense industry. The plant manufactured the case of grenades, anti-tank obstacles, repairing tanks and guns were equipped with armored combat aircraft IL-2.

In 1942, after the evacuation in Podolsk Taganrog Boiler plant, ZIO was carrying out repair of steam boilers, and then, in 1946, made the first steam boiler with the trademark “ZIO”. The plant has priority in the field of domestic quick steam generators, production of which began in the late 40’s. For 70 years, has produced over 700 boilers of different capacities and options for 152 domestic and foreign power plants with total capacity of over 66 million kW, including more than 16 million kWh for export.

Since 1952, starting with the construction of the world’s first nuclear power plant in Obninsk, the plant produced the most responsible of mechanical equipment for nuclear power plants. Equipment labeled “ZIO” installed on all nuclear power plants built in the Soviet Union. Foreign nuclear power plants with VVER-440 and VVER-1000 is also equipped with the equipment of the plant.

Since 2000, the plant is called of “Mashinostroitelnyyzavod” ZIO-Podolsk. ” Since 2007, the factory is a holding company “Atomenergomash” – power engineering division of the State Corporation “Rosatom”. The main customers include the State Corporation “Rosatom”, OAO “Gazprom”, and “Mosenergo.”

General manager:        Igor Kotov

Tel.: +7 (495) 747 25 October dob.2022
Fax: +7 (495) 747 25 October dob.2325
E-mail: zio@eatom.ru

Executive director :     Andrei Davydov, S.

Tel.: +7 (495) 747-10-02
Fax: +7 (495) 747-10-25 ext. 2325
E-mail: zio@eatom.ru

Chief engineer:                        Anatoly Rubtsov

Tel.: +7 (495) 747-10-25 ext. 2012
Fax: +7 (495) 747-10-25 dob.2325
E-mail: m.dragomir @eatom.ru

Director of Production: Sergeants Vladimir V.

Tel.: +7 (495) 747-10-25 dob.2004, +7 (4967) 65-42-89
Fax: +7 (495) 747-10-25 dob.2211
E-mail: ziopr@eatom.ru

Chief Technologist – Deputy Chief Engineer: Viktor Terekhov

Tel.: +7 (495) 747-10-25 ext. 2031
Fax: +7 (495) 747-10-25 ext. 2213
E-mail: ogt@eatom.ru

Director of Quality:    Lizunova Tatiana

Tel.: +7 (495) 747-10-25 ext. 2013
Fax: +7 (495) 747-10-23
E-mail: t.lizunova @eatom.ru

Purchasing Director:   Bruises Andrey

Tel.: +7 (495) 747 10 25 * 2002
Tel.: +7 (495) 747 May 10
Fax: +7 (495) 747 25 October 2170 *
E-mail: a.sinyakov@eatom.ru

Director of Development and Investment: Arkady V. Kuznetsov

Tel.: +7 (495) 747 25 October 2007 *
E-mail: av.kuznecov@eatom.ru

FSB looked into nuclear reactor, atom industry

As the “Rosbaltu,” the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation is investigating the theft in the production of assemblies for nuclear power plants operating in Russia and abroad. According to the Russian Federal Security Service, the equipment for nuclear power plants was made from cheaper than normal steels, and the proceeds of fraud were divided among managers of several major companies of the nuclear industry. The Purchasing Director of Engineering Plant “ZIO-Podolsk” Sergei Shutov has been taken into custody.

As the “Rosbaltu” RF IC criminal case filed back in 2011 based on the Federal Security Service (into the theft of funds allocated by the state for the purchase of blanks for equipment for nuclear power plants). In December, in fact there were specific suspects. It is the leaders of the “Atom-Industry” (the supplier of products for the nuclear and power engineering) CEO Dmitry Golubev and Managing Director Olga Fedorova, as well as purchasing director of “Machine-Building Plant” ZIO-Podolsk “Sergei Shutov.” ZIO-Podolsk “- one of the largest Russian manufacturers of equipment for the nuclear industry (in particular, it supplies the machines for the nuclear power plants in Iran, India, Bulgaria and China ).

