People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)                             April 26, 2012

Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu
Phone: 98656 83735; 98421 54073
Press Release
KKNPP Officials and Tamil Nadu Government Are Negligent about People’s Safety;
PMANE Demands Emergency Preparedness Training in 30-KM Area
 

The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has confirmed in her letter to the Prime Minister on April 25, 2012 that “nuclear fuel loading is going to take place in the next few days in the first Unit of the [Koodankulam] Plant of 1000 MW capacity.” It is a matter of grave concern that no emergency preparedness training has been given to the local people by the Government of Tamil Nadu, or the Tirunelveli district administration or the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) officials. The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) demands effective and efficient disaster management training and evacuation exercises for all the people in the 30-km radius of the Koodankulam project before loading the Uranium fuel rods.

As the NPCIL’s Director (Technical) Mr. S. A. Bhardwaj clarified in March 2011 that NPCIL was responsible only for the KKNPP campus disaster management and the Tirunelveli district administration was supposed to deal with the general nuclear power plant emergency preparedness. He also claimed that they had given a Manual of safety drill to the state government/district administration for follow up.

PMANE demanded a copy of the Manual under Right to Information on April 2, 2011, and the PA (General) to the Tirunelveli Collector, Mr. S. Chandrasekaran, has written to us now that he has forwarded our letter to Mr. S. A. Bhardwaj for further action.

In the meantime, the PMANE advocate Mr. M. Radhakrishnan wrote to Mr. R. Bhattacharya, Secretary of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), about the KKNPP safety review system. Mr. Bhattacharya has replied on April 17, 2012 that “the Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP) Manual of KKNPP-1&2 has been reviewed/concurred/approved as appropriate by AERB and District Authorities as per the normal safety review process as laid down in AERB Codes and Guides and final copies of the Manual were submitted by Site to AERB in June 2011.”

If this Manual was prepared in concurrence with the Tirunelveli district authorities almost a year ago, we wonder why the PA (General) to the Tirunelveli Collector is asking the KKNPP officials to answer our RTI query. This shows how careless and lackadaisical the KKNPP officials, Tirunelveli district authorities and the Government of Tamil Nadu are about people’s safety and security.

As this Faustian drama is going on, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has asked the Prime Minister for the second time to allocate the entire power from the KKNPP to Tamil Nadu. This “Yes-to-Power-and-Don’t-Care-about-Safety” attitude and approach is dangerous and quite deplorable.

PMANE demands thorough and comprehensive emergency preparedness training and evacuation exercise of international standard to all the people in 30-km radius in Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Thoorthukudi districts of Tamil Nadu. This becomes even more relevant and important as the governments of India and Russia are not revealing the liability agreement details to the project-affected people.

PMANE calls upon all the people of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and other parts of India to call the following officials and ask them to give priority to the safety and security of Indian citizens:

· <> Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Fort St. George, Chennai 600 009, India. Fax No. (+91-44)-28133510; 25676929; 25671441; 28130787.
· <> Mr. Debendranath Sarangi, Chief Secretary; 044-25671555. Fax: 25672304. Email: [email protected]
· <> Dr. Sheela Priya, Additional Chief Secretary; 044 25675163. Fax: 25675163. Email: [email protected]
· <> Prime Minister of India, South Block, Raisina Hill, New Delhi 110 001, India.

The Struggle Committee
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)