Koodankulam – A Nuclear Bomb over Tamilnadu?

Prof. T. Shivaji Rao, Director, Center for Environmental Studies, GITAM University, Visakhapatnam

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Prestigious Jonathan Mann Awardee for Health and Human rights Dr.Binayak Sen, a public health specialist and a noted human rights activist has rightly classified Kudankulam plant as an obvious huge human risk venture and the fact that the promoters of the plant are going ahead with it is a very shameful act. He pin-pointed the risks posed by the plant to lakhs of people and the environment. He exhorted the people and the government to see if not for anything else what a heinous kind against mankind happened in Fukushima he questioned if we can dare to take risks by a repeat of Fukushima Nuclear explosion in India. Dr.Sen said that it is heartening to see the way the Kudankulam people had risen as a community and opposed the Nuclear plant to safeguard their human rights as guaranteed by the Indian constitution. In reply to the statement published in the Indian Express website on 27-1-2012 the Executive Director Dr.N.Nagaich of the Nuclear power Corporation of India gave rejoinder which is completely misleading and creates an impression that the Nuclear plant proposed at Kudankulam is indeed one of the safest Nuclear Plant built in the world till date. The nuclear power corporation authorities should have admitted the alarmist assertions about Kudankulam plant made by Dr.Binjayak Sen not merely in the context of the events at Fukushima in Japan but also a similar explosion in the Russian Nuclear Plant at Chernobyl and another Nuclear plant at Three Mile Island in the United States. Kudankulam nuclear plant is a very risky nuclear plant because the Russian reactors are inherently accident prone ones. These reactors can explode due to minor and medium failures designated as called excursions. Even if there is a slight leakage or breakage in the pipes or the cooling water pumps and if they are not attended to within 45 seconds a minor accident is bound to result in catastrophic failure which causes a core melt down whose damaging impacts extend upto hundreds of kilometers alround depending upon the fluctuating speeds and directions of the wind and it requires emergency evacuation upto 20km in the first stage within a few hours and further evacuation upto 80km within one or 2 days failing which besides the public health hazards the economic loss grows upto 4 lakh crores of rupees on the basis of costs of damage due to Fukushima reactor explosion. The Kudankulam nuclear site has not at all been studied from the public safety angle and reactor safety as per the conditions stipulated under 10 guidelines formulated by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The tsunami in 2004 recorded 10m high sea water in a nearby place at Nagarcoil and hence this Kudankulam plant must be considered under designed from this angle. Kudankulam seismic potential has not been studied by using the helicopters fitted with magneto meters to map the geological anomalies to identify the hidden faults under activation by conducting a grid based air-borne survey on the lines of similar studies being conducted in Oregaon Portland Vancouver in Western USA. Since the area is located on land mass is subjected to getting pushed under the Tibetan plate the cymatogenic arches and deeps may cause serious tremors that may damage the nuclear plant. The contention of NPCIL that their evaluation of seismic potential based on the selection committee report that imposed limitations by the criteria imposed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board which itself may not be a competent agency to ensure seismic safety of the site.

While the NPCIL claims that the Reactors are indeed among safest in the world and that safety is the top most priority for the plant promoters they should have the courage to publish the environmental impact assessment reports for the proposed reactors by demonstrating to the public. The details of the reports on reactor explosion analysis for the emission factors, their dispersal rates and their deposition on the ground upto 20km for the first evacuation zone and upto 80km for emergency planning alround the plant as adopted for the nuclear plants in United States and upto 100km as followed in European countries like Finland. If these reports are prepared they must be placed before the concerned public and widely discussed for grasping the public opinion for enlisting their cooperation and consent along with their readiness to evacuate their residences, offices and cattle wealth for several years in case of an accident and return back to their homes after decontamination for periods of 5 to 20 years. If the Nuclear plant authorities have ethical and moral standards and have public interest at heart they should prevail over the Government of India to desist from imposing mass scale penalties in the form of taxation for using that amount to meet the costs of damage due to a Nuclear Power Plant accident resulting in a huge economic loss of about 5 lakh crores of rupees that makes the country become economically bankrupt, ecologically risky and environmentally disastrous. By imparting cancer and other forms of illness for millions of people around the Kudankulam nuclear plant. The nuclear plant may fail for several reasons including terrorist attacks, internal sabotage, electrical or mechanical failures or human failures which if not rectified in the case of a loss of coolant accident caused by rupturing of cooling water pipelines and pumps within 45 seconds such accidents may lead to core melt down and a nuclear plant explosion like the ones that occurred in Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011. The overlapping safety systems that include both active and passive features cannot ensure safety of the advanced design reactors that use passive mechanisms for natural air circulation based on conviction. During the trial runs in the United States it was established that passive safety reactors will also fail quite often. These systems are bound to fail if they are subjected to aerial bombing by enemy countries just as the British bombs were thrown by the aeroplanes over the dams in Germany. Since Kudankulam is located close to Srilanka there is every possibility for sabotage, terrorist attacks and bombing which result in nuclear plant accidents at Kudankulam. Thus the selection of sites itself in close proximity to terrorist activities and vulnerable to bombing by enemy countries is itself a grave crime perpetrated by the Union Government under the guise of nuclear power generation which itself contributes only about 3% of the total energy demands of country at a very exorbitant cost and by taking very risky and hazardous reactors while the same amount of energy can be produced by cheaper and very safe alternate technologies like thermal power, hydro-power and power based on use of oil and natural gas which are available plenty in the country. Hence the promotion of highly costly and most risky nuclear power plants without the consent of the people in a social welfare state amounts to an action much worse than the action taken by the dictator like Hitler to wipe out Jews in the concentration camp during the second world war. Thus the promotion of nuclear power plants amounts to an undeclared war against lakhs of innocent people in the Southern districts of Tamilnadu and Kerala.

