The next burning issue in the southern “Jambu Dweep” is none other than the Koodankulam Atomic Power Plant.
As always, repeating that I am not a scientist. But an ardent consumer of electrical energy where ever I live.
”]The lafda of KKNPP started long back when Soviet Union was still existing! How such an old story became so talked now a days is a wonder! I guess people were sleeping all these days. Good that they woke up now.
As per Uncle Wiki’s say, the inter-governmental agreement was signed by then Prime Minister of India Mr. Rajiv Gandhi and President of USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev for construction of two reactors. In between the world was in a dilemma whether there exactly existed a country called USSR or not. Hence the project was limping for almost a decade. Like all the James Bond movies show, United States of America opposed the agreement on the grounds that the agreement did not qualify as per another agreement called Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Leave US apart because what ever USSR did was opposed by US.
Since the conception, People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy were opposing the plant. Their grounds is as simple as the environmental impact of nuclear energy. At last, the construction began in 1997. A port was set up in Koodankulam for supplimenting the goods movement to and from the Power plant. This port was actually planned to start at Vizhinjam in Kerala. Later, due to some obvious reasons, the port was moved near to the plant itself. It gave employment to lot of local people. No complaints now. Aal ees well.
In between the chief designer of the light water VVER nuclear reactors used at this Nuclear Power Plant was killed in an airplane accident.
- One earth quake which shock the Japan is considered as the latest cause for the apprehension among the people. The fear that KKNPP may get the same after effects of Fukushima NPP if a natural calamity occurs.
- Protesters claimed that even advanced countries like Germany has decided to shutdown all its 17 Nuclear reactors through which the country gets 23% of its energy.
- According to S P Udayakumar, of the voluntary People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, “the nuclear plant is unsafe” and “the safety analysis report and the site evaluation study have not been made public. No public hearing was held. It’s an authoritarian project that has been imposed on the people.” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha that “all precautions would be taken at the Koodankulam nuclear plant to maintain the highest safety standards”
- Protesters also claimed that the Fukushima disaster in which the emergency cooling system itself was damaged by the earthquake,has made it clear that no one can really predict any disaster occurrence.
Advantages of Nuclear Power
- Almost 0 emissions (very low greenhouse gas emissions).
- They can be sited almost anywhere unlike oil which is mostly imported.
- The plants almost never experience problems if not from human error, which almost never happens anyway because the plant only needs like 10 people to operate it.
- A small amount of matter creates a large amount of energy.
- A lot of energy is generated from a single power plant.
- Current nuclear waste in the US is over 90% Uranium. If reprocessing were made legal again in the US we would have enough nuclear material to last hundreds of years.
- A truckload of Uranium is equivalent in energy to 10,000+ truckloads of coal. (Assuming the Uranium is fully utilized.)
- A nuclear aircraft carrier can circle the globe continuously for 30 years on its original fuel while a diesel fueled carrier has a range of only about 3000 miles before having to refuel.
- Modern reactors have two to ten times more efficiency than the old generation reactors currently in use around the US.
- New reactor types have been designed to make it physically impossible to melt down. As the core gets hotter the reaction gets slower, hence a run-away reaction leading to a melt-down is not possible.
- Theoretical reactors (traveling wave) are proposed to completely eliminate any long-lived nuclear waste created from the process.
- Breeder reactors create more usable fuel than they use.
- Theoretical Thorium reactors have many of the benefits of Uranium reactors while removing much of the risk for proliferation as it is impossible to get weapons-grade nuclear materials from Thorium.
Disadvantages of Nuclear Power
- Nuclear plants are more expensive to build and maintain.
- Proliferation concerns – breeder reactors yield products that could potentially be stolen and turned into an atomic weapon.
- Waste products are dangerous and need to be carefully stored for long periods of time. The spent fuel is highly radioactive and has to be carefully stored for many years or decades after use. This adds to the costs. There is presently no adequate safe long-term storage for radioactive and chemical waste produced from early reactors, such as those in Hanford, Washington, some of which will need to be safely sealed and stored for thousands of years.
- Early nuclear research and experimentation has created massive contamination problems that are still uncontained. Recently, for instance, underground contamination emanating from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State in the U.S. was discovered and threatens to contaminate the Columbia River (the largest river in North America west of the continental divide).
- A lot of waste from early reactors was stored in containers meant for only a few decades, but is well past expiration and, resultingly, leaks are furthering contamination.
- Nuclear power plants can be dangerous to its surroundings and employees. It would cost a lot to clean in case of spillages.
- There exist safety concerns if the plant is not operated correctly or conditions arise that were unforeseen when the plant was developed, as happened at the Fukushima plant in Japan; the core melted down following an earthquake and tsunami the plant was not designed to handle despite the world’s strongest earthquake codes.
- Many plants, including in the U.S., were designed with the assumption that “rare” events never actually occur, such as strong earthquakes on the east coast (the New Madrid quakes of the 1800s were much stronger than any east coast earthquake codes for nuclear reactors; a repeat of the New Madrid quakes would exceed the designed earthquake resiliency for nuclear reactors over a huge area due to how wide-spread rare but dangerous eastern North American earthquake effects spread), Atlantic tsunami (such as the 1755 Lisbon quake event, which sent significant tsunami that caused damage from Europe to the Caribbean) and strong hurricanes which could affect areas such as New York that are unaccustomed to them (rare, but possibly more likely with global warming)
- Mishaps at nuclear plants can render hundreds of square miles of land uninhabitable and unsuitable for any use for years, decades or longer, and kill off entire river systems
If you go through the disadvantages, most of them are still valid but mostly concerned with older reactors. New reactors have been proved to have better safety techniques implemented.
What I guess as the reason for protest
- DMK wanted it to happen on their government’s time. It is DO OR KILL in politics.
- US/CIA hand.
- NGOs misguiding uneducated villagers with exaggerated stories.
- NGOs getting fin-aid from outside India (Can turn illegal).
- Selfish people who think what ever is made here is solely consumed here itself. No sharing mentality.
- You do not have any other way to generate power.
- Demand for power is explosively growing.
- Supply of power is already screwed.
- It is agreed that Thermal power is worst of the power generation methods.
- No rivers to produce Hydro power.
- Wind mills is again a threat to the eco system.
- Consuming Solar Power is a good idea – Time taken to implement will be humongous. By the time you implement for today’s need, the demand will be x times bigger.
- As much as power cuts are imposed, count on non-renewable fuels. You are burning diesel to run DG sets.
- Enterprises will slowly cut down their production. Direct hit on GDP.
- As the production goes down, unemployment will raise.
- As more people are unemployed TAX burden will be more to those who are employed.
- Hence the whole state gets screwed!
THERE IS NO OTHER WAY OTHER THAN GETTING YOURSELF COMPELLED TO NOD FOR NUCLEAR POWER
Appeal to the stupid governments… Instead of further digging the good and bad about this project, Supporting or opposing, Either open and make this NPP operational or give us another source of power. I cannot bring Electricity from my grand father’s home. You need to give me that. That is what I am paying you the tax which is my blood-sweated income.
I NEED TO SLEEP UNDER A FAN AT MY HOME ON WEEKENDS. PLEASE PROVIDE POWER.