Is Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant safe?

The scene at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) after a sequel of six months mayhem, chaos and paradox in the functioning of KKNP project, now is exuberant. Scientists, Indian and Russian, 950 are seen boarding buses, and go through the nuclear plants. On contrary the people in around Kudangulam also seen fleeing to their heels out of the rumour spread that an attempt of the police trying to arrest the suspicious trouble mongers under section Cr.PC 144. What story is?

Kudankulam Cheerful, activists fearful?

Last night media beamed the scientists, both Indian and Russian, technical and non technical personals in great number are seen boarding buses and walking through the corridors of nuclear plants.

The other side of the coin also seen that the people in around Kudankulam began fleeing to their heels out of the rumour spread that an attempt of te police trying to arrest the suspicious trouble mongers under section Cr.PC 144.
No sooner the state cabinet cleared the controversial Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant Project in Tirunelveli; the government began a stiff stand, to see the nuclear plant getting into gear up its objective and positive plans. The Kundankulam after an impulsive mood could be seen in Kudangulam when police machinery promulgating measures such as Cr.P.C144, and it took short in the arm to the Anti Kudangulam Nuclear Plant Activists. The inhabitants in and around Kudangulam began asserting that such measure did cripple the normal life of the people, and even fetching water for domestic use from a nearby source, even shopping from vegetable vendors became an ordeal, and commercial activities were under stand still, said sources from telecast reports, and also news reaching from print media.

An Advocate Pughzhendi, a social activist has said to have served notices to Tamil Nadu Govt Chief Secretary, and District Collector of Tirunalveli District, stating that Cr.PC 144 has disturbed the normal life of the dwellers around the area, and he has asked these authorities to withdraw or else, he would knock the door of Justice.

The anti Kudankulam activists claim that they have been undertaking this protest only to safeguarding the ecology, environmental hazards that the nuclear plant would pose. Their claim is that what the stand that Government of Tamil Nadu assured to the neighbourhood people, that until the all the apprehensions of atomic hazards emanating from this process dissipated, that Government would not proceed further to keep the nuclear plant operative, has been violated by the Government and it totally depended on the experts scientists reports. The agitators contend that the Government has failed in its promise to the people in feas,doubt and misgiving.

Ms.Jayalaithaa's contentions

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has reiterated that the decision to initiate function of Kudankulam Nuclear plant is based on reports that these plants are fool proof of apprehensions any disasters such as earth tremor, or floods and cyclones, and the reports strongly emphasis that there is no room for such natural disasters in Kudankulam Nuclear Atomic Plants. The Chief Minister has also pointed out that all preventive measures which could be termed as safety valves have already taken into serious consideration, if at all in such calamities are about take place, the safety measures will be operative, says the Kudankulam Nuclear plant Expert Reports.

How safe is the Nuclear Plant

The Kudankulam Activists also express their ignorance of report and question as who the experts were and raise questions that how one can be an incorrigible optimist that such disaster would not occur in any time in futue?

They also wonder why such police steps have been in force the very next day of the Sankarankoil election that took place on 18th of March 2012. The expert and Veteran scientist and director of India's Kalpakkam nuclear project, Dr. Baldev Raj have repeatedly allaying the fears of the people and also guaranteed the safety of plant, and they have termed that is one of the safest reactor in Tamil Nadu. "The controversy raised by the rabble-raiser is provocative, and politically motivated" say eminent scientists and well wishers such as former President Abdul Kalam. Speaking in an interview to leading news daily he has suggested that a nuclear safety institute can created in the Kudankulam area for continuous research on the aspects of coast-based nuclear power plant s in the country and abroad. He also observed citing 546 nuclear reactors in the world and they are safe. What he felt that the experience that the gained is continuous and feedback has to be shared by all. He also has said, "Nuclear scientist have to interact with the people of the nation an d academic institution s continuously to update nuclear power generation technology and safety"

Fukushima only a fear psychosis

The anti nuclear activists have been protesting against the already installed plant in Kudangulam citing the unfortunate Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the Chernobyl catastrophe in Ukraine,which took place in April 26, 1986.Chernobyl is the world's worst-ever industrial accident, far worse than the Bhopal gas leak disaster of December 1984disasters.

Reports say that the Kudankulam anti nuclear activists are confronting with the government oriented scheme, and it is not only a political gimmicks but a ploy to siphon the foreign funds in the name of NGOs, and the Central Investigation Bureau is investigating.

It is worthy of note that any nuclear plant has its own advantages and as well its own disadvantages. One has to weigh the benefits more than the side effects.

Kalam's repertoire

Former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam, scrutinizing KKNPP came out with 39-page report, taking the help of his long time aide, V.Ponraj, has recommended 10 point action plan which would cost Rs.200 Crores.

Alleviating the most doubts raised by the anti nuclear activists, Mr.Kalam said," people should not have "even a nano sized doubt" over its safety as it met all the four safety aspects — nuclear criticality, radiation, thermal hydraulic and structural integrity safety".

Genesis of Kudankulam Nuclear Atomic Power Plant

It is to be recalled that the agreement on reactors 1 and 2, with a capacity of 1,000-MW each, were signed by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev. The construction of the reactors began in 2001

Right from the day the scheme was conceived, an organization known as "People's Movement against Nuclear Energy" emerged and began confronting past 25years mainly citing the nuclear hazards, and its environmental impacts. Nevertheless, construction began in the year 1997.The cost estimated in the year 2001 was US $ 3 billion or Indian Rs.13, 615 Crores. In 2008 negotiation on building four additional reactors at the site began. Though the capacity of these reactors has not been declared, it is expected that the capacity of each reactor will be 1000 MW or 1 GW.The new reactors would bring the total capacity of the power plant to 9200 MW or 9.2 GW.

Anti Kudankulam Protest in Tamilnadu

The agitation against this scheme began on October 2011, while dissenters campaigning in thousands from villagers living around grew in massive demonstration staging hunger strike, blocking highways, and disrupting works of both Indian and Russian scientist.

What the specific reason shown by agitators fearing was "More than 1 million people living within the 30 km radius of the KKNPP which far exceeds the AERB (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board) stipulations. It is quite impossible to evacuate this many people quickly and efficiently in case of a nuclear disaster at Koodankulam".

One Mr.S.P.Udayakumar leading the agitation feared that plant was unsafe, and the evaluation studies by scientists were not made public. He felt that it was an "Authoritarian project imposed on Public"

Although disasters are likely, if every project is viewed in pessimism, life will be too miserable, because even a two wheeler rider also has several points to be in his/her mind, not to lead for a calamitous situation,other wise life will be in a chaotic situation. There fore, a major project will not go without due care and advanced scientific precautions.

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