Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant


Country                     India

Coordinates              8°10′08″N 77°42′42′45″ECoordinates:

8°10′08″N 77°42′45″E

Construction began 1997

Owner(s)                  Nuclear Power Corporation of India LTD.

Reactor information

Reactors under        4 x 1170 MW

Construction             2 x 1000 MW

Website         Nuclear Power Corporation of India

As of August 11, 2007

Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) is a nuclear power station currently under construction in Koodankulam in the Tirunelveli district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.



1 History

2 Technical description

3 Controversy

4 See also

5 References

6 External links


An Inter-Governmental Agreement on the project was signed on November 20, 1988 by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, for the construction of two reactors. The project remained in limbo for a decade due to the political and economic upheaval in Russia after the post-1991 Soviet breakup.

There were also objections from the United States, on the grounds that the agreement does not meet the 1992 terms of the Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG).[1]

Since the plant was conceived in the mid-1980s, an anti-nuclear group People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy was opposing the plant for about 25 years[2]due to the Environmental impact of nuclear power and its threat to the people and environment.[3]

Construction eventually began in 1997.

The cost to India was estimated to be US$ 3 billion (Rs.13,615 Crores) in 2001.[4]

A small port became operational in Kudankulam on January 14, 2004. This port was established to receive

barges carrying over sized light water reactor equipment from ships anchored at a distance of 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi). Until 2004 materials had to be brought in via road from the port of Tuticorin, risking damage during transportation.[5]

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.[6][7] The new reactors would bring the total capacity of the power plant to 9200 MW or 9.2 GW.

In June 2011, Sergei Ryzhov, the chief designer of the light water VVER nuclear reactors used at this Nuclear

Power Plant was killed in an airplane accident. The plane belonging to the Rus-Air airlines was flying from

Moscow to the Karelian capital Petrozavodsk.[8]

[edit]Technical description

Two 1 GW reactors of the VVER-1000 model are being constructed by the Nuclear Power corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Atomstroyexport. When completed they will become the largest nuclear power generation complex in India producing a cumulative 2 GW of electric power.[9] Both units are water-cooled, water moderated power reactors.[10] The first was scheduled to start operation in December 2009 and the second one was scheduled for March 2010. Currently, the official projections put unit 1 into operation in June 2011, and unit

2 will go in March 2012.[11][12][13]

Four more reactors are set to be added to this plant under a memorandum of intent signed in 2008.[14] A firm agreement on setting up two more reactors, has been postponed pending the ongoing talks on liability issues.

Under an inter-government agreement signed in December 2008 Russia is to supply to India four third generation VVER-1200 reactors of 1170 MW.[15]

The reactors have some advanced safety features like passive heat removal system, double containment, Core Catcher, and hydrogen re-combiner instead of conventional systems.[16]


As of October 2011, thousands of protesters and villagers living around the Russian-built Koodankulam nuclear plant in the southern Tamil Nadu state, blocked highways and staging hunger strikes, preventing further construction work, and demanding its closure as they fear of the disasters like the Environmental impact of nuclear power, Radioactive waste, nuclear accident similar to the radiation leak in March at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster.[17]

The protesters have stated several reasons for opposing the Koodankulam NPP project.[18] According to S P Udayakumar, of the voluntary People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, “the nuclear plant is unsafe” and “the safety analysis report and the site evaluation study have not been made public. No public hearing was held. It’s an authoritarian project that has been imposed on the people.” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha that “all precautions would be taken at the Koodankulam nuclear plant to maintain the highest safety standards”.[17] A center panel constituted by the Government of India, which did a survey of the safety features in the plant, said the Koodankulam reactors are the safest and fears of the people are not based on scientific principles. Dr. Muthunayagam,panel’s convener,also added that the protesters have asked for some documents which are not related to the safety of the reactor hence he suspects the very nature of their questions.[16]

Gopal Gandhi, Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, former West Bengal governor also said that “Indian Fukushima cannot be ruled out and government needs to convince people about safety aspects of the project”.[19] Protesters claimed that even advanced countries like Germany have decided to shutdown all its 17

Nuclear reactors through which the country gets 23% of its energy.[20][21] However, former chairman of Atomic Energy Commission of India Srinivasan said that one should never compare the Fukushima plant with

Kudankulam and added “The Fukushima plant was built on a beachfront, but the Kudankulam was constructed on a solid terrain and that too keeping all the safety aspects in mind. Also, we are not in a tsunami prone area.

The plants in Kudankulam have a double contaminant system which can withstand high pressure. At least Rs 14,000 crore has been spent. If we don’t operate the plant immediately, it will affect the economic stability of our country”.[22]

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has also been filed against the government’s civil nuclear program at the apex Supreme Court. The PIL specifically asks for the “staying of all proposed nuclear power plants till satisfactory safety measures and cost-benefit analyses are completed by independent agencies”.[23][24]

Former President of India A. P. J. Abdul Kalam after a personal visit to the plant said that Koodankulam

Nuclear Plant is safe and the plant was essential for “power hungry” India.[25][26] However People’s Movement

Against Nuclear Energy leader Mr.Pushparayan recollected that Former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission of India Dr Homi Sethna had suggested to A. P. J. Abdul Kalam in the past not to comment on nuclear engineering since he was a missile engineer.[27][28]

In response to the center panel report, protesters wrote an open letter to the chief minister Jayalalithaa that the center panel’s report is “ill-baked and incomplete eyewash report” and also said that the report has “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”.[29]

Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P Chidambaram and the Minister of State V Narayanasamy have separately said that the protests at the Koodankulam nuclear plant were funded by foreign NGOs [30]. On February 28, a German national close to the protest leaders was arrested from a lodge near the nuclear plant and deported for the alleged funding activities [31]. Four NGOs have been officially booked for violating the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) of India, because they diverted foreign funds into the protest movement[32]. Several of India’s nuclear experts have claimed that the protest movement has been created to scuttle India’s indigenous three-stage closed fuel cycle program, which was put in place by India’s desire to provide power for its future generations and to make India independent of all fossil fuels.[33]

