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The ‘Hot Run’ in Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant Coincides with a ’Hot Report’ Published in Russia

by People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, 6 July 2011

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PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

July 5, 2011

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
- 42/27 Esankai Mani Veethy
- Parakkai Road Junction
- Nagercoil 629 002, Tamil Nadu, India
- Phone: 91—9865683735
- Email: koodankulam@yahoo.com

The ‘Hot Run’ in Koodankulam NPP Coincides with a ‘Hot Report’ Published in Russia

The “Hot Run” of India’s largest and the first reactor in the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) commenced on July 1, 2011 when anti-nuclear activists from all over Tamil Nadu organized a day-long hunger strike and a complete shutdown at Koodankulam.

The activists complained about the untested and unreliable VVER-1000 reactor technology, the bad quality of the construction, and the serious impact the plant may have on the right to life and livelihood of the local people. The activists expressed their concern that the land, the sea and sea food all may become contaminated because of Koodankulam reactors. They also complained that the KKNPP authorities did not hold any mandatory mass safety drills or inform the public about the safety issues involved in the running of a nuclear power plant.

In the meantime, a report (http://www.bellona.org/articles/articles_2011/rosatom_report) prepared for Russian President Dmitry Medvedev by state agencies concerned with the safety of Russia’s nuclear power plants in the wake of the Fukushima disaster reveals that Russia’s reactors are completely under-prepared for both natural and man-made disasters. The report has come from an amalgam of sources such as the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear oversight, or Rostekhnadzor, as well as Rosatom. According to chief engineer Ole Reistad of the Norwegian Institute for Energy Technology (IFI): “The report reveals deficiencies which have never before been mentioned publicly, nor reported internationally.”

The report claims that Russia’s nuclear plants do not have relevant regulations in place for personnel to know how to deal with large-scale natural disasters or other serious contingencies. It also establishes that electrical and safety-significant systems do not receive the attention they need, resulting in a lack of required protection. The report questions the capability of Russian reactors to remain safe for extended periods of time if cooling systems fail. There is no guarantee that power backup systems will be effective should this happen. Russian reactors are vulnerable to the kinds of hydrogen explosions that tore through three reactor buildings at Fukushima Daiichi.

In the light of the above report, the people of Tamil Nadu and Kerala demand immediate termination of the ‘hot run’ and the closure of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project.

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