In the “Atom-industry” and “ZIO Podolsk” SK and the FSB raided, during which, according to a source in the security services agency, were seized documents showing that the misappropriation of funds of the nuclear industry have been put on stream. Believe in the RF IC, “Atom-Industry” supplied the blanks from cheaper brands of metal “ZIO-Podolsk,” and there are manufactured equipment for nuclear power plants. The plant on the poor quality of incoming goods “blind eye” Purchasing Director Sergei Shutov.

During a search of the “Atom-Industry” has been removed “black accounting”, hosted by Chief Financial Officer Diane Dmitrieva. The documents indicated that Shutov receive a share of profits received by JSC “Atom-industry” of large-scale fraud. The decision of the Basmanny Court of Moscow December 27, 2011 Sergei Shutov was arrested. He was charged under Section 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code (fraud on a large scale). Similar charges were brought against the leaders of the “Atom-industry”, and Dmitry Golubev – in absentia.

As explained by “Rosbalt” a source in the security services, “ZIO-Podolsk” since 2007, signed with JSC “Atom-industry” a series of agreements (the supply pipe plates, heads, shells, etc.) for a total amount of more than 100 million rubles. These blanks later used for the production of equipment supplied to the largest nuclear power plants in Russia and other countries. In particular, the tube sheets shipped “Atom-industry”, used in the production of high pressure heaters for the NPP “Kozloduy” (Bulgaria). Later, however, it became clear that the “Atom-Industry” delivered “ZIO-Podolsk” tube plate and the bottom, made of much cheaper grades of steel than was stipulated in the contract.

As a result of such substitution only on the supply of four tube sheets illegal proceeds “Atom-Industry” was 39 million rubles. “This company bought cheap steel in the Ukraine, and then betrayed her for the more expensive, the proceeds divided between the organizers of the fraud,” – said the source “Rosbalta” in the security services. He declined to say whether such fraud has affected the quality of the machinery supplied to nuclear power plants, as well as what other stations, except for Bulgaria, was sent with the equipment to use products from the “Atom-industry.”

In most of the “Atom-Industry” correspondent “Rosbalt” said they would not comment on the situation until the investigation is completed. “In 2010, the materials were considered SU UPC Russia in St. Petersburg, there passed a resolution not to institute proceedings in connection with the absence of crime, – one of the company’s employees. – However, more than a year after that the RF IC case filed. We did not do anything illegal, confirmed our right of arbitration awards. ” It is noteworthy that the site is “Atom-Industry” states that in March 2010, the company delivered the blanks for the hydro-power plant, which was then rebuilt after a major industrial disaster.

Notes:

[1] http://aozio.ru/company/predpr/

[2] Alexander Shvarev, http://www.rosbalt.ru/moscow/2012/02/22/949018.html

https://kractivist.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/zio-podolsk-scandal-save-our-souls-part-1-nuclear/

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

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

NPCIL,AERB and KKNPP Dodge the Substandard Equipment Issue


People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu
Phone: 98656 83735; 98421 54073                                                                                                                         April 13, 2013
koodankulam@yahoo.com
NPCIL, AERB, and KKNPP Dodge the Substandard Equipment Issue
 