During February 2012, there were protests in favour of commissioning the nuclear power plants from other parts of the affected province, due to the province’s power deficit of 3-4000 MW resulting in power cuts of 4-8 hours in most areas.[34]

2. [http://www.therisingsun.in/asp/latestnews_02.asp]

TN reels under unprecedented power cuts ADMK regime totally indifferent and callous

to the plight of people

District officials, police caught between the devil and the deep sea Massive protests all over the State

  • Huge layoffs in industrial units; production down; Lakhs of workers out of work
  • Industrial units planning to shift out of the State
  • Agricultural operations hit: Farmers condemn
  • Hits schools and students during exam time
  • Drinking water supply cut : Traders, workers protest

With electricity demand touching 11,500MW and generation remaining at 7,500MW, the state is reeling under acute power shortage, prompting the government to resort to long hours of unscheduled power cuts.The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) has been forced to increase the duration of the power cuts in the state, barring Chennai.Most of the districts face outages lasting over eight hours.In Madurai and surrounding areas,the residents are in a fix as the public exams are round the corner.With arrival of summer, unscheduled power cuts are bound to increase.“From 6am to 9pm, we face power cuts at regular intervals that last for at least two hours,” said Elizabeth Rani,a mother of two school-going children.Of these, only two hours of power cuts are scheduled.In rural Madurai, the situation is even worse as unscheduled power cuts prolong for several hours and gone on into late into the night.“We don’t know how our children are going to prepare for the exams,” said Manimekalai, a resident of Nagamalai Pudukottai in the outskirts of Madurai.Similar is the condition in Coimbatore and

surrounding areas which faces more than six hours of power cuts every day.Nearly 150 industrial workers were arrested on Thursday when they tried to picket two places on the busy Avanashi Road to mark their protest against power cuts, ranging from five to eight hours.

The city has over 40,000 micro, small, medium and large engineering industries, foundries and textile mills, which are suffering production losses up to Rs 200 crore a day.“We are not able to do business

as there is no power,”said an industry association representative.TNEB officials state that they are helpless and cashless.“The demand has gone up drastically, but there has not been any capacity addition.We are not able to buy power as it is being sold at high prices and we do not have money to buy it too,” said a source.The private power producers have reduced supply as the TNEB owes them over Rs 10,000 crore.“Many of our generation projects were delayed.We were supposed to get 1,000MW from Vallur and 600MW from North Chennai by November 2011, but it will happen only by

June this year,” the official said.Summer is on its way but people in the city are already feeling the heat.With electricity demand touching 11,500 MW and generation remaining at 7,500 MW, the state has again imposed day-long power cuts on rotation in an increasing number of localities.The 9am-to- 5pm outages are officially supposed to be for maintenance work, but officials admit they have no option but to do a balancing act with the power available.The districts have been facing over six hours of power cuts daily.The power cuts have hit industries and the agriculture sector the hardest, sparking off massive protests across the state.Demand is rising by the day but Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, which owes Rs 10,000 crore to electricity suppliers, is in no position to purchase power. With power generation in the state unlikely to pick up for a few more months, things are likely to get much worse before they get any better.In Madurai and surrounding areas, the residents are in a fix as public exams are round the corner.With arrival of summer, unscheduled power cuts are bound to increase.“From 6 am to 9 pm,we face power cuts at regular intervals that last for at least two hours,”said Elizabeth Rani, a mother of two school-going children from Sadasiva Nagar near Anna Nagar.Only two hours of power cuts are scheduled.In rural Madurai, the situation is even worse as unscheduled power cuts continue for several hours into the night.“We don’t know how our children are going to prepare for the exams.The government should take some measures to help the children study,”said Manimekalai,a resident of Nagamalai Pudukottai on the outskirts of Madurai. Coimbatore and surrounding areas face a similar situation. Nearly 150 industrial workers were arrested on Feb.9, when they tried to picket two places on the busy Avanashi Road to mark their protest against power cuts, ranging from five to eight hours.The city has over 40,000 micro,small, medium and large engineering industries, foundries and textile mills, which are suffering production losses up to Rs 200 crore a day.“We are not able to do business as there is no power.Added to this, they are asking for a tariff hike too,” said an industry association representative.Main reason for power woes The lack of capacity addition over the years has proved to be the state’s undoing.

Though the demand has shot up over 11,000MW, generation is still at 11,500MW.A 450MW plant is already considered dead and one unit in N Chennai has been taken up for repair.Besides this, private power producers are reluctant to supply power as a cash-strapped TNEB owes them Rs 10,000 crore.The situation is expected to improve in June, when Vallur, Mettur and North Chennai power plants is likely to be commissioned.Use of force by police mar agitation:The one-day total shutdown by 25,000 odd industries representing 31 industrial associations in Coimbatore in protest against frequent and prolonged power cuts was marred by road blocks and use of “mild force” by the police to disperse the crowd.Trouble began when the protesters wanted more time to speak but the organisers insisted that time would be limited given the large number of speakers.This enraged the demonstrators and they began to shout down the organisers.When the organisers tried to discourage some speakers giving a political colour to the agitation the crowd became more restive.The organisers then requested the police to divert the traffic.They also appealed to the protesters to clear the road for the peak hour (10 a.m.) traffic.Finally, traffic on one side of Nanjappa Road was closed leaving it completely open for the demonstrators.Traffic towards the city was diverted via Dr.Balasundaram Road.However, the crowd started spilling over to the other side of the road.

