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Hazard potential of India based Neutrino observatory of Department of Atomic Energy

by V T Padmanabhan, 17 September 2012

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THE DEPARTMENT OF ATOMIC ENERGY’S NEUTRINO OBSERVATORY

Shri VS Achuthandandan, the Leader of Opposition in Kerala assembly and the Ex Chief Minister said that the underground laboratory -India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO)- being built under the hills of Kerala and Tamil Nadu may have serious consequences for the ecosystem and dams in Idukki district. INO is part of a US research study. High energy neutrinos beamed from the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Chicago, US will pass through the core and mantle of the earth and will be detected by the Indian observatory. This study has the potential of developing the newest weapon of the 20th century – much more powerful and indefensible than the nuclear weapons. The project came as part of the Indo-US nuclear deal signed by George Bush and Manmohan Singh in 2005.

Speaking on the occassion, researcher VT Padmanabhan said that removal of 800,000 tons of dense rock by an estimated 100,000 kg of gelatin during the three-four years of construction may induce earthquakes. There are 12 dams storing more than 400 crore cubic meters of water in the geologically sensitive district of Idukki. High energy neutrinos coming from the factories in USA can also cause radiation-contamination in surface area above INO and the water bodies storing more than 4 billion cubic meters of water. The research proposal for INO was written by scientists from USA. There is no mention of the collaboration with USA in any of the documents released by the Department of Atomic Energy or INO website. Likewise, the people living above the lab surface and nearby and the government of Kerala have not been informed about the lab. There is lack of transparency at various level. While underlining the national importance of neutrino research, he demanded that all the potential hazards to the people and the eco-system today and in the lifetime of the lab must be assessed.

Anti-Nuclear activist K Sahadevan and Selvakumar also were in attendance.

Please find an executive summary of the Peoples’ Report on INO in the attachment.

VT Padmanabhan

Press Meet with Shri VS Achuthanandan at the Cantonment House Trivandrum on 17 September, 2012 at 1130 hrs.


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India based Neutrino observatory - Executive summary
by VT Padmanabhan