India, nuclear plants: “The central government is not able to answer people’s questions about failed Koodankulam project”

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu
Phone: 98656 83735; 98421 54073

March 9, 2013
koodankulam yahoo.com

PMANE Asks for KKNPP Financial Audit; Government Blames Us with Foreign Money

The central government is clearly not able to answer the people’s questions about the failed Koodankulam project and they find it hard to justify the utter waste of public money on the non-performing KKNPP. As the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) has written to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to do a thorough and comprehensive financial audit of the KKNPP, the central government is also afraid that more corruption scandals may tumble out of its ugly closet. In order to divert the attention from themselves, the central government and its intelligence agencies are making a big issue out of one Mrs. Ambika Thavasikumar from Vairavikinaru village near Koodankulam receiving some Rs. 30 lakh from an individual, Mr. Joshua Anand from London.

Mrs. Ambika’s husband, Mr. A. Thavasikumar is a ward member in the Koodankulam panchayat and has nothing to do with the PMANE Struggle Committee. He was recently booked under the Goonda’s Act mainly at the instigation of Mr. Sandal Muthuraj, the Koodankulam panchayat president who has been nurturing political rivalry against Mr. Thavasikumar. Mr. Tavasikumar has already informed the press that the money his wife has received is meant for buying a property for his friend in London. Authorities can easily verify the antecedents of this transaction as they know the remitter and the receiver.

As the PMANE has announced protests on the Fukushima Day, March 11, 2013, the governments and the intelligence agencies try to undermine our struggle with their usual foreign money propaganda.

Just because a popular struggle is going on in the vicinity, people are not legally prevented from money transactions, buying properties or doing business. Some 2,27,000 people in our area have been charged with various offences with regards to the anti-Koodankulam struggle. Are we all supposed to close our bank accounts and stop dealing with money completely?

It is pertinent to note here that the same Congress government and its notorious Finance Minister exempted any financial probe against Mr. Robert Vadra when he was accused of amassing wealth worth over Rs. 300 crores in Delhi area. Is 300 crores smaller than 30 lakhs? Why does Mrs. Sonia Gandhi refuse to disclose her family assets and income details under the RTI? Why don’t the Indian intelligence agencies probe the various scandals and corrupt deals of the Congress ministers and politicians?

The PMANE would like to re-assert yet again for the umpteenth number of time that we have not received any money whatsoever from any Indian or International NGOs, corporations or individuals for the anti-Koodankulam campaigns and protests. Instead of wasting their precious time and energies on this kind of futile exercises, the governments and their intelligence agencies may better probe the illegal wealth and incomes of the various political leaders and ministers in India.

The Struggle Committee
The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)


March 7, 2013

The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai & P.O - 627 104
Tirunelveli District
Tamil Nadu
koodankulam yahoo.com

Dr. Pankaj Tandon
Central Public Information Officer
Atomic Energy Regulatory Board
Niyamak Bhavan
Anushaktinagar
Mumbai 400 094

Dear Dr. Tandon:

Greetings! We, the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, would like to request the following information under the RTI Act 2005 please:

[1] How many members are there in the AERB Observers Team (AOT) observing the various commissioning tests at the KKNPP? What are the various Safety Committees that review the various commissioning tests? What are the various Specialist Groups (SGs) of AERB? Please give us the names, designations and their immediate supervisors of the AOT members, the safety committees’ members and the SGs’ members.

[2] How many members are there in the AERB Advisory Committee for Project Safety Review (ACPSR)? Who are they?

[3] Who exactly in the “AERB” review the reports of the AOT members, the safety committees and the SGs? Are they part of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) of India?

[4] Was there any radiation found and measured in the inner containment chambers of KKNPP-1 following the post-IFL heat up of Reactor Coolant System? How much was it and why did it occur?

[5] What are the differences, discrepancies and deviations between the first hydro tests carried out in KKNPP-1 and the repeat hydro tests done in February 2013?

[6] Please give us a copy of the Radiological Impact Assessment (RIA) that has been carried out as part of the ongoing consenting process at KKNPP-1. Are you going to set up radiation measurement points around the KKNPP? Where exactly will they be set up?