At one stage, when a group of participants who emerged from the Gandhipuram mofussil bus stand tried to distribute gruel to the agitators, the police tried to foil the attempt.In the process, the gruel spilled over and this led to a scuffle between the protesters and the police.They squatted on the road, protesting against police high-handedness, paralysing traffic completely.At one stage,the officebearers of the associations had to request the demonstrators to clear the road as they did not want the agitation to go out of control.A group of people also squatted on the four-road junction at

Gandhipuram paralysing traffic in all directions.The police using force dispersed the crowd and picked up more than 15 people for instigating trouble Huge layoffs at small units:Balasubramanian, an employee of a weaving mill in Madurai, is yet to get his January salary.He’s not the only one.Thousands of workers in industrial estates on the outskirts of Madurai have stopped getting their salaries on time as the worsening power crisis in the region has forced their units to cut production and in some cases, shut down completely.Power outages in the region range from 8 to 10 hours per day and many industrialists are abandoning their units as they cannot survive the competition due to increasing costs.With several industrial units cutting production and reducing number of shifts, workers are getting half the wages and thousands have already migrated to other sectors, mainly construction.

“Due to the power crisis, the salary is being paid after the 15th unlike the 7th of every month earlier.I am not able to meet my monthly commitments such as rent,school fees etc,” Balasubramanian says.Pechiammal, another worker, says she stopped her two daughters from attending school recently and sent them to work in mills in Coimbatore to meet family expenses “I used to earn Rs 250 to 300 a day and the family was running smooth. Ever since the power cuts, we get half the wages,” she says.S Nithyananda Moorthy, vicepresident of the Kappalur Industrial Estate Manufacturers Association (KIEMA) and owner of a weaving mill, is a picture of gloom, sitting in the dark room of his office and brooding over his losses.“The power cut is more than 10 hours per day.The announced load shedding is from 6am to 10am but it stretches till noon.The power cut starts again by 6pm with a 45-minute slab every two hours till early morning.How do I run my machines with these power cuts,” he wonders.A L Palaniappan, joint secretary of KIEMA, says last year there were 350 operational units in the estate which employed 15,000 workers.The number has come down to 250 units and 9,000 workers.More than 100 units have shut down.The situation is equally bad in Mahiya Industrial Estate at Urganganpatti.Out of 80 industrial units, more than 10 units have closed down.“Most of the operational units are suffering production loss, mounting labour costs and wastage. Thousands of smallscale units in this region are on the verge of closure due to the power crisis,” said

AKB Nawas Babu, president of the Mahiya Industrial Estate.The layoffs are in proportion to the power

8 crisis, say the industrialists.From 6 percent in September 2011, it has reached 33 percent at present.“Operating three shifts is a thing of the past in all the units and the layoffs means losing workforce of one shift including both skilled and unskilled labourers,” explains A L Palaniappan, joint

secretary of KIEMA.“We’ll move to AP”: Small and medium industries have blamed large units in Chennai for the long power outages in the districts.They said large industries have been consuming huge amounts of power, leaving small units in the lurch.In an appeal on Thursday, they asked high tension consumers to voluntary cut power usage by 30% so outages are distributed equally.Industry representatives state that large industries in north and south Chennai consume 1,800MW.“Certain high tension consumers are enjoying uninterrupted supply and the burden is passed on to the small and medium enterprises,” the appeal said.“We will not expand our business in the state,” said Tamil Nadu

Electricity Consumers Association president Mahendra Ramadas.“We will move to Andhra Pradesh instead.”Industrial workers raise:All trade and industrial establishments in Coimbatore district downed their shutters on Friday to protest the erratic power cuts and failure of the state government to resolve the issue.Black flags were hoisted on top of 40,000 industrial units and employees who stayed away from work undertook a protest march in Coimbatore and Mettupalayam.

Over 15,000 industrial workers and their supervisors observed a fast in Gandhipuram till the afternoon, pressing for an immediate solution to the power crisis.The joint action committee for the 30

organisations representing trade and industry in Coimbatore has announced that the total loss to the industry because of inadequate power is Rs 300 crore.The government has also lost revenue worth Rs 40 crore due to various charges from industrial units.M Kandhaswami, Coimbatore District Small

Industries Association (CODISIA) president, said the protest was a huge success and a strong reminder to the state government to address the outage situation.“It is a do or die situation now.Industry in Coimbatore has been losing precious production hours due to declared and undeclared power outages.This has resulted in loss of goodwill and accumulating losses.The entire industry is burdened by bank loans with heavy interest,” he said.The production loss due to power outages per day in Coimbatore is worth Rs 150 crore, he said.He urged the government to declare power holidays on Saturdays and Sundays to ensure dedicated supply during week days.The crisis has crippled life totally in the Coimbatore region, he said.Addressing protestors near Hotel Tamil Nadu,P R Natarajan MP came down heavily on the state government for not keeping its promise to resolve the power problems within six months.

“The severe energy crisis has stalled manufacturing in most units across Western Tamil Nadu. Even normal life is totally paralysed due to the situation,’’ he pointed out.Joint action committee leader J

James pointed out that most unit owners in Coimbatore continue to pay wages as workers sit idle throughout the day.“The threat of a hike in power tariff adds fuel to the fire and it will certainly be a disaster for the region,” he said.CPI leader and Valparai MLA M Arumugam urged the government to end its discrimination between MNCs and local industrial units.“Despite the power crisis, MNCs in the state are getting uninterrupted power supply.Everyone must be treated equally,” he said.“We have taken up the issue with top honchos in the electricity department. They all say the situation will remain the same till May when additional power will be generated. This is a very long period of uncertainty.It is time the government took some action and commission the Koodankulam power plant,” said M Krishnan of Indian Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Coimbatore.“Coimbatore is not just facing three hours of declared power cuts but also several instances of undeclared cuts every day.Undeclared cuts are common even at night.In some regions, undeclared power cuts start from 5 am in the morning and 9 last till noon, throwing morning schedules out of gear,”said RR Ranganathan,president of SIEMA.Power

cut impacts water supply:Increased power cut is equal to reduced water supply. This is the new equation that the city’s residents are forced to live with as the Coimbatore

