Koodankulam: Letter to the Chief Minister

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy
Idinthakarai 627 104
Tirunelveli District
Tamil Nadu

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

Your Excellency Amma:
Please accept our kind greetings from this remote coastal village. Today we have completed 103 days fighting against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP).

Although we have been campaigning against this project from its very inception, the recent Fukushima nuclear disaster, the announcement of the KKNPP attaining criticality and the dreadful hot run of the KKNPP ignited the current agitation on August 16, 2011. Your Excellency have been kind enough to listen to the united voices of the fishing community, the Nadar community, the Dalit community, the Muslim community and all other communities of the southern half of Tamil Nadu and pass a resolution in your esteemed Cabinet on September 23, 2011. Your Excellency also took the kind initiative of taking our Struggle Committee to meet the Honorable Prime Minister under the leadership of the Honorable Finance Minister of Tamil Nadu. Here we must bring your kind attention to the fact that the KKNPP work has never been halted as demanded by your Cabinet Resolution.

The Government of India constituted an Expert Group “to allay the fears and concerns of the people” and has conducted just two meetings so far. Your Excellency also constituted a State Team to work with the Expert Group. We all had an introductory first session of both the teams on November 8, 2011. We submitted a memorandum to the Expert Group asking for copies of the Environmental Impact Assessment, Site Evaluation Study, Safety Analysis Report and for information on some 50 important topics such as the amount of nuclear waste and its management, liability of Russia, fresh water needs of KKNPP and utilization of Pechiparai dam and Tamirabharani river waters, decommissioning issues and its impact on our sea, seafood, land and water and so on. When we ask for a copy of the Detailed Project Report (DPR), a basic piece of information for any development project, the Central Government accuses us of breaching Indian sovereignty.

Instead of giving all the detailed and truthful information to our queries, the Central Government belittles our request by saying that some foreign forces are behind all our efforts. They use this false pretext for not giving any of the basic information to the people of Tamil Nadu. We are not interested in any national security information. We only ask for the information that has a serious impact on our right to life and livelihood.Given this background, we have constituted an Expert Team of our own drawing important scientists, engineers, lawyers, doctors and social activists from all over the country to study all different aspects of the KKNPP project. It is pertinent to note here that a recent post-Fukushima study commissioned by the Russian President Medvedev has identified some twenty-five serious issues with regards to Russian nuclear reactor safety and the overall technology.

The 38-page report of the Expert Group has totally ignored our question on liability, and has given no specific or scientific information on nuclear waste, and vague information on the fresh water needs of the KKNPP. The Expert Group has hardly spent a few hours inspecting a project that has taken almost a quarter century to be completed. Moreover, some crucial members of the group have never visited the site. To put it tersely, the Expert Group has come up with an ill-baked and incomplete eyewash report. The Expert Group has not talked to any section of the Tamil public and nor has it tried to allay the fears and concerns of the people.

Instead, the Central Government has been spreading canards about us claiming that we are receiving foreign funds, foreign help and guidance. We would like to assure Your Excellency that there is not even an iota of truth in these accusations. The Central Government and their intelligence agencies are working overtime to split the Tamil society by propping up some splinter groups headed by local contractors and discredited Congressmen and create the false impression that there is indeed some support for the KKNPP project.
The Central Government and their intelligence agencies are throwing their full weight behind the Department of Atomic Energy and the KKNPP project by influencing the media houses and publishing concocted stories, spreading rumors and canards about the struggle leaders, and employing some Union ministers and Congress party men just to misinform and mislead the Tamil civil society.

Despite all these odds, our Tamil people stand united in our singular demand of scrapping down the KKNPP project, safeguarding our lives and livelihood, and protecting our natural resources for our Tamil progeny. Our struggle is also supported by people from all parts of Tamil Nadu. We are mindful of the fact that our state and country have growing electricity needs and we feel that it can be met by pro-people and pro-Nature methods as Your Excellency pointed out in a statement as soon as you had taken over the reins of power in Tamil Nadu a few months back.

Your Excellency, the KKNPP issue and the growing electricity needs of our state and the country need a visionary leadership such as yours. The current national leadership is interested in creating jobs for foreigners, strengthening foreign economies, enhancing profit for foreign corporations, and perpetuating their own personal and their collective gains.

We, the people of Tamil Nadu, depend on your kind and effective intervention in this important matter. Your Excellency’s leadership qualities and visionary capabilities alone can rescue the Tamil people’s welfare and future from the clutches of the international nuclear industry and solve the country’s electricity needs through sustainable and futuristic manner.

Looking forward to your kind cooperation in scrapping down the KKNPP project once and for all, we send you our best personal regards and all peaceful wishes.

S. P. Udayakumar M. Pushparayan S. Sivasubramanian M. P. Jesuraj
F. Jayakumar
V. Rajalingom
For Struggle Committee
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy




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