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Whenever my grandfather, who is a retired engineer from TNEB, hears the word kudankulam he says, “I was ordered to do the electrification works to that village immediately as the government was planning to build an atomic power station there”. Well, it has been more than 20 years now after he got retired and still the plant has not brought into commissioning.

The problem going on now sparked after a mock drill conducted asking the villagers to evacuate. It was after that the people started realizing that they might have to loose their place one day if something goes wrong with the plant. And from there on, lots of rumors and suspicions started going around the villagers. And people like Udayakumar (if guilty as accused) started making a fortune. With more support from persons like Arvind Kejriwal, Arundathi Roy who has never let any development projects to function, this issue has rose to the status of ‘being discussed’ nation wide.

Fears and accusation:

  • What if an incident like Fukhishima occurs here?
  • Japan has closed its plant and has planned to go nuclear free by 2020. Even Germany is planning of reducing its N-power dependency.
  • Project being carried on by the Congress govt which betrayed people in the Bhopal gas tragedy incident and saved Andreson, the person responsible of UCC.
  • In case of a disaster, the villagers might need to evacuate their homes.
  • The fear that the value of fishes caught near kudankulam waters might not be preferred in the market which might question their livelihood.
  • Is Narayanaswamy and other supporters of KNPP ready to stay near Kudankulam area?
  • Grown up countries have started to reduce the usage of nuclear power.

I guess I have covered all the fears and opinions kept by the protestors and supporters.

How I see this:

  • The type of reactor used in fukhishima is boiling water reactor (BWR) which is an outdated type. But the installed ones at kudankulam are of Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR)- VVER type which is a proven model and used world wide. See the link at the end of the article to know the difference.
  • Japan uses BWR reactors at almost all of its power plants. Its because of that fear Japan is planning to shut down. And in case of Germany, the country is not planning to shut down all of its N-plants, but a few plants using BWR reactors.
  • The fear that Congress govt is spear-heading the project is really a matter of concern. But if that point is considered no project anywhere in India can be implemented for the next two years.
  • In case of a nuclear leak, the villagers have to be evacuated but that situation is hypothetical on the first hand because of the fact that it is located in Seismic Zone II and the buildings are built with Double Gasket Leak tight doors  . Secondly, anyways they will loose their houses if the nuclear leak is caused due to tsunami.
  • Even in case of Tsunami, this plant will remain unaffected as the reactor is situated 8.7 meters above the mean sea level.
  • The fear of loosing the value of fishes caught in those waters are baseless as every nuclear plant is located along the coasts all over the world and still they have fishing hamlets all over the place. Even if that happens, we cannot sacrifice the good for the country thinking of less than 0.1 % of the country’s population.
  • There are people arguing if Narayanaswamy might come and live near Kudankulam, but there has to be an understanding that there will be scientists and  the plant workers living closer to the plant than the villagers.
  • When we look at grown up countries looking for alternate power resources we forget the fact that they are really ‘grown-up’ countries and they can afford to invest on  geo-thermal or tidal power plants which will also increase the cost to the customers.

Instead of believing the rumors lets think it for ourselves and analyse

the truth instead of believing people like Udayakumar who hides behind the people and fights. And it seems more logical to believe scientists like Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam than Udayakumar. This issue is very much played politically by cheap politicians who looks at every opportunity to raise their image spreading more false propaganda. At the last, we have to do what has to be done.

References:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/mar/18/nuclear-reactors-power-stations-world-list-map#

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/article2982294.ece

http://www.theweekendleader.com/Causes/716/koodankulam-plants.html

http://www.firstpost.com/debates/the-protestors-are-right-in-stalling-in-the-kudankulam-plant_results.html?unid=20120914170041

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