English: Construction site of the Koodankulam ...

English: Construction site of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant Deutsch: Baustelle des Kernkraftwerks Kudankulam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu
Phone: 98656 83735; 98421 54073
[email protected]
[email protected]

Members of Parliament
Tamil Nadu and Kerala
New Delhi

Dear Sir/Madam:

Greetings! We write to bring your kind attention to the liability issue involved in the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP).

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government concluded a secretive Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with Russia in February 2008 and signed it in December that year. Article 13 of the IGA states: “The Indian Side and its authorised organisation at any time and at all stages of the construction and operation of the NPP power units to be constructed under the present Agreement shall be the Operator of power units of the NPP at the Kudankulam Site and be fully responsible for any damage both within and outside the territory of the Republic of India caused to any person and property as a result of a nuclear incident occurring at the NPP.” This simply means that the Russian government or their companies have no liability whatsoever for their technology and the equipment.

This allows the polluter to go scot free and runs quite contrary to the “polluter pays” principle enshrined in the Indian Constitution and all our environmental laws. Any blanket waiver to the foreign suppliers will make the Indian liability act a cruel joke. Russians claim that the Koodankulam reactors are the “best” and the “safest” in the world. If that is so, why should they shy away from offering any liability for their technology and components, but keep insisting that the Indian operator, NPCIL, is responsible for all damages?

In the meantime, the Prime Minister has questioned the atomic energy department’s decision not to exercise the right to recourse in the event of an accident at the Koodankulam plants 3 and 4. If we allow liability waiver to the Russians for KKNPP 1 and 2, and insist on their liability for KKNPP 3 and 4, how would we sort out a situation like Fukushima at Koodankulam if and when all these reactors burst one after the other? How would we decide if a radiation victim suffered from KKNPP 1 or 2 or 3 or 4?

Please note that the Indian government has not shared this IGA with the Members of Parliament or the project-affected people. When the KKNPP projects 1 and 2 are not even completed yet, the Government of India must announce the 2008 IGA null and void and implement the liability act 2010. Honorable Minister Narayanaswamy has been making rash and irresponsible statements about the KKNPP all along and now announces all of a sudden that the government has Rs. 1,500 crores as a deposit to meet liability commitments.

We would like to request you, the Members of Parliament, to establish the validity of the Indian liability act of 2010 and demand liability from all these countries as per the Indian act; and to reaffirm the fact that Indian life is not any less valuable than the lives of Russians, Americans and the French,

With best personal regards and all peaceful wishes,


S. P. Udayakumar
M. Pushparayan
Fr. F. Jayakumar
M. P. Jesuraj

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)