There have been persistent reports that substandard equipment and parts have been used in the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP). When thePeople’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) asked the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) under Right to Information (RTI) Act if they have indeed received equipment and parts from the controversial Russian companies, Zio-Podolsk and Informteck, both these organizations have been evasive in their replies (as shown below):
[1] PMANE’s RTI Application to NPCIL dated January 28, 2013 asked:
“Zio-Podolsk, owned by the Russian company Rosatom, is under investigation in Russia for shoddy equipment it produced for several nuclear plants in that country and abroad since 2007. It is suspected that Zio-Podolsk used wrong type of steel (cheaper than the one originally required) to produce equipment for nuclear plants, such as steam generators. This company is said to have supplied several equipment and parts to the KKNPP. Please give a list of those equipment and parts that have been supplied by Zio-Podolsk to the KKNPP units.”
The NPCIL replied tersely on February 20, 2013 (No. NPCIL/VSB/CPIO/2460/HQ/2013/371):
“No Information regarding any investigation against Zio-Podolsk is available to NPCIL.”
[2] Since the above reply of the NPCIL does not answer our question, the PMANE filed another RTI Application to the NPCIL on March 7, 2013 asking:
“Are there any equipment and/or parts in the KKNPP 1 and 2 units that have been supplied by Zio-Podolsk directly or indirectly? Please give us a list of all those equipment and parts.”
The NPCIL has just replied on April 09, 2013 (No. NPCIL/VSB/CPIO/2574/KKNPP/2013/578):
“[I]nformation will be provided to you, as soon as receives from concern section (sic).”
[3] The PMANE posed the same question to AERB on January 28, 2013:
“Zio-Podolsk, owned by the Russian company Rosatom, is under investigation in Russia for shoddy equipment it produced for several nuclear plants in that country and abroad since 2007. It is suspected that Zio-Podolsk used wrong type of steel (cheaper than the one originally required) to produce equipment for nuclear plants, such as steam generators. This company is said to have supplied several equipment and parts to the KKNPP. Please give a list of those equipment and parts that have been supplied by Zio-Podolsk to the KKNPP units.”
The AERB replied on February 12, 2013 (No. AERB/RSD/RTI/Appl. No. 329/2013/2421) very evasively:
“Selection of a company for supplying any equipment to NPCIL, is not under the purview of AERB. However, with respect to Quality Assurance (QA) during design, construction, commissioning and operation, a set of well established AERB documents on QA Codes and Guides are published and they were followed during the safety review of KKNPP.”
[4] Mr. R. S. Sundar, the site director of the KKNPP, has claimed that “the NPCIL had placed orders for obtaining a range of components for KKNPP from LG Electronics, South Korea, Alstom and VA Tech, France and Siemens, Germany, apart from getting components from Russia” (P. Sudhakar, “Kudankulam plant Director denies allegation,” The Hindu, April 4, 2013). Although he lists all these foreign companies and their host countries, Mr. Sundar carefully avoids the names of Zio-Podolsk and Informteck.
[5] In the meantime, Mr. Yevgeniy N. Dudkin, the Head of the Russian Specialists Group at the KKNPP, seems to be preparing the grounds for assuming joint responsibility for all the equipment and parts used in the KKNPP. He also avoids mentioning the names of Zio-Podolsk and Informteck very carefully.We reproduce sections from a newspaper report (P. Sudhakar, “Kudankulam reactors safest in the world: Russian expert,” The Hindu, April 5, 2013) below:
Right from fabrication to the erection of the components at KKNPP, every part used and being used in the reactor and the other parts fitted in the allied sections were being jointly inspected by Indian and Russian specialists prior to a series of tests conducted on them to ascertain their quality.
Again, the products were being received at the project site jointly by the KKNPP engineers and the Russian specialists, who would sign the documents to certify the quality of the components arrived here.
Any observation made by anyone during the quality check would be keenly followed and rectified immediately, as everyone had to give their consent at the end of the inspection in black and white.
“If any of the observation made by one of the members questioned the quality of a particular component, it will not be installed until the issue is settled. Hence, there cannot be any room for compromise in quality in the products supplied to KKNPP,” Mr. Dudkin said.
[6] And finally, Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, the former head of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), has claimed: “Sub-standard materials have come to the Kudankulam plant and they are causing problems. …Chinese have now started examining the components from Russia” (“Inferior parts being used in Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant: Top scientist,” The Times of India, April 7, 2013).
We have been asking about equipment and parts from Zio-Podolsk and Informteck but we do not get any kind of honest or direct answer from anybody. It is also quite puzzling and intriguing how or why The Hindu correspondent alone gets special interviews from both the Russian and Indian nuclear scientists. With all these mounting evidences that substandard equipment and parts have been used at the KKNPP and there have been efforts to gloss over this isuue with the help of Russians and some media companies, the PMANE supports the call for a thorough inquiry and demands complete closure of the KKNPP immediately.
The Struggle Committee
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

 

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