Honourable Ex-President of India, Shri APJ Abdul Kalam, has become of an oracle of technology driven big development ideas and tours extensively igniting minds. His role as a roving ambassador for big ticket ideas is so appreciated by the Indian establishment that he is often fielded as a last word in Science in many controversial projects in the country. If Kalam has said it, then how dare can it be untrue goes the general argument. A delightfully informative exchange occurred recently on a forum [http://in.groups.yahoo.com/group/andamanicobar/message/9844]
Friends… sometime ago there were a few posts on this group where former
President of India Sri A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was quoted as saying the last tsunami
was only 5.44 metres in height. I need to read this … in context and I need
the full quote. Can anyone help me please?
I feel the truth should now be unraveled. The Hon ex-President of India Shri
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was visiting Campbell Bay incognito in late 2004. On
December 26, Boxing Day, he climbed a hilltop in the vicinity of Campbell Bay, a
hilltop that has since been named “Tsunami Tikri”, to enjoy the sunrise.
With his 20-20 vision he espied a large wall of water making its way speedily
towards the shore.
Being a former DRDO functionary, he immediately realised the import of the
situation, and ordered a laser rangefinder to be dropped immediately. He then
trained it on the aforesaid wall of water. With his scientific acumen he took
repeated measurements to reduce the standard deviations of his observations.
This is where there seems to be a mistake. The wave, as per his measurement, was
5.4 +/- 0.002 m, and not 5.44m as has been popularly discussed in this group.
This information seems to be highly dubious.
I guess its reasonable to assume that this was the first out of several waves.
Subsequent measurements would have proved difficult.
The Kalam quote came from a PTIreport<http://m.oneindia.in/news/2011/11/24/knpp-constructed-with-highest-safety-standards-kalam.html>ona speech made by the former president in Delhi on 24 Nov 2011, at a seminaron “Disaster Risk Reduction: Another important Route to PovertyAlleviation<http://www.vifindia.org/transcriptions-paper/2011/11/24/Achieving-Evolution-of-Risk-Free-Society>”.The 5.44 metre wave height, accurate to two decimal points, wasn’tpart of Kalam’swrittenspeech<http://www.abdulkalam.com/kalam/jsp/display_content_front.jsp?menuid=28&menuname=Speeches%20/%20Lectures&linkid=68&linkname=Recent&content=1949&columnno=&starts=280&menu_image=-&contentsForum=Address%20at%20the%20Seminar%20%22Disaster%20Risk%20Reduction:%20Another%20important%20Route%20to%20Poverty%20Alleviation%22>.It was probably an off-the-cuff remark, with figures taken from an NPCILdope-sheet<http://www.npcil.nic.in/pdf/Insight_of_Safety_features_of_KKNPP.ppt>.Indeed, pretty much all of Kalam’s ‘facts’ were contributed by NPCIL, anagency which may have more than a passing interest in establishing thesafety of their nuclear power plants.How they arrived at this magical figure of 5.44 mts is interesting, and Ifound the calculations in a visitreport<http://www.npcil.nic.in/pdf/STATUS_OF_KK_AFTER_FUKUSHIMA.pdf>onthe Kudankulam Project by Dr.MR Srinivasan, former Atomic Energy Commissionchief. They have factored in a run-up height of 2.5 mts, based on theestimated 2004 tsunami wave height, which is straight out of Rauf’s Journalof Irreproducible Results.In other words, they are totally prepared… for the 2004 Tsunami.According to figures easily available outside NPCIL, tsunamis can throw upwaves tens of metres high. The 2004 tsunami surged 15 metres high in someplaces and — according to one well-known tsunamiresearcher<http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?229460>– southTamil Nadu could see maximum wave heights of up to 9.5 mts in afuture tsunami. (The reactor building in Kudankulam is situated at 8.7 mts).The NPCIL site report confidently states that “in October 2010, NPCIL hascalculated tsunami height at Kudankulam based on recently developedforecasting method in Japan and arrived at a figure of 2 meters. Thus, theconsidered design value of 2.5 meters wave height is adequate.”Of course, if the Japanese developed this exceptional forecasting method in2010, it’s bound to be infalli… wait a minute. Did someone say’Fukushima’?When the Great East Japan tsunami hit in March 2011, subsequentresearch<http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201202090049>showedthat “along the coast of the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around theFukushima No. 1 plant, the tsunami *substantially exceeded theexpectations*of nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. Everyone of theresearchers’ 28 survey points showed evidence of a wave higher than the 5.7meters TEPCO planners said was the maximum possible at the Fukushima No. 1plant.”Wave heights at Fukushima ranged from around 7 mts, up to *21 mts *in oneplace between Fukushima No.1 and No.2 reactors.With Japanese forecasting methods, Indian technicians on govt salaries andnuclear reactors from the people who gave us Chernobyl, who could possiblydoubt the safety of the Kudankulam power plant?Sajan