While the prime minister (PM) accuses NGOs funded from abroad of trying to sabotage the ‘state-of-the-art’ Kudankulam nuclear power plant (KKNPP), various studies carried out by government agencies as well as experts suggest that the site is unsafe for a nuclear project.
The studies reveal potential threats to the nuclear reactor campus from near-shore tsunami, volcanic eruptions, and Karst (vulnerable landscape). DNA has a copy of the reports submitted by the agencies and experts.
A 15-member expert group set up by the Centre cleared the project. “The Kudankulam site is located far off (about 1,500km) from the tsunamigenic fault [where tsunamis originate]. Thus a tsunami would take time and lose some of its energy by the time it strikes Kudankulam,” according to the group’s official document.
However, a 1982 study reported in a noted journal documents the presence of two slumps — the East Comorin and Colombo — in the vicinity of the site. A ‘slump’ is a massive agglomeration of loosely-bound sediment on the sea bed that may suffer large submarine landslides, causing mega-tsunamis.
The expert group’s first report failed to identify the presence of a slump that is about 100km from the plant. After activists brought it to the group’s notice, its second report noted the presence of the slumps and the possibility of a near-field tsunami.
“This is against their earlier position and to that of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) which said near-field tsunamis are not possible at the KNPP site,” People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) functionary M Pushparayan said.
“It is suggested that large submarine landslides can generate a tsunami and may cause coastal hazard. An attempt has been made to quantify the amount of possible water displacement from the above slump belts in the Gulf of Mannar that may occur during a worst case scenario,” the expert group’s second report said. However, it added that the amount of water displacement will be too small to produce a serious tsunami.
- Dr. S. P. Udayakumar sent a legal notice to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh (kractivist.wordpress.com)
- Nuclear plant is totally safe, says expert group (thehindu.com)
- Activists dub report on Kudankulam as flawed (thehindu.com)
- Experts rule out a repeat of Fukushima at Kudankulam (thehindu.com)