Corporation’s motors in water supply network also suffer the power cut.Sources in the civic body say that the problem happens wherever the Corporation uses motors to pump water to overhead tanks or sumps for distribution, and also where it uses motors to pump water from borewells.Each of the five zones has around 200 borewells, which the Corporation also uses for street supply.With the increase in power cut, the civic body runs the motors as and when it can to maintain, if not augment, the supply.The impact, the sources say, is that the supply will be erratic because the civic body will be able to supply only when the motors runs.They explain that the erratic supply is also on account of the time the motors need to run to supply to an area.If the power cut happens after the first area is fed, the Corporation will have to wait for power to feed the second area.This will lead to a situation where tail-end areas suffer without water, the sources say, citing Singanallur, Ondipudur and neighbouring areas as examples.For the Corporation to supply adequate quantity of water to such areas it must run the motors for longer duration, which is not possible in the current power cut schedule.

Hosur: Heavy police protection was given for the rally and demonstration of HOSTIA demanding power holiday and uninterrupted power supply in Hosur on Tuesday.As many as 690 police personnel drawn from Armed Reserve Police, Law and Order from nearby Dharmapuri, Salem and Namakkal were mobilized for security duty.

Farmers condemn acute power shortage: Over 100 farmers staged a demonstration near the clock

tower here on Monday condemning the acute power shortage in the State and pressing their 18 point charter of demands, including inauguration of Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project in Tirunelveli district to overcome power shortage.They insisted that the State government should ensure uninterrupted power supply at least six hours a day and eight hours at night.If the government failed to streamline power supply, members of Tamil Nadu farmers associations will lay a siege to the TNEB offices, they threatened.The government should also find permanent and sustainable solutions to various inter State water disputes like Cauvery, Mulllaperiyar and Palar river water.They also appealed to the government to desilt all irrigation wells in the State, to improve storage facilities and ensure irrigation to rain fed areas.Many old wells have not been desilted for a long time and Dindigul alone has 90,000 major and minor irrigation wells. Government should give cent per cent grant for desilting these tanks, they appealed.Unscheduled cuts leave educational institutions groping in dark:

Educational institutions are yet another vital segment which has been hit hard due to the increase in load shedding witnessed in several parts of the state.

“The enhanced burden of load shedding is not only causing severe hardship in conducting classes, particularly the practical classes and computer classes, but also puts heavy additional financial burden on the managements for installing and running the generators,” laments a cross section of the heads of the colleges and schools across the district.Several parts of the state have been experiencing longer duration of load shedding.Officially, parts of the State other than Chennai are to have two-hour load shedding.However, in reality, the load shedding ranges from six hours to eights hours in almost every part of the district.The colleges in city get power supply hardly for three hours during the day time.Practical classes bear the brunt.An arts college in the city has purchased as many as 15

10 generators recently for use in college and hostels.“We incurred additional expenditure of Rs. 2.22 lakh for diesel for running the generators during the month of December 2011 and it rose to Rs. 3.70 lakh during last month,” the principal said.“We cannot collect even a single penny from the students for this additional financial burden and the college management has been magnanimous in bearing the expenses,” the principal says.This has become recurring expenditure and it increases by 20 per cent every month, the principal adds.Another problem is that the colleges could put into use only lighter electrical equipments.This is confirmed by the principal of a polytechnic college.“We have 25 KV generators, which could not cope up with the power demand of the workshop.Only 62.5 KV generators will help us and the project will cost heavily,” he admits.Colleges and schools have rescheduled their functioning.

Practical classes and workshops are being conducted when they get power.The students of the computer courses claim that they are the worst hit.“We have to spend at least five hours in the computer project lab every week.On many occasions, due to unscheduled power cuts, we are unable to save the updated version of our work,” says S.Sheik Mohamed, a final year B. Sc Computer Science student of a city college.A majority of colleges have big hostels accounting for hundreds of inmates.The load shedding has rendered them without water for taking bath, washing clothes and cooking.As they could not grind rice, preparation of idli, dosa in the hostels have taken a back seat.The menu has to be changed and this has evoked sharp protest from the students, admits warden of a college hostel.The schools,particularly the government schools, are also the silent sufferers.While Physics practical classes are conducted using the candle lights, computer, engineering practicals are conducted whenever power is available, sometimes in the after-school hours.The practical examinations for the Plus Two students have already commenced and all the schools have written to the TANGEDCO to provide uninterrupted power supply for the smooth conduct of the test.Many educationists are of the view that the immediate commissioning of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant will go a long way in solving the severe crisis faced by the State.They have pleaded with the Chief Minister to take steps for commissioning the plant.

‘Distribute invertors as freebies’

A retired post master in Coimbatore on Feb.11 sent a registered letter to Chief Minister Jayalalitha urging her to stop distribution of freebies like mixer grinders and table fans and instead dole out smallcapacity invertors. N Hariharan of Kovaipudur,wsssho won six national awards for meritorious service during his 38 years in postal department,said mixers and grinders would be of no use at a time when the state is passing through severe power outages.

3. [http://www.pravasitoday.com/powerless-tamil-nadu-urges-pm-for-central allocation:Pravasi Today]

‘Powerless’ Tamil Nadu urges PM for central allocation

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa Monday requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to allocate additional 1,000 MW power from the central pool for nearly a year.

She also asked him to issue instructions to speed up the central power projects coming up in Tamil Nadu.

In a letter to the prime minister, copies of which were released to the media, Jayalalithaa said: “Due to increasing demand and stagnant generation of power, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) is resorting to scheduled loadshedding of around 1,500 MW and frequent unscheduled load-shedding.”

