Koodankulam: Disaster Training and Evacuation Exercises – A Must

April 26, 2012 (Chernobyl Day)
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Tirunelveli District
Mob: 9842154073, 9865683735

The Honorable Chief Minister
Government of Tamil Nadu
St. George Fort
Chennai 600 009

Honorable Madam:

Greetings! We write to request your kind and immediate intervention in the issue of administering emergency preparedness training and evacuation exercises to the people in the 30-km radius of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP).

As you have confirmed in your letter to the Prime Minister on April 25, 2012, “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 KKNPP officials, or the Tirunelveli district administration or the Government of Tamil Nadu so far.

The KKNPP reactors are the largest in India that will produce 1,000 MW power each. They are also designed and built in Russia and the Indian engineers and scientists are largely unfamiliar and inexperienced with these imported reactors. It is pertinent to note that the commissioning of these reactors has been put off repeatedly from 2005 because of various technical problems and difficulties.

These reactors are being set up in a highly and densely populated area of Tamil Nadu with popular tourist and religious sites in the vicinity such as Kanyakumari, Uvari, Manappad, Tiruchendur etc. Even a small incident or accident at the Koodankulam plants can hurt, harm, or kill a large number of people.

There is a high incidence of illiteracy in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts and most people here would not know anything about nuclear radiation and related illnesses. They are in no way prepared to face a nuclear disaster and to safeguard themselves and their families.

But the KKNPP and the AERB officials have categorically announced in a press conference today that they had no plan to organize any safety drills in and around Koodankulam. The KKNPP and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) officials have been negligent about the safety and security of the project-affected people. They have pooh-poohed the local people’s demand for complete and truthful information about the siting issues, safety concerns, nuclear waste issue, and the liability agreement between the Indian and the Russian governments.

Given the enormity and intensity of the KKNPP power park, it is very important to prepare the innocent local people to face any nuclear eventuality at the KKNPP site. Failure to do so will invite the accusation that the Tamil people are being systematically discriminated against and treated dispensable. We must resolve on this Chernobyl Day not to allow such disasters on the Tamil soil and safeguard our progeny and their interests.

So, we, the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), would very much like to request you to intervene in this matter and organize 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.

Looking forward to your immediate and favorable action, we send you our best personal regards and all peaceful wishes.


S. P. Udayakumar, Ph.D. M. Pushparayan M. P. Jesuraj

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