April 12, 2013
The Struggle Committee
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
The Regular and Contract Employees
The Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP)
Dear friends:
Greetings! As you know, we conducted a siege protest on April 3, 2013 at the back of your Anu Vijay Township. That was an earnest attempt to point out the dangers you are exposing yourself and your families at the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP). As educated and informed people, you must be familiar with most of our arguments against the KKNPP. We would very much like to repeat a few more relevant points here for your serious analysis and careful consideration.
You do not have to go too far to check the veracity of our claims. Even a cursory look at your own homes in the Anu Vijay Township should reveal the pathetic quality of construction both in your Township and at the KKNPP site. The houses you dwell in are not even ten years old but most of the buildings are in a dilapidated condition already.
One of the erstwhile KKNPP subcontractors and the present big-time leader of the Koodankulam Panchayat told us once that he himself had mixed so many big pieces of wood when he poured concrete in a KKNPP reactor building in order to minimize the need for sand and cement and to maximize his profit. He also confessed that he and most other contractors used sea sand instead of river sand in their constructions to have a higher profit margin.
We all know how the cancer of corruption is eating into the heart and soul of our country. When the Honorable Minister V. Narayanasamy accused us of receiving foreign funds for our anti-KKNPP campaign, we countered that by expressing our struggle committee members’ willingness to reveal our assets and income details and demanding to know the assets and income details of the top leaders of the KKNPP, the NPCIL and the DAE etc. There were reports that the top KKNPP leadership that time was upset with the Minister as he was raking up the money issue. We challenge again now if the top nuclearocrats in India are willing and ready to reveal their assets and income details to the people of India.
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. Instead of expressing his displeasure over the enormous cost overrun and time overrun in all these projects, our Prime Minister has recently offered the Russian president permission to build KKNPP 3 and 4. We all should ask ourselves why our Prime Minister tried to please the Russian president when the latter’s reactor has failed to function for more than a year now.
The Koodankulam delay is being blamed on the “corrosion and leakage since sea water was used as the coolant.” If these pipes and parts cannot withstand one year of sea water circulation, how on the Earth are they going to function for 40-60 years? 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.
Already there are recurrent reports that the Russian companies Zio-Podolsk and Informteck have been supplying low quality products to the Russian nuclear power projects in Iran, China and India. These two discredited Russian companies have provided many substandard equipment and spares to the KKNPP but the NPCIL and the AERB do not answer our RTI queries squarely and fairly. The government and the DAE must tell the people the real truth about this issue. Some of us happened to meet a few of your officers a few months back. They confessed that they had never known the fact that there were belt-line welds in the RPV before we problematized it and they thanked us profusely for the information.
As you know, the Government of India and the Department of Atomic Energy (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 in the KKNPP, the changes in the design of the Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV), the management of liquid and solid waste and so on.
Several scientists and technocrats such as Dr. Abdul Kalam and Dr. M. R. Srinivasan claimed more than a year ago that the KKNPP was the best in the whole wide world. If this is so, why are the KKNPP officials still trying “to ensure foolproof safety”? Dr. Srinivasan has claimed recently: “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.
No wonder why the Russians do not want to commit to any kind of liability arrangements for their “best” reactors in the whole world. 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. It is our and your liability but our own government hides all of the details from us. Why?
Please think of work safety in your KKNPP. When Mr. S. K. Agrawal had died of “multiple organ failure” (an euphemism for cancer) at the Jaslok hospital in Mumbai a few years ago, the DAE or the NPCIL did not even acknowledge his death in public or condole his untimely demise. If this is the treatment meted out to one of the top leaders of the department, you can imagine how you would be treated. In fact, you must already know the scant regard that the DAE/KKNPP has for human beings. Some 5 men have been killed in the KKNPP in the past 3 months and most of them have died of electric shock. Nobody knows the exact number of people who have died in the KKNPP all together.
And finally, let us also point out to you the serious concerns and reservations expressed by Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, the former head of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB): “Sub-standard materials have come to the Kudankulam plant and they are causing problems. Chinese have now started examining the components from Russia.”
Please understand that we are the citizens of the democratic Republic of India and we must assert our inalienable right to life and livelihood. We seek your kind cooperation in getting rid of nuclear energy from India. While we find safe and alternative employment for you all, let us make sure that all Indians, rich and poor, live with safety, security and dignity in our country.
S. P. Udayakumar       M. Pushparayan          Fr. F. Jayakumar         M. P. Jesuraj
R. S. Muhilan              Peter Milton                V. Rajalingam