Nuclear Plants are just silent killers of man and Nature created by the GOD. In nature the Uranium ore contains 99.3% of Uranium-238 and the remaining 0.7% is Uranium-235. Uranium-238 and Uranium-235 in nature are least harmful. But business people and other vested interests dig the iron ore and convert the least harmful Uranium-235 into the fuel form of Uranium-235 by purifying it to make a fuel by enriching it to about 4% of Uranium-235 that is packed in pellets and inserted into the core of the nuclear reactor for producing both electricity and material for making the bombs. The reactor when the nuclear atom is given a blow by a neutron, enormous heat and other poisonous Radio-active atoms like Xenon, Baerium, Ceasium, Strontium, Plutonium and other dangerous radioactive substances are produced. These radioactive substances are discharged into the air and water by several ways and when they enter into the environment consisting of air, water and soil and foods like vegetables, fishes, prawns they ultimately get into human beings and produce cancers and birth defects in generations of people for many decades to come. These poisonous radioactive substances destroy natural and human life and culture and convert lands upto hundreds of kilometers into permanent nuclear burial grounds for ever.

How harmless Uranium ore materials in nature are converted into destructive and killer materials by man can be understood by the following simple example. For instance king cobras live in nature in anthills in forestsand lead their normal life peacefully by catching their prey for food during nights But greedy people go and poke their iron rods into their abodes and disturb the Cobras when they become angry and bite the trespassers to inflict death over them by their poisons. Similarly, the selfish people are mining the harmless Uranium and converting it into harmful Enriched Uranium and then using it to produce electricity by means of the Nuclear plants and in the process they are producing Radioactive pollutants that poison man and nature slowly due to routine releases of radioactivity into the environment .In course of time if an accident occurs in the Nuclear plant due to several reasons like in Fukushima or Chernobyl, the poisonous pollutants are thrown into the atmosphere and they kill thousands of people slowly and inflict cancer to millions of people living downstream upto hundreds of Kilometers as in case of Fukushima and Chernobyl accidents. The Nuclear plant operators are misleading the public by stating that Nuclear power is safe and cheap just like the medical representatives of various pharmaceutical companies praise before the doctors about the virtues of their medical tablets and tonics as part of their sale promotion activity the nuclear authorities are praising the nuclear plants as safe and cheap energy producers which is wrong. This misinformation is dangerous to public health and welfare because in European states almost all people agree that safety of Nuclear (power is a Myth as accepted by Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany. She had consulted the genuine experts on nuclear plants and realized that nuclear safety is a myth and ordered for gradual closure of all the nuclear plants in Germany. If Indian Prime Minister and Union Cabinet Minsters including the Chief Ministers of the state want to know the truth about the safety of the nuclear power plants they must reject countries like Germany and Japan and discuss the issue with foreign experts so that they can refrain from promoting nuclear plants as is done by the peoples leader like Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal.


For more scientific details see web sites on this topic prepared by independent experts. see web sites:



Koodankulam Nuclear Plant : Risk Analysis and What to expect – Part 1

Koodankulam Nuclear Plant : Risk Analysis and What to expect – Part 2

Koodankulam Nuclear Plant : Risk Analysis and What to Expect – Part 3

Koodankulam Nuclear Plant : Risk Analysis on Spent Fuel – Part 4













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