[7] What are the exact design and safety differences between the VVER-1000/390 reactors originally planned for the KKNPP and the VVER-1000/412 reactors that have actually been erected at Koodankulam?

[8] Is it true that the Diesel Generators at the KKNPP 1 and 2 are on 0 (zero) meter height? If so, why?

[9] How long will it take to complete the fresh water back-up tank that is being constructed at the Koodankulam project? Please give all the details such as the number of tanks being constructed, their storage capacity etc.

[10] Why did the Indian nuclear authorities shift the exact sites for the KKNPP 1 and 2 reactors that had been chosen by the Russian nuclear experts? Please give us all the available information about the KKNPP 1 and 2 siting issues.

[11] Are the various local instruments and the control panels in KKNPP marked in Russian language? How do the Indian officials and workers deal with this kind of foreign language and foreign technology issues? Will there be Russian experts available throughout the operational life of KKNPP 1 and 2?

[12] Why do DAE officials, NPCIL officials, and the Government of India ministers keep on announcing different commissioning dates for the Koodankulam project? Is the AERB aware of all these irresponsible and reckless announcements? Does the AERB take any steps to curtail this kind of unsafe behavior that affects the citizens’ sense of safety and security?

May I ask for copies of the above document/s under the RTI Act of 2005, and request you to send me the information within 48 hours as stipulated in Section 7(1) of the RTI Act since this matter is related with the life and liberty of the local people please. I am enclosing an IPO for Rs. 10 as the required RTI fee.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon, I send you my best personal regards and all peaceful wishes.

Cordially,

S. P. Udayakuamr, Ph.D.
Coordinator: PMANE


 The Idinthakarai Experience

Best Practices in Peaceful and Nonviolent Protests

Feb. 26, 2013

Indefinite hunger strike of a huge group of people including women and youth
Relay hunger strike – every single day 10 am to 5 pm
Inviting a prominent political, religious or cultural leaders for day-long hunger strikes

Meeting officials and submitting memorandums
Dialogue with government officials, scientists and others
Organizing seminars on nonviolence, democracy, development etc.
Organizing massive conferences
Organizing all party meets
Having political leaders meet with the Chief Minister, Prime Minister etc.
Inviting supporters from all over the country for solidarity public meetings, hunger strikes
Reaching out nearby villagers and youth with outside volunteers and campaigners
District-wide teach-ins
State-wide agitations
Nation-wide campaigns

Sending back voter identity cards
Boycotting elections
Supporting a specific party/candidate in the elections
Asking the local MP, MLA to resign and facilitate by-elections
Observing Independence Day as Black Day
Refusing to accept government schemes
Refusing to let government officials into our villages

Laying siege in front of the nuclear plant entrance
Preventing workers from entering the workplace
Laying siege to harbors
Laying siege to the State Assembly
Blocking trains
Blocking roads
Organizing continuous agitations of various types for a week/month
Burning national flags of visiting international leaders’ countries
Burning effigies of visiting leaders
Bandh all over the district/state (future plan)

Agitations in distant towns and villages
Bike rally through neighboring villages and towns
Rallies to nearby towns and villages and agitations in those places
Congregating in a particular village and rallying to a nearby village or town

Commemorating national and international leaders’ births and deaths
Remembering activists’ deaths and sacrifices
Ringing Church/Temple bells and congregating people
All night religious vigils
Organizing yagnas and special poojas
Prayer meetings
Candle light processions
Celebrations such as “Asserting Freedom, Celebrating Resistance”
Celebrating religious festivals
Celebrating cultural festivals
Composing and singing struggle songs
Poetry recitals
Guarding the village entrances
Guarding the struggle leaders’ residence

Collecting signatures on petitions
Writing letters to embassies
Writing letters to human rights organizations
Writing letters to international organizations
Floating letters on the sea
Sending ‘Thank You’ letters to international supporters

Non-cooperation movement
Refusing to let rooms and houses to nuclear plant workers
Refusing to sell food stuff to nuclear plant workers
Congregating on the sea
Singing and dancing on the beach
Marching on the seashore
Human chain on the seashore
Boycotting fishing
Jal-satyagraha (striking in neck-deep waters)
Burying ourselves in the sand
Living in cemeteries
Shaving heads off
Wearing black shirts and/or black ribbons
Deserting the village temporarily (future plan)
Burying “time/history capsules” all over the state (future plan)