The measure hit the farming community worst while affecting the industrial and domestic sectors, the letter stated. Additional generation of power in Tamil Nadu may take one or two years, since many new projects are in various stages of construction, she said.

“Even the central power projects such as the Kudankulam Atomic Power Station (2×1000 MW) and Neyveli Thermal

Power Station Stage II expansion (2×250 MW), which were expected to commence power generation by the year 2009 are yet to be completed and commissioned, causing serious concern to the state government,” the letter notes. Stating that she had taken measures to improve energy efficiency and reduce the gap between the demand and supply, Jayalalithaa in her letter said that despite these efforts, “..the power shortage is likely to continue for some more time due to lack of capacity for additional generation of power.”

“Therefore, I request your personal intervention to immediately allocate additional power of 1,000 MW from June 2011 to May 2012, from the central pool to meet the genuine needs of the farmers and the public,” the letter notes. According to a policy note of the state government’s energy department, the total installed capacity – excluding renewable energy sources – is 10,214 MW, including the state’s share from the central pool. The average power demand for 2011-12 is projected to be 14,224 MW, and for 2012-13 it is expected to be 15,517 MW.

Tamil Nadu would get 325 MW as its share from the 2×250 MW power project put up by Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) and 925 MW from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project built by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) in the Tirunelvelli district.

According to NPCIL, the first unit at Kudankulam is expected to start commercial operations this month and the second in March 2012.

Meanwhile, the first of the 3×500 MW power units promoted by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Tamil Nadu Energy Ltd is expected to be synchronised with the power grid this November.


4. [http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2627059.ece]

Kalam plumps again for Kudankulam plant SHIV SAHAY SINGH

Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam delivers a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta on Monday. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury The “power-hungry” India needs clean energy and the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu is waiting to add 2,000 MW to the grid, the former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, said on Monday. “As an individual, I went to the [Kudankulam] plant. Really it is a modern plant, and there is 2,000 MW ready to be pumped into the grid,” he told journalists on the sidelines of a programme at the Indian Institute of Management here. Pointing out that the total CO{-2} emission across the country by cars running on fossil fuel was 30 billion tons a year, Mr. Kalam said: “So we need only clean energy. Solar power is clean energy, nuclear power is clean energy and hydel power is clean energy.”

Asked whether he was going to talk to those who have been protesting against the plant, Mr. Kalam said he had met a lot of people and was open to discussion with anyone. “Whoever wants to talk to me can meet me.”

After visiting the Kudankulam plant on November 6 amid protests by villagers, Mr. Kalam said he was “completely satisfied and happy with the sophisticated safety features of the reactors.” Again, he 13 reiterated his contention to dispel fears over the safety. “Of course, I am confident of the safety,” he said, adding that he had cited the technical reasons earlier.

Keywords: Abdul Kalam, IIM-C lecture, nuclear power, Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant

5. [http://www.asianscientist.com/features/m-r-srinivasan-former-chairman Dr. M.R.Srinivasan,

Former Indian Atomic Chief, Discusses India's



Dr. M.R.Srinivasan, Former Indian Atomic Chief, Discusses India’s Nuclear Future By Srinivas Laxman | Editorials August 29, 2011

Honest truths and hard facts on India’s nuclear program rang aloud at the Nehru Center, by Dr. M.R.Srinivasan, the former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India (1987-1990).

AsianScientist (Aug. 29, 2011) – Honest truths, hard facts, and criticisms on India’s nuclear program rang aloud this Wednesday at the Nehru Center in Mumbai, India. These words came neither from an armchair critic nor an environmentalist, but from the man who once headed India’s nuclear program and is still associated with it.

He is none other than Dr. M.R.Srinivasan, chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) between 1987 and 1990, and current AEC member, who was there to give a presentation entitled Future of Nuclear Power after Fukushima.

The presentation marked the first Dr. H. N. Sethna Memorial Lecture, named after Dr. Sethna, a former chief of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission who died in September 2010. Speaking to Asian Scientist Magazine on the sidelines of the event, Dr. Srinivasan discussed topics that spanned from Pakistan’s move to strengthen its nuclear arsenal, to competition from China.

14 We also bring you excerpts from his presentation that covered topics ranging from nuclear submarines, thorium use in nuclear plants, and the Japanese Fukushima Dai-ichi accident.


On Pakistan expanding its nuclear arsenal

Dr. Srinivasan: Yes we have to keep watching the situation. The military rules the country and they want the bomb. Expressing deep concern about the expansion and strengthening of Pakistan’s nuclear program, he regretted that the leverage of the US in this matter was very minimal, failing to exercise much influence on Pakistan in forcing it to reduce its atomic weapons.

Two investigative reports have revealed Pakistan’s nuclear expansion. A book written by two investigative reporters, Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark, called Nuclear Deception, describes how the US secretly backed Pakistan’s nuclear weaponization program while keeping a public posture of opposition to it. Another report in the current issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists said that Pakistan will have 150 to 200 nuclear warheads in a decade – the world’s fastest growing nuclear stockpile. Asked if there was a danger of Pakistani extremists taking over Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, Dr. Srinivasan gave a measured response.

Dr. Srinivasan: I do not want to ring an alarm, but such a danger does exist because of various factors.

On India’s nuclear submarine program

Dr. Srinivasan: The Department of Atomic Energy’s Rare Material Plant at Ratnahalli, near Mysore, is being further expanded to cater to India’s nuclear submarine program.

The first indigenous nuclear submarine, INS Arihant, sailed into the waters at Vishakapatnam in

Andhra Pradesh in July 2009 and is currently undergoing sea trials. It is expected to be commissioned into the Indian Navy by the end of the year. Four submarines of a similar class will be commissioned into the Indian Navy by 2015.

The indigenous n-submarines have pressurized heavy water reactors designed by the Bhabha Atomic Research Center. The final production version was built by the Indira Gandhi Center For Atomic Research at Kalpakkam, near Chennai. The submarines use enriched uranium which is fabricated at the Rare Material Plant.

