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INDIA’S SUPREME COURT RULES ON SAFETY OF KUDANKULAM NUCLEAR POWER PLANT »« USA – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (NRC) OPENS A NEW CHAPTER

TITULAR HEAD OF INDIA’S ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION SPEAKS AT IAEA MEETING

22 Sep 2012

This article is a sequel to: INDIAS NUCLEAR REGULATORY BOARD (THEIR NRC) NEEDS EMPOWERMENT http://energymaters.com/?p=918

DR. RATAN K. SINHA SPEAKS TO THE “INTL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA)” at its 56th International general conference in Vienna, Austria on 19 Sep 2012.  We say Mr. Sinha is only a “titular head” of the Indian Atomic Energy Agency (AEC-counterpart to the USA-NRC), because the AEC has never gained Indian parliamentary support/approval.  http://energymaters.com/?p=918 Last para.

NPP DEVELOPMENT IS STRONGLY OPPOSED IN INDIA. Faced with violent public rejection/opposition, at the Kudankulam(NPP,  Dr. Ratan Kumar Sinha, titular chairperson of India’s NEC, said work on the first of the two (2) 1,000 MW Light Water Pressurized Boiling Water Reactors(LW- PBWR’s (the most common kind) at Kudankulam is complete. The operation of Unit-1 is expected to commence shortly, while Unit- 2, may be commissioned early next year (2013).  Kudankulam NPP, and other planned “Nuclear -Parks” (as they are euphemistically called), consist of six (6) nukes each.  India is planning to collaborate with the IAEA during Oct 2012 by hosting an “International Workshop” regarding “Safety of Multi-Unit NPP against External Natural Hazards” to be preceded by a meeting of the “working group” of the IAEA project on “Seismic Safety of NPP sites”. (NOTE KUDANKULAM NPP WAS TO BE INAUGURATED NEARLY A YEAR AGO, AND WAS STOPPED BY STRONG PUBLIC OPPOSITION)

Mr. Sinha added: A year after the Fukushima Dai-No 1 accident on 12 Mar 2012, India was committed to implementing the IAEA action plan on nuclear safety (WHAT PLAN?). The preparation and planning for inviting IAEA’s “Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS)” for peer review of India’s regulatory system(SOUNDS OFFICIOUS, BUT DOES IT EXIST?) was also in progress and, in due course, India will approach the Agency with a request to undertake this mission. “Our experts will continue to participate and assist the IAEA Secretariat (THE VIENNA OFFICE 2300 PEOPLE) in its endeavor to enhance nuclear safety through a cluster of measures it has formulated…The first Operational Safety Review Team (IAEA-OSART) mission to India for Rajasthan NPP Units 3 and 4, is now planned for the end of October 2012″

NUCLEAR POWER GENERATION IS UP. According to Mr. Sinha, nuclear power generation in India has continued to grow due to an increase in the supply of uranium from domestic as well as international sources; and that, this year the country has registered about a 23% increase in (nuclear power?)generation over last year. The average annual availability of the reactors had also increased from 83 to 91%.  India has identified new resources of uranium, and in the last five years, the country’s reserves had registered a steep increase of about 70%.  Production of Uranium (the fuel used by LW-PBW reactors) was 751 Metric tons in 2011-12, an increase of about 15% over the previous year

RADIATION LEVEL CONCERNS: Dr. Sinha highlighted the published results of recently concluded Indian studies (no source given)based on screening newborns, for congenital malformations, in the High Level Natural Radiation Areas(HLNRA) in Kerala, where the radiation fields ranged from less than 1 mGy/year to 45 mGy/year, against the global average of approximately 2.4 mGy/year from natural sources of radiation. During the period August 1995 to December 2011, over 140,000 newborns in the HLNRA and normal radiation level area were screened for different health-related parameters. The studies had shown that there was no significant difference between the populations belonging to HLNRA and normal radiation level area with respect to the frequency of congenital malformations, Down-Syndrome and still-births. No significant difference was observed in the frequency of occurrence of chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei too.  Earlier studies carried out in the same region on nearly 400,000 people did not show any significant increase in the incidence of any type of cancer in the HLNRA, he added.

OUR ANALYSIS AND COMMENTS

NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, INDIAS NUCLEAR AMBITIONS ARE IN TROUBLE! We have seen how the people of India, like the people of Japan, have made it abundantly clear to their politicians, that  they strongly oppose more Nuclear Power Plants(NPPs) in their power mix; yet, their governments continue to support nuclear development , no matter what, or who!- We know why.  Both Indian and Japanese government figures (past and present), Industrial barons, Scientists, and most of their press are heavily vested in the nuclear industry.  Put plainly, they sold out long ago, and since Fukushima have found a reversal of fortunes and public opinion. See:  INDIA AT A LOSS IN HOW BEST TO HANDLE PEOPLE’S REJECTION OF NUCLEAR PLANTS @ http://energymaters.com/?p=748.  Given the present circumstances, rather than further endanger their political fortunes, India’s politicians are using the “B” Team- (the AEC) to persuade the people of India about the safety of their planned NPP expansion. PROBLEM IS: People of India won’t buy AEC or IAEA Support promises; and further, want some questions asked which they cannot answer satisfactory.  Japan has learned the hard way, that the IAEA may promise a lot, but delivers nothing but useless advice!

DR. R.K.SINHA – A POLITICIAN WITHOUT HIS GOVERNMENT BLESSING, offers India and the IAEA, this solution:

  1. Lean on the international prestige of the IAEA (not that they have any) BY PAYING THEM TO COME to India, and tell his people that Seismically, India’s NPPs have no problem! ; additionally, to assuage Indian people about the : “Safety of Multi-Unit NPP against External Natural Hazards”. (SEE – THEY TOO ARE WORRIED ABOUT THAT ISSUE. REMEMBER FUKUSHIMA DAI No.1 ?- 4 nukes in one place. ) 
  2. Ask the IAEA to create an “Operational Safety Review Team” (IAEA-OSRT) and tour their NPPs, and pronounce them safe as bread Rajasthan NPP Units 3 and 4 are now planned for the end of October 2012″ – who says IAEA will agree to his requests? Anyway, a new team, to conduct reviews they have never done, and this is supposed to give us a measure of confidence?  We are not that naïve Mr. Sinha!
  3. Next Mr. Sinha says they have found new Uranium deposits.  Big Deal! I guess he plans to give it to Russia, or France or another country for processing as fuel suitable for their NPP, as normally agreed.
  4. Next he talks about Thorium Research (the other nuclear fuel).  Now, that is a really good idea; but unfortunately, for him, just talk!
  5. Lastly, Mr. Sinha talks about radiation level concerns.  No doubt he found a money hungry scientist, who will state anything for fees already received or pending. He is just a part of the lying, conniving team of NPP Purveyors, just like the IAEA.  IT IS ALL A PART OF THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY Modus Operandi (MO);  In all such propositions, a few stand to profit hugely; without regard for public safety.  Notice Mr. Sinha never mentioned the “unmentionable” Nuclear waste, and what to do with it, now and in the future.

We await eagerly the final resolutions of the 56th International IAEA meeting a few days from now, or ever.  Not that we expect anything good to come of it.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

September 22, 2012 at 1:37 AM
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