Women canvassing support in villages and towns
Women leaders travelling to distant places all over the country
Women speakers speaking in public meetings and campaigns
Women braking alcohol bottles and driving away bootleggers
Women abstaining from sex and pregnancy to convince their menfolk
Women meeting District Collector and submitting memorandums
Women holding press meet

Sending children on marches and rallies
Children writing thousands of postcards to authorities
Children meeting District Collector and submitting memorandums
Children submitting memorandum to the Chief Minister at the Secretariat
Children visiting foreign embassies and submitting memorandums
Children holding press meet
Children boycotting school

Youth organizing cultural programs
Youth organizing colleagues in neighboring villages
Youth guarding the village, roads etc.

Empowering women with newspaper and book reading during hunger strikes
Publishing Newsletters
Publishing handbills, pamphlets, booklets, books
Organizing photo exhibitions
Painting walls with specific protest messages
Pasting posters
Email campaigns
Social Media campaigns and canvassing
Forming social media friends’ circles
Internet-based streamlining, live telecast, documentaries etc.
TV interviews
Radio interviews
Magazine interviews
Regular Press Releases and Updates

Filing cases with the High Court
Filing cases with the Supreme Court
Filing cases with the National Green Tribunal
Using court appearances of prisoners for campaigns
Legal education campaigns

Organizing blood donation camps
Organizing food donations
Serving meals for campaigners

Replacing round bulbs with CFL bulbs
Supporting ‘New Energy’ schemes
Promoting solar panels
Promoting windmills

3P Principle: Purity, Patience, Perseverance
3H Policy: Never Hurt, Harm or Homicide
3T Formula: Things Take Time
3O Strategy: Organize, Organize, Organize


People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai 627 104
Tirunelveli District
koodankulam yahoo.com
9865683735, 9842154073 February 21, 2013

PMANE Opposes the American Nuclear Plant at Mithi Virdi, Gujarat

The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) vehemently opposes the American nuclear power park that is being set up at Mithi Virdi, Gujarat. The American reactor vendor Westinghouse signed a memorandum of understanding with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) in 2012 to construct six AP1000 units at the site.

The people of Mithi Virdi, Jaspara, Mandva, Khadarpar and other neighboring villages are opposing the project and in the past they forced the survey engineers to leave the project site. However, NPCIL is planning a public hearing on March 5, 2013 at Ghogha taluka’s Navagam (nana) in Bhavnagar district. We request everyone to attend this public hearing and express their support to the struggling local people. They may record their opposition to the project by submitting a formal letter signed individually with his/her name, full postal address and signature. The protest leaders should keep copies of all these letters as the public hearing organizing authorities hide public opposition when they file their final report.

Some of us in PMANE have already visited Mithi Virdi and the nearby villages and participated in public meetings against the planned nuclear power park. Some members of the PMANE Expert Team who have been helping us with the Koodankulam struggle are ready and willing to offer their expertise to the Bhavnagar people in opposing the American project on scientific basis. We request the local activists to get in touch with us if they are interested in having our input in their struggle against the American annihilation plant.

The PMANE appeals to the Government of India and the State Government of Gujarat to put the interests of Indian citizens ahead of foreign governments’ and their MNC’s interests. Let us not think and act like colonized slaves but behave like independent leaders and find alternative solutions for our energy needs.

The Struggle Committee
PMANE


 Need Financial Audit of KKNPP

February 15, 2013

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai 627 104
Tirunelveli District
Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: 98656 83735; 9842154073
koodankulam yahoo.com

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India
Pocket 9, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg
New Delhi 110 124
Email: pdis cag.gov.in

Dear Sir:

Greetings! We write to request you to do a financial audit of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) Units 1 and 2 which are being set up here at Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu with Russian technology and loans.

The approved cost of the KKNPP 1 & 2 project is Rs. 13,171 crores. But the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) claim that they have spent an additional amount of Rs. 4,000 crores on the non-performing project. Nobody knows the exact end cost of the KKNPP or the breakdown of the final amount.

