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Tue Aug 13, 2013, 09:59 AM

The Supreme Court of India’s Judgment on the Kudankulam Nuclear Plant

This is a great article well worth reading in full.

The Supreme Court of India’s Judgment on the Kudankulam Nuclear Plant


The charge of poor quality supplies to KKNP-1 Project from the Russian supplier was not a wild allegation. The AERB itself has found at least four defective valves during the second round of inspections at KKNP-1, the results of which were revealed on 19.04.2013. [5] (Incidentally, the defective values were detected only after activists in Kudankulam, who found out about the said scam in Russia, raised a furore. [6]) The claim that the Russian supplier had supplied only four defective valves to KKNPP is a little hard to digest. That the concerned officials in India are hardly perturbed by the arrest of the procurement director of ZiO-Podolsk by the Russian Government for large-scale fraud is even more disturbing. In this regard, Dr.Gopalkrishnan has cautioned the decision makers in India as follows:

“There could be a large number of equipment, components and materials of substandard quality from ZiO-Podolsk already installed in various parts of KKNP-1& 2 whose deficiencies and defects are dormant today, but these very same shortcomings may cause such parts to catastrophically fail when the reactor is operated for some time. Many such parts and materials may have been installed within the reactor pressure vessel itself, which is now closed and sealed in preparation for the start-up. Once the reactor is made critical and reaches power operation, much of these components and materials inside will become radioactive and/or will be in environments where they cannot be properly tested for quality or performance. Under the circumstances, KKNP Unit-1 commissioning and KKNP-2 construction work must be stopped forthwith, and there can be no question of resuming these works towards start-up of both these reactors until a thorough and impartial investigation is carried out into the impact of this corruption scandal and sub-standard supplies on the safety of these reactors. And these investigations must be carried out by a team, where majority membership must not be from DAE, NPCIL and AERB, but include subject experts from other organisations in the country. India must also seriously consider inviting an IAEA expert team specially constituted to investigate the specific issues which this scandal has thrown up.”[7]

Recently, in another article dated 19 June 2013, Dr.Gopalakrishnan has drawn attention to yet another safety concern. According to him:

“Besides the probable installation of substandard parts in KKNPP reactors due to laxity of quality control, it is now evident that another major safety issue related to the I&C [instrumentation & control] systems is worrying the KKNPP management and the AERB, because of which the Unit 1 start-up is now postponed to July 2013. This inference is reached by piecing together information now available in the public domain. The problem, to put it simply, appears to be the inability to eliminate spurious signals of untraced origin appearing in many of the instrumentation cables of paramount importance to safety, like the reactor neutron chamber output lines, wiring of the safety and shut-off rod control systems, etc. Such phenomena belong to a broad class of problems known as Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI)…. It is most likely that the KKNPP cable system, as completed today, has not conformed to the norms and standards of cable selection, EMI shielding, or layout as per Russian, Indian or any other standards. No wonder the EMI problem is persisting, because there is no other short-cut solution other than re-doing a sizeable part of the I&C cabling and its layout in accordance with a set of modern standards, agreeable also to the Russians. This may take several more months and extensive re-working, but this must be done in the interest of public safety.” [8])

In this context, it may be noted that Justice Radhakrishnan himself...



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Reply The Supreme Court of India’s Judgment on the Kudankulam Nuclear Plant (Original post)
kristopher Aug 2013 OP
FBaggins Aug 2013 #1
kristopher Aug 2013 #2
kristopher Aug 2013 #3

Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Aug 13, 2013, 10:49 AM

1. So few chances left to stop it...

... so the desperation begins to peak.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 13, 2013, 11:19 AM

2. You think that is a good thing because of a certain mindset

"Nuclear power was a logical choice of top-down decision-making and the result of the total absence of a willingness by the central state to share political power on energy issues..."

The French Centralized System
France, for example, governed by a very centralized political system, quite naturally has always been looking for centralized answers to energy-supply challenges. Nuclear power was a logical choice of top-down decision-making and the result of the total absence of a willingness by the central state to share political power on energy issues with regional or even local govern- ments. Like a steamroller, the state-sponsored nuclear logic wiped out small and medium-sized industries trying to develop new and renewable energy sources. In a similar way, efficiency efforts have been often suffocated. By the mid 1980s, it had become clear that the state utility EDF had massively overbuilt (in the order of 16 nuclear power plants). Instead of adjusting the equipment planning, the state dismantled most of the Energy Efficiency Agency and EDF went for two strategic choices: long-term electricity export agreements and widespread promotion of electric space and water heating. This strategy has led to the single most significant barrier for the development of energy efficiency+renewables in France. Hundreds of thousands of buildings have been built without chimneys, thus without a low-cost opportunity to switch to a less wasteful and polluting heat sources than electricity. In recent years the tendency has even increased and around 75% of all new French homes are equipped with electric space heating. There are cases where new urban heating networks pass by electricity-heated buildings without any chance of hooking them up because of what is felt as disproportionate investment costs.

The other side-effect of the massive thermal use of electricity – almost half of the residential power consumption in France – is the spectacular increase of the winter peak load that exceeds now three times the lowest load-day in summer. The result is a considerable increase in fossil fuel use for power generation (an increase of about 25% since 1990), the restart of up to 40-year-old oil-fired power plants and the rapidly increasing import of electricity, in particular coal-fired power from Germany. In fact, in January 2010 France was a net importer of electricity – after October 2009 the second net import month in 27 years.

The energy efficiency+renewables efforts in France have remained severely underdeveloped. Logically, per capita electricity consumption is significantly higher than the EU average or in a country like Italy, which abandoned nuclear power after the Chernobyl disaster. In 2008 Spain added more wind power capacity (4,600 MW) than France had installed in total by 2007 (4,060 MW).

The idea that the French nuclear system has led to a low carbon content of its economy is wrong. As new figures published by the French government37 illustrate, taking into account the net carbon content of imported goods (minus the carbon content of exported items), per capita greenhouse gas emissions (2005) increase from 8.7 t to 12 t of CO2equivalent and thus almost reach the level of coal-based Germany.38 France has a large trade deficit while Germany has been the world’s leading export nation until China took over in 2009.

Pg 21,22
systems for change:
nuclear power vs. energy efficiency+renewables?
by antony Froggatt with Mycle schneider

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Response to kristopher (Reply #2)

Tue Aug 13, 2013, 02:01 PM

3. Nuclear inhibits efforts at energy efficiency in UK also.

The UK had a great and successful energy efficiency program working until the Conservatives decided they wanted to build some nuclear power plants. The stats showed the if energy efficiency goals were met, there would be no market at all for the nuclear power from the plants they wanted to build.

Their solution was simple - scrap the effective plan and implement a plan that is so bad no one will use it. And that is precisely what they did.

Score a win for nuclear lobbyists.

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