67. Koodankulam Agitation, a case of foreign politics interfering with our Nuclear Energy projects

Mr. Bharat Karnad, professor at Centre for Policy Research, warns us to be careful of foreign countries sabotaging our nuclear plants. We need vey badly to produce more and more energy for our development, Nuclear Energy is an important source. Following the Fukushima disaster , India passed the Civil Liability for Nuclear damage. The USA wants only limited liability. We do not agree to this. So it wants to put a spoke into our nuclear plants. Russia was a pioneer in setting up nuclear plants in India and the one at Koodankulam is ready to be commissioned. A Parish priest has persuaded the local Panchayat President to launch an agitation against the commissioning of the Koodankulam project. The agitators warn that the nuclear plant is in the Tsunami zone and will be disastrous. Mr. Abdul Kalam has assured umpteen times that there is no danger.

The USA and the European Greens seem to be behind this agitation. They are thus putting pressure on us to drop the Civil Nuclear Liability Act. The fury of the agitation at Koodankulam is some what surprising since the anti-nuclear lobby is not strong in India. Following the USA the Russians have encouraged the CPM in India to launch an agitation against the USA backed Jaitapur Pant in Maharashtra on environmental grounds.

I want to you to understand the mischievous game the foreigners play in India. Mr. Bharat Karnad rightly draws our attention to this. The iNputs for this blog are drawn from a recent article of his.He adds that the solution is for the Nuclear Power Corp of India to rely exclusively on tested, indigeneous pressurised reactors that Indian engineers have great familiarity with and which have a proven record of safety, rather than importing high yield (1,000-1,600 MW) reactors at tremendous cost that vene the supplier countries cannot possibly vouch for — where reactor safety is concerned — because these have not been built anywhere else!

9 thoughts on “67. Koodankulam Agitation, a case of foreign politics interfering with our Nuclear Energy projects

  1. 1.Nuclear Power Plants in India. Completed

    So far India has constructed 20 nuclear power plants

    A.Four units in Kaiga, Karnataka,
    B.Two in Kakrapar, Gujarat
    C.Two in Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu
    D.Two in Narora, Uttar Pradesh
    E.Six in Rawatbhatta, Rajasthan
    F.Four in Tarapur, Maharashtra

  2. 2. Proposed
    India has additional eight under construction (one in Kalpakkam, two in Kakrapar, two in Rawatbhatta, and two in Banswara, Rajasthan).

  3. 3. There is an on-going agitation at Koodankulam. Features of this agitation

    A. First of its kind in India
    B. The crowds agitating here seem to have come from outside and rarely are local people involved
    C. It’s a mystery whether the people protesting in Koodankulam have suddenly become knowledgeable about the dangers posed by a nuclear power station in their backyard.
    D. The disaster at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power complex seems to have provided them a handle. But people seem to ignore the fact that the Fukushima disaster was a ‘low probability-high cost’ incident triggered by a combination of earthquake and tsunami. These were responsible for the tripping of the safety devices and failure of the automatically activated safety measures. These over whelmed all control systems. The nuclear core reached melt-down condition. Fukushima is certainly an `Act of God. A Vis Major that no body could have either expected nor prevented. Hence it cannot be used as an argument against Nuclear Power Plants.

  4. 4. Mr.Bharat Karnad draws attention to the following in regard to the Koodankulam agitation:

    A.The recently elected Koodankulam panchayat president Sandal V Muthuraja, thinks that he won the election with the help of the local parish priest of nearby Idinthakarai. This priest seems to be well-versed in Catholic liturgy and radiation risk analysis. More likely, however, he is an average Joe and a nuclear know-nothing convinced he is doing god’s work if it also results in the filling of church coffers.

  5. B. Who are the donors sponsoring the agitation? From where do he agitators get their funds? The anti-nuclear lobby in India, unlike the well-off Green Movement in the West, is cash poor and so marginalised it has become irrelevant. The well-funded Greens from abroad seem to be to leading the fight against Koodankulam.

    C. This is what S K Jain, chairman, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd believes has happened, referring darkly to “Foreign nationals who are green from the US, Finland, France, Australia and Germany…. and backing locals in their agitation.”

  6. D. Of the five countries Jain has mentioned, the United States (partnering Japan), France and Germany, it turns out, are centrally involved in trying to sell India unproven reactors run on imported enriched uranium fuel and related technologies. These countries do not want to be bound by the Indian Liability for Nuclear Damage Act 2010, since it rejects the cap for liability.

    E. Russia, having grandfathered the Koodankulam plant under a 1988 bilateral agreement, has contracted to build four more VVER 1000 reactor units at the same location, which is seen by Washington as unfair advantage accruing to Moscow.

  7. F. the USA wants to block the Koodankulam project and thus harm Russia. Russia has retaliated by encouraging the Communist Party (Marxist) to form the ‘National Committee in Support of Jaitapur Struggle’ and do in this Konkan fishing village what the Western countries may be doing to it in Koodankulam — using environmental and safety concerns to rouse the ire of people to stop the Areva plants from getting off the ground.

  8. India has decided to give nuclear parks to the major nuclear plant manufacturers ,namely kudankulam to Russians,jaitapur to French,and haripur to Americans.before the nuclear isolation of India ended,thanks to 123 agreement,the Russians were the exclusive nuclear tech supplier to this country.1998,as countries competited with each other in imposing sanctions aftermath of pokhran II,the Russians stood by our side and the French abstained.it is no wonder kudankulam plant is most developed,followed by jaitapur (where preliminary work has been done) and haripur where no such land could be acquired.by alluring the prospects of economic profit to the Americans,we managed to end the nuclear isolation.by the time they realised that nuclear liability bill was a potential deathwish for them, their geopolitical rival was way ahead.hence,by using the German surrogates of green party,they were able to launch a localised politico religious hued agitation.the Russians meanwhile viewed the French as competitors in nuclear tech.they launched the agitation at jaitapur.
    It is heartening to more that people of India could discriminate between the actual agitation and the fake.
    It is my opinion that all 6 nuclear plant will b built at kudankulam,and 2 at jaitapur.we need diversification In nuclear tech,so French will be encouraged,bcos,they have good nuclear tech but is costly.
    The Americans won’t build any bcos they r even backward to India in this.They haven’t built a plant since 1970s.
    In the coming years,the electricity generation would be met by wind,solar and indigenous nuclear plants,whose design would b based on PFBR,which is now being built at kalpakkam of 500 MWe capacity.

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