In spite of this huge expenditure, the KKNPP has not produced any electricity so far and in fact, it is rife with leaks, repairs and other serious problems. The Union Minister of State at the PMO, Mr. V. Narayanasami and the top DAE officials have openly and publicly acknowledged these technical problems of the KKNPP.

There are also serious concerns about the quality of the Russian equipment and machinery. Zio-Podolsk, owned by the Russian company Rosatom, is under investigation in Russia for shoddy equipment it produced for several nuclear plants in that country and abroad since 2007. It is suspected that Zio-Podolsk used wrong type of steel (cheaper than the one originally required) to produce equipment for nuclear plants, such as steam generators. This company is said to have supplied several equipment and parts to the KKNPP.

Moreover, the Russian nuclear company “Atomstroyexport” has just released its financial statement for 2011. The company claims that losses in 2011 were twice bigger than the losses of 2010, and that the company is on the brink of bankruptcy. This has seriously affected the Russian nuclear projects at Koodankulam in India and Busher in Iran [1]. We wonder if the Indian government is secretly helping the Russian company with its losses and bankruptcy. It is pertinent to note here that all of the Russian products and projects that the Indian government is collaborating with (such as the upgrading of MiG fighter jets, purchase of aircraft carrier etc.) are all inordinately delayed or fraught with problems with a huge cost to the Indian taxpayers.

There are also serious concerns about the quality of civil constructions in the KKNPP and huge corruption in the allotment of various contracts and subcontracts.We seriously doubt that our people’s hard-earned money is being mismanaged by the Indian nuclear establishment, Russian companies, nuclear industry middlemen, contractors, politicians, bureaucrats, business houses and their benamis in the KKNPP.

Given the culture of secrecy, opacity and impertinence in the Indian nuclear industry, there is a clear need for a thorough and comprehensive financial audit of the KKNPP. We would very much like to request you to do such a financial audit of the KKNPP and let the country know the whole truth please.

Thanking you on behalf of the people of India for your yeoman service including the recent report on the functioning of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), we send you our best personal regards and all peaceful wishes,

Cordially,

S. P. Udayakumar
Coordinator

M. Pushparayan

M. P. Jesuraj

Fr. F. Jayakumar

Peter Milton

R.S. Muhilan


 PMANE’s Letter to Rahul Gandhi

February 5, 2013
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai 627 104
Tirunelveli District
Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: 98656 83735; 9842154073
koodankulam yahoo.com

Mr. Rahul Gandhi
Vice President: Indian National Congress
12 Tughlak Lane
New Delhi 110 001
Fax: 11-23012410

Dear Mr. Rahul Gandhi:

Greetings! We are writing on behalf of several millions of people in Tamil Nadu and Kerala who have been waging a peaceful and nonviolent struggle for almost a quarter century against the Koodankulam nuclear power project (KKNPP). We have intensified our struggle since August 2011 with indefinite hunger strikes, relay fasts, massive marches, siege protests and so on. And the Tamil Nadu police have registered more than 325 cases including ‘sedition,’ ‘waging war on the Indian State’ and on other such serious sections with 5,296 named accused and 2,21,483 unnamed accused at the Koodankulam police station alone. This is a history of sorts in our independent India.

The Koodankulam mega nuclear power park is being built with Russian loan and technology against the will and wishes of the local people. The Indian authorities have not conducted any public hearing to seek our permission or consent for this project. They have not shared the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report, Site Evaluation Report (SER), Safety Analysis Report (SAR) and the Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP) with our people. These reports are made available to the public on the internet in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. After a long and hard struggle of more than 22 years, we have just obtained a copy of the EIA report which is outdated and so full of inaccuracies and incomplete information.

As the Indian authorities unleash all kinds of atrocities on us such as dangerous cases, imprisonment, curfew and prohibitory orders, intimidation campaigns, home searches, physical attacks on our persons and properties, police atrocities and other such high-handed behavior, we are forced to seek justice from the voters of India. After all, nuclear energy is one of the most important national issues in which the “ordinary citizens” of India must have a say as they will be paying a heavy price in terms of radioactive contamination, polluted natural resources and health problems. If and when we set up all the planned nuclear power parks all over the country, we will render all the fishing communities and other farming communities very vulnerable.

