Irregularities Found At The Site And Construction Of The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP)

By on November 5, 2012

The construction of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in India, in collaboration with Russia is a major factor of debate since there are many irregularities of the contract that has been unearthed with the passage of time. In spite of the fact that the plant is showing a huge prospect in terms of production of power for India, the massive scale of irregularities that have been found regarding the contracts being made and their renewal policies, along with the construction norms.

The site and permission for constructing such a power plant is said to be having several glaring loopholes and several crucial factors have been avoided while construction of the nuclear power plant. The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notifications declared it a mandatory process to obtain the clearance of the construction of such a power plant by the regulators of the environment.

The EIA notification makes it mandatory for any kind of notified industry to get environmental clearance either for implementing any new project, or modernization or expansion of any existing ones. Since the nuclear power plant also falls under this special category of the industry, it needs to adhere to the mentioned provisions for its construction.

Another provision makes the environmental clearance to be valid for tenure of five years. It even urges that the construction and the operation of such plants or industries should be completed within the stipulated period. In case the industries are unable to meet the deadline, the authorities need to get the no-objection certificate for the go-ahead signal again. The company has to undergo fresh public hearing again, in order to get the environmental clearance. Even, provision was also laid by the CRZ that no industrial activity shall be allowed within the tide line of 500 meters at the coastal area.

However, after signing of the contract had been finalized, two significant changes of the new contract came to the forefront. Firstly, the power plant will be requiring large volumes of water in order to be cooled, and it was mentioned that six desalination plants would be made for the purpose, instead of the original one that proposed supply of water from the Pechiparai dam through pipes. These constructions and desalination of the seawater will pose a great threat to the balance of the marine eco-system that might in turn affect the livelihood of the fishermen of the region tremendously.

The second provision turned out to be even more dangerous, which stated that the radioactive SNF from the plant would have to be stored, transported and even reprocessed in India, instead of the original one that provisioned all these matters to be done in Russia alone.

Reports of the ‘Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission’ suggested that the terrible incident of the nuclear power plant, though triggered by the massive earthquake, was ready to happen at any time due to certain violation of norms by the Japanese government. In that case, it would not be very hard to determine the nature of danger that the Kudankulam nuclear power plant is able to bring upon India, with such huge loopholes in the process of its construction, flouting the standards, as well as, the law.

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