On India’s ‘opposition for opposition sake’

Dr. Srinivasan: The world watches China’s achievements with wonder and we in India with envy.

Yet we have not evolved methods to resolve difficult questions through reason and dialogue. We waste far too much energy on futile debates and street demonstrations. There is no reason why we have not replaced the land acquisition act of the British period with a more balanced one that takes note of present conditions.

15 Lots of land has been acquired by the government from poor people at very low compensation and

to make matters worse the monies are not paid promptly. In some coal mining projects, the same group of people have been uprooted more than once.

Some forty years ago, India celebrated when a new dam, steel plant, power plant, fertilizer plant, or a canal system was built. Now we seem to celebrate every time a steel plant, aluminum plant, or power plant is stopped.

Let us look at our civilized neighbor – China. They take pride in the fact that they have built the biggest dam across the Yangtse, the Beijing-Lhasa railway, the Beijing-Shanghai fast train (1300 km in 5 hours), and the longest bridge of 36 km between their main land and an island and so forth.

India is not meeting its energy needs fast enough

Dr. Srinivasan: Not only is the total quantity small, the ore concentration is also low, extraction too is more costly in India than in Canada, Australia, Kazakhstan, and some countries of Africa.

Our resources are in Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh, and a smaller one in Karnataka. We started mining activities in Jharkhand in the late 1960’s. We are in the process of constructing a mine in Andhra Pradesh. In Meghalaya, we are facing difficulties in opening the mines due to tribal customs on ownership of lands. Efforts are being made to overcome the problem. In Karnataka, mining is due to commence soon.

India’s electricity generating capacity has been growing over the years, mostly coal-based and hydro, with some contribution from gas and small contributions from nuclear and wind. India and China both had an installed capacity of about 2000 MW in 1950, but India is struggling to reach 200,000 MW and China has already surpassed 800,000 MW.

Some studies relating to the energy needs of India by 2052 show that the electricity requirement could be about 1300 GW. This could be 40 percent coal-based, using clean coal technologies, 40 percent nuclear, and 20 percent renewable.

We may note that at present France is producing 75 to 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear plants. In Korea it is 40 percent. Japan has 30 percent from nuclear, though what it will be in future in the context of Fukushima is uncertain. The US has 20 percent nuclear on a rather large overall capacity and has a big contribution from gas (lately shale gas).

China has the largest generation capacity, after the US. At present, a large percent is coal-based. China’s carbon emissions have exceeded that of the US, even though on a per capita basis, it is about one-fourth. China has the biggest nuclear plant construction program at present, and while they will undoubtedly review their safety practices in the light of the Japanese experience, they will probably continue to develop nuclear power in a big way.

On India’s status as a nuclear power

Dr. Srinivasan: The Pokhran II nuclear weapon tests of 1998 conferred on India the status of a defacto nuclear weapon power, outside of the original five – the US, the UK, France, China, and Russia.

16 At present India has 20 operating nuclear power units, the others who have more than 20 are the

US, France, Japan, Russia, and South Korea. Homi Bhabha, the father of India’s nuclear program, entrusted the challenging task of building a reprocessing plant to Homi Sethna. The crowning achievement of Sethna’s remarkable career was the Pokhran I test of 18 May 1974 when India demonstrated its ability to conduct a nuclear explosion. Following this test, the US, Canada, and some other countries embargoed supply of materials or equipment required for India’s nuclear program. This was a major challenge and resulted in delays in building nuclear power stations, heavy water plants and fuel fabricating facilities, and in research and development projects. The forced isolation led to creation of wide ranging capabilities by Indian industries which geared up to supply all the materials and equipment from within the country.

India’s latest nuclear projects

Dr. Srinivasan: Although India had 20 nuclear power units under operation, the total nuclear power

capacity is small because most of the units had a capacity of 220 MW. The Tarapur 3 and 4 units, built to our own designs, were the largest at present, at 540 MW.

In the next couple of months, we will start our first 1000 MW nuclear plant at Kudankulam,

Tamilnadu, built with Russian cooperation. A second such plant will enter in to service next year. In the past year or so, we have started construction of four reactors of 700 MW capacity of our own design, two at Kakrapara (Gujarat), and two at Rawatbhatta (Rajasthan). We expect to build some more 700 MW reactors, of this standard design, at some new sites in

Madhya Pradesh and Haryana and possibly as extension at Kaiga (Karnataka).

The Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) of 500 MW capacity at Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu is in an advanced stage of construction and is expected to be ready to receive fuel by the end of 2012.

This will be our first major step in the second stage of the three stage Indian nuclear program. This will be followed by four more 500 MW FBRs, two to be located at Kalpakkam (near Chennai), and two at another site.

This program is currently the most important breeder reactor program anywhere in the world. We are

building an integrated reprocessing facility, a fuel refabrication facility and a waste immobilization facility at Kalpakkam. Such a complex will ensure that the spent fuel does not have to be transported out of site and the recycle activities are all carried at one site only, thus ensuring high level of safety.

To initiate the third stage of the program, nuclear scientists in India have designed an Advanced

HeavyWater Reactor (AHWR) of 300 MW capacity which can be fueled with thorium. This reactor may go in to operation by 2017 and will probably be the first large reactor using thorium, anywhere in the world.

On the use of thorium in Indian nuclear reactors

17 Dr. Srinivasan: Many people in India have asked why India is not speeding up the use of thorium as a fuel in Indian nuclear reactors. The reason is that thorium by itself is not a nuclear fuel, It is called

a fertile material. We need plutonium, uranium-235, or uranium-233 to start a reactor using thorium. In a reactor, thorium gets converted in to uranium-233, which is a nuclear fuel.

Although India will build thorium-based reactors in the decade of 2020, significant numbers of such reactors can be built only after 2030.