In this context, we would like to point out how you reached out to the tribal people who had opposed Vedanta Resource’s Rs. 4,500-crore bauxite mining project in Orissa’s Niyamgiri Hills. You said: “The issue is not about the fight of tribals with a big corporate, but about respect for law…True development takes place by respecting the interests of the poor and tribals.“You had assured them:”I am your sipahi (soldier) in Delhi. Whenever you need me, I will be there for you.“Responding so profusely to your thoughtful position, the tribal people exclaimed with joy:”Rahul Gandhi amaro bhai, Niyamgiri chharbo nai (Rahul Gandhi is our brother, we won’t leave Niyamgiri). This is what the “ordinary citizens” of India expect from a leader like you.

In reality, however, the Manmohan Singh government is trying to thrust a pro-nuclear energy policy down the throats of Indians despite stiff resistance all over the country. In a highly and densely populated country like India, nuclear energy with deadly wastes would pose serious dangers and threats to the common people. It is high time we acted like a leader and thought of creative and original solutions for our issues such as energy crisis rather than accept the outdated foreign reactors with a colonial mindset.

If the Congress Party does not respect people’s power, democracy and peaceful struggles, and tries to mow down democratic dissent and starts the KKNPP forcibly, that will be undermining our people’s trust in democracy, human rights and the very idea of Republic of India. It will also prompt the voters to shun the Congress Party at least in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is only fair to make the nuclear energy a national poll issue in the affected states in the next Parliamentary election and give the voters in the respective states in India an opportunity to decide their and their children’s fate.

In the light of the above, may we request you to take a stand that we announce a moratorium on nuclear energy plans and projects until the next general elections, make it a poll issue in the affected states and let the people decide our energy policy. Hoping that you would accept this fair and democratic offer and do the needful, wesend you our best personal regards and all peaceful wishes.

Cordially,

S. P. Udayakumar M. Pushparayan M. P. Jesuraj Fr. F. Jayakumar R.S. Muhilan Peter Milton


 Go Back, Mr. Putin; You Are Not Welcome in India!

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

December 23, 2012

Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Tirunelveli District
Tamil Nadu, India
koodankulam yahoo.com
Press Release

The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) strongly objects to the visit of Mr. Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, and asks him to go back because the Russian government has been interfering in India’s internal affairs and causing so much economic loss to our people.

The Russian Ambassador to India has been interfering in the internal affairs of India by making unwanted statements and unacceptable comments on our energy policy, development policy, our national futures and our citizens’ right to protest against anti-national policies and projects. There are also credible reports that the KGB, the Russian intelligence agency, is interfering in the functioning of the Indian intelligence agencies.

The Russian government has been causing so much economic loss to India because of several inefficient deals and delayed delivery of goods. The Russian government made a $1-billion deal in 2008 to upgrade the Indian Air Force’s fleet of 63 MiG-29s and they should have begun delivering the planes in 2010. But Russia has just delivered 3 fighter aircrafts after a delay of three years. The IAF has lost at least 116 MiG aircraft to crashes (not including those lost in combat), with 81 of those occurring since 1990; and MiG-21 has come to be referred to as “flying coffin” in the IAF.

Another 2004 deal with Russia to buy an aircraft carrier, Admiral Gorshkov, has suffered the same fate of repeated delays and enormous loss to India. Originally meant to be delivered in August 2008, the ship has not been delivered yet even in 2012. The original $947 million deal has more than doubled now to $2.9 billion all because of Russia’s lackadaisical defense industry and India’s corrupt military procurement practices.

The Koodankulam nuclear power project (KKNPP) has suffered the same fate. The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) have claimed time and again that the delay in Koodankulam is mainly due to the non-sequential delivery of equipment and parts. The KKNPP which was supposed to be commissioned in 2005 has not been started even at the end of 2012. Despite the Russian government’s and their Indian apologists’ exaggerated claims about the VVER-1000 reactors, there seem to be serious problems at the KKNPP. That is why the Russian government is trying so hard to wriggle out of any liability commitment for its “best and perfect” reactors.

The Russian technology, Indian (mis)management and their joint inefficiency and corruption have cost so much loss to the people of India. And hence we do not want Mr. Vladimir Putin, who is solely responsible for all the loss and interference here in India. Mr. Putin, go back and take your Koodankulam nuclear power plant along with you!