It is important to have a large capacity of fast breeder reactors so that adequate quantity of plutonium is available to start the thorium systems.

On foreign vs. locally made nuclear reactors

Dr. Srinivasan: Some may wonder why India should import nuclear power plants when the country is already building a number of them indigenously.

We have hitherto built small reactors (220 MW and 540 MW) and now we are standardizing a size of 700 MW. India-designed reactors using heavy water require a small amount of fresh fuel to be

loaded into the reactor every day and an equivalent amount of spent fuel to be taken out of the reactor daily. We have evolved satisfactory equipment and procedures for doing this safely. In contrast, Light Water Reactors (LWR) used in US, France, Japan, Russia, and Korea have an output of 1000 to 1650 MW and need to be loaded with fresh fuel only once in twelve or eighteen months. The fuel is low enriched uranium. Some 80 per cent of all nuclear power plant in the world are LWRs.

India is in an advanced stage of negotiations with Russia to build more reactors at Kudankulam,

which can accommodate four more units in addition to the first two, and which are now in an advanced stage of execution.

We are negotiating with France to build six 1650 MW reactors, in a phased manner, at Jaitapur, near Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. We are also discussing with the American reactor builders, Westinghouse and General Electric, regarding constructing reactors of their design at two coastal sites, one in Gujarat and another in Andhra Pradesh. These discussions are less advanced than is the case with Russia and France. India intends to import some 20,000 to 30,000 MW of Light Water reactors from Russia, France, and the US in the time period from now to 2030. India would like to have a total nuclear capacity of 50,000 to 60,000 MW by 2030.

So we will continue to build more PHWRs (pressurized heavy water reactors) of our own design with some of them using imported natural uranium.

We will no doubt intensify exploration for uranium in India and maximize local production. We also expect to acquire stake in developing uranium reserves in friendly countries and thus increase the total quantity of uranium available for our program.

On Japan’s Fukushima accident and the future of nuclear power

Dr. Srinivasan: It could take as long as 10 years to decontaminate the site. It may take up to 20 years to clean up Fukushima city. The four units (1 to 4) of Daiichi are naturally a write-off.

Around that time, Japanese earth scientists found out that a number of tsunami of great height, up to

30 meters or more had earlier struck the coast of Japan. Unfortunately, Tokyo Electric Power Company dismissed these warnings.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel announced that Germany, which produces about 25 percent of its electricity from nuclear, would phase out its nuclear units by 2022. It is hoping to increase renewables like wind and solar, and to invest heavily on conservation.

Italy and Switzerland announced that they would shelve plans to embark on new nuclear units. But

there are many countries with sizeable number of nuclear units and shutting them down is simply not an option.

The US, France, Korea, and Russia have a large number of nuclear units which supply a good proportion of electricity. China and India are planning to add nuclear capacity rapidly.

Should India do away with nuclear energy?

Dr. Srinivasan: What we need is to learn all the lessons from Fukushima and make our reactors

safer and more reliable. It is important that public confidence which has been shaken is restored by making the presently operating ones and those to be built in the future as safe as humanly possible.

A question may arise: “If Germany can do without nuclear energy, why should India need it?” Also, it is possible that Japan which has 54 nuclear reactors may decide on phasing out nuclear energy.

Japan has a special problem which is that most of Japan is visited by severe earthquakes. Also on the eastern coast, they have active seismic epicenters which when erupted may release severe tsunami waves.

Fortunately, most of India has low seismic activity compared to Japan. All Indian sites have a seismic intensity less than seven on the Richter scale – an intensity one hundredth of the earthquake that hit Fukushima, which is very important to bear this in mind.

Moreover, industrial societies like Germany, Japan, US, and others have already built up their infrastructure, which is energy intensive. So now they can manage to reduce their energy consumption and possibly face the future with renewable and conservation.

Developing countries like India and China, with large populations and large developmental deficits to be made good, will need to use nuclear energy, but of course with all safety measures taken, and under strict regulation.


On the Jaitapur controversy

About the controversial French-aided plans to construct nuclear power plants at Jaitapur in

Maharashtra, Dr. Srinivasan said he would like to share with this audience that he was responsible for selecting this site, following a visit in 1984.

19 Dr. Srinivasan: There is a high table land some 20 to 30 meters above the sea level and there was no cultivation in that piece of land. Of course grass grows there and is harvested for fodder. There were no dwellings located on the land. Hence this is an ideal site.

There would be no effluents which could affect the mango orchards or the fishing activity. We have actual experience at Tarapur and Kalpakkam and at neither of these places has there been an adverse impact on marine life. Similarly, Kakrapar (Gujarat) and Kaiga (Karnataka) have shown that the ecology of the area is unaffected. The question of compensation for lands that are acquired is a matter that has to be decided by the state government.

While we may fully support wind and solar options, they simply will be inadequate or uneconomic compared to nuclear power. Sometimes, our environmental activists consider all of us involved in industrial activities as ‘anti-national people’ and confer on themselves all patriotism. As a person who has spent some five and a half decades in developing nuclear power under difficult conditions, I consider this value judgment of our environmental activists completely unacceptable.

Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine.

Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

6. [http://www.telegraphindia.com/1110919/jsp/calcutta/story_14525261.jsp]

Scientist bats for nuclear power


Even though the radiation hazard in the aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster was minimal, the accident helped anti-nuclear energy campaigners spread fear among people. That’s the opinion of Bikash Sinha, Homi Bhabha professor in the central government’s department of atomic energy.

“The radiation hazard rate at Fukushima city (65km from the nuclear plant) was merely 0.38 units, Tokyo 0.13 units, Calcutta 0.104 units and Manavalakurichi (Kerala) 0.449,” said Sinha while interacting with members of American Chamber of Commerce (Amchams) at Bengal Club on Friday. “And the hazardous dose for a nuclear industry employee is 20 units,” he explained through a presentation. According to him, at some places — such as Manavalakurichi, rich in natural thorium — typical background radiation is far higher than what was produced in the Fukushima disaster.

According to him, the anti-nuclear lobby is distorting facts to misinform people. “It’s a pity the same lobby, concerned over greenhouse gas emission, is not that vociferous against thermal power plants that generate loads of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.” The activists also gloss over the fact that thousands of people die in coal-mining disasters across the world, he said.

“These campaigners are latching on to the fact that Germany capped its nuclear programme immediately after the

disaster. But that’s completely a political issue, courtesy the Greenpeace movement. That logic doesn’t hold good for India,” said Sinha.

The safety record of Indian nuclear power plants is quite robust. “Kalpakkam plant in Tamil Nadu survived the 2004 tsunami and Gujarat’s Kakrapar plant too was unharmed by the devastating Bhuj earthquake in 2001,” he said.

If India has to continue the pace of its economic growth, there’s no alternative to nuclear energy. “It’s not only clean Bikash Sinha

20 but extremely cheap. Which is why the country has set a modest target of producing at least 20,000MW electricity from nuclear power,” he also said. Solar power is not a viable source of energy since photovoltaic cells used in it are expensive. Wind energy is also not feasible in most wind-starved places. “Polluting coal-based thermal plants are far more damaging than nuclear plants.

It’s a tragedy that majority of power in West Bengal is still generated in such plants,” said Sinha. “The state is ignoring nuclear power at its peril,” he added.



‘Kudankulam a victim of misinformation’

Published: Sunday, Nov 13, 2011, 9:13 IST | Updated: Sunday, Nov 13, 2011, 9:13 IST

By M Raghuram | Place: Manipal | Agency: DNA

Former chief of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Dr Anil Kakodkar has stated that the Nuclear Power

Corporation of India and its generating stations have to meticulously follow their corporate social responsibilities. He revealed that what happened in Kudankulam was a misinformation campaign. DNA caught up with him in Manipal; here are the excerpts of the interview.


As the former chief of the BARC, what is your take on the present nuclear safety in India, considering the outcry in

Kudankulam and Kaiga?

We are reading too much into the situation in Kudankulam. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has carried out several nuclear safety tests in the area earmarked for nuclear power generation. But due to nuclear accidents caused by tsunami in Fukushima, there is an apprehension about safety aspects in all nuclear installations. Kudankulam was a victim of this hysteria.

The MS Swaminathan Agricultural Trust in Kudankulam had carried out extensive profiling of the local vegetation and agriculture. They found out that the endemic varieties of crops will not pose any problems pertaining to nuclear power generation. The situation in Kaiga was also more or less the same.


Do the nuclear installations or the NPCIL have corporate social responsibilities like the other corporate bodies?

Yes, they do have their own corporate social responsibilities. However, they focus more on displacement trauma and livelihood problems. During my visits to Kudankulam, they have taken several measures to give the evacuees alternative livelihood options, education, transportation, connectivity, and healthcare benefits. Many welfare works were carried out with the help of self-help groups in Kudankulam. Unfortunately, several of these have not reached the beneficiaries. Kudankulam was a friendly neighbourhood, but a lot of misinformation has crept in, sending a wrong message. I hope things get sorted out soon.

Why do incidents such as tritium leak and fires in control room occur? Why are the authorities so secretive about

these accidents?

The tritium leak was a criminal act. The police and the NPCIL’s internal investigation team are looking into it. Culprits will be punished. But we don’t want to get into a situation where we create fear and panic.

What happened in Fukushima was an accident that happened due to the tsunami that hit Japan. Fukushima nuclear installation, by itself, did not have any problem. However, some blame it as a nuclear accident. In a natural disaster, such as Tsunami, many things may go wrong.





Power Consumption in India to Double Up by 2020 Jan 29, 2010

The current level of electricity consumption in India is all geared up to double by next decade, owing to government reforms and various other factors.

According to a survey conducted by KPMG, consumption of electricity in India, which is currently around 600 Terawatt hours per annum, is all set to double by 2020, exceeding Russian levels in the meantime, as per the news published by The Hindu.

Increase in demand for power is expected to be driven by factors like growth in population and wealth, increasing economic activity, infrastructure developments and improved standards of living.

The Indian power sector will also be pushed by government’s initiatives and reforms, for instance, distribution network Reforms Program. In addition to this, the sector’s future growth will be backed by reforms like National Electricity Policy and the Electricity Act. KPMG has also mentioned in the study that coal, which as of now provides nearly 70% of the country’s power, will continue to be a dominant primary fuel, offering commercial opportunities to manufacturers who are world leaders in high-efficiency clean burn plant.

Moreover, the demand-supply gap is expected to broaden further with the increasing demand. Therefore, the total power production capacity should reach 241 GW (241,000 MW) from the current 90 GW (90,000 MW) to meet around twice the current consumption capacity. As of now, total installed power capacity of India is 147,402.81 MW, as per The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).

The broadening power demand-supply gap is also shaping enormous opportunity for private investment supported by the government policies. According to “Indian Power Sector Analysis”, a RNCOS market research report, as per the estimates, India, until 2030, will require investments worth US$ 1250 Billion in energy infrastructure, with 76% of the investment going to power generation, transmission and distribution.

According a Research Analyst at RNCOS, “India’s GDP has been growing by around 8-9% per annum for past several years, thus creating enormous demand for energy. However, the demand-availability deficit continues to be one of the major areas of concern for the power industry, which is bothering the economy’s competitiveness. Although private sector generation is on the rise, the country might face roadblocks like electricity theft and inefficiencies in power transmission and distribution systems till 2020.”

Related Market Research Reports:

Global Photovoltaic Market Forecast to 2013

Indian Power Sector (2006)

Photovoltaics – A high potential market opportunity (2005-2010)

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