Monday, May 28, 2012


(Extracted from “Religion and Society”, Vol.XXXVII, No.2, June 1990)

INTRODUCTION:  Man requires energy for day-to-day requirements, transport, food production, economic growth and prosperity.   About 40% of the energy needs of the people are met from non-commercial sources like cow-dung, agricultural wastes, firewood and animal power, while the remaining 60% is met from commercial sources like coal, gas, oil and hydropower.  Among the commercial sources, electricity is the most important and convenient form of energy.   Electrical power constitutes 18% of the total power at present and it may go up to30% by 2000 AD.  Nuclear power contribution is less than one per cent of the total energy requirement of the country and it is proposed to establish about 20 more reactors estimated at Rs.15,000 crores to increase the nuclear power contribution upto 10% of the commercial power by 2000AD. Before embarking on such large scale expansion of nuclear power it is pertinent to discuss the environmental and safety aspects of proposed nuclear plants.
In order to discuss nuclear power and its environmental effects, it is necessary to understand the fundamentals of nuclear power. The atom which is the smallest unit of an element has a nucleus containing protons and neutrons encircled by electrons.  When the nucleus disintegrates radioactivity is set free producing L particles and X-rays which ionize the atoms of any substance through which they pass.  This ionization causes a chain reaction that damages the penetrated substances such as human cells.
In nature elements such as radium are unstable and tend to attain stability by disintegration or by emission of radioactivity in the form of  particles and X-rays.  On the other hand, any element can be converted by force into another, rearranging the atomic components.  During this conversion of an unstable element to a stable one enormous amount of heat is released and the same is used to heat water to produce steam and then electricity.  In this process a few neutrons and radio nuclides are released into the human environment and they often cause pollution problems.  When the nuclear fuel is fully utilized, radioactive wastes are produced.  Usually these radioactive wastes are dumped into the ocean or buried in thick containers in abandoned mines.  The only way to make a radio nuclide least harmful is to enable it to disintegrate naturally until a stable element is formed.  The radioactivity of an element disappears after an equivalent time-period of about ten times its half life period or when its radioactivity reaches 0.1%  of its original value.  For example, a millionth of a gram of plutonium causes lung cancer and it remains active for 2,50,000 years.  According to experts even natural radioactivity is both physiologically and biologically unsafe.
Different types of reactors are used for the generation of nuclear power.  In India, the boiling water reactor and pressurized heavy-water reactors are used at present.  However, it is proposed to import enriched fuel and the pressurized water reactor from USSR for the proposed plant in Tamilnadu.
OPERATION OF A PRESSURIZED WATER REACTOR:  A nuclear reactor like a coal-fired thermal power station used steam to generate electricity.  Instead of producing steam by burning coal, nuclear reactors are fuelled by uranium, an ore mined from the earth and refined by various processes.  Uranium has an unstable atomic structure which means that some of its atoms contain an unequal number of protons and neutrons in their nuclei.  In nuclear power, other neutrons are used to bombard these unstable nuclei, causing them to split and thereby release more neutrons,  a process called nuclear fission.  When the freshly released neutrons hit the other unstable nuclei in the fuel, a chain reaction occurs.  The massive heat energy released by this chain reaction is so intense that a single uranium fuel pellet of the size of a pencil eraser can produce as much heat as a tonne of coal.  For efficient operation, proper control of this energy is essential and adequate precautionary measures must be taken to ensure that there is  no disastrous core melt-down.  For the purpose, the operators control the reactions by packing the fuel pellets inside hollow metal rods which are assembled to form the core.  The fission process is  manipulated by the control rods in the core that can be raised and lowered to absorb the neutrons.  The reactor is filled with water to act as a coolant to absorb over 600oF and this is used to generate steam which like its coal fuelled counterpart is used to drive turbines to produce electricity.  To prevent the escape of radioactivity the reactor core is shielded by a thick steel vessel, housed in an air tight steel containment structure which again is surrounded by thick walls of RCC (Double-containment)
PRESSURISED WATER REACTORS: In a pressurized water reactor, the pressure vessel of the reactor is packed with the uranium fuel rods and is filled with water which not only transfers the heat generated during the fission chain reactions in the core to the heat exchanger but also sustains the chain reactions in the fuel rods.  The heat released from the fuel rods is carried by the coolant in the primary water loop to the heat exchanger where it is used to convert the water in the secondary water loop into steam which in turn runs the turbo-generator to produce electricity.  As the fission products from the fuel are radioactive and emit particles and rays and neutrons that cause damage to living cells, they produce immediate somatic and long-term genetic damage among people exposed to the radiation (Table-I).  Hence extensive precautionary measures are to be taken to ensure that the radiation from the fuel rods does not break the barriers of safety and get into human environment.
EACTORS AT KUDANKULAM: In order to utilize the heat generated during the fission of uranium, the Atomic Energy Commission proposed to establish a 2 x 1000MW water-cooled and water-moderated (VVER) reactor at Kudankulam in Tamilnadu. Here nuclear fission occurs in 100 tonnes of uranium oxide fuel in 50,000 close-packed fuel rods, the zirconium alloy tubes of half-inch diameter.  These fuel bundles, the reactor core, sit in a thick steel pressure vessel through which cooling water is pumped at 18tonnes per second to carry away the heat generated during nuclear fission and use it to produce steam and electricity through a turbo generator.  The fuel gets yellow-hot at its core, attaining a temperature of 4100oF (2250oC) while the metal casing around the fuel is kept at 650oF (350oC) by the cooling water.  If due to an accident the coolant water gets interrupted for just a few seconds the fuel temperature rises rapidly and the zirconium casing begins to break at 1800oF (1000oC) and melts at 3350oF (1850oC) The actual danger comes when the hot fuel begins to lump together in a molten mass that can explode the containment or seep into the ground, a process known as “Chinese-Syndrome”, and release massive quantities of radioactivity into the air, water and soil environment.
SAFETY OF REACTORS:  In order to avoid the core melt-down, experts have provided a series of safety devices.  One major line of defence is emergency core cooling system (ECCS) which provides an instantaneous water supply that keeps the core from melting.  Another line of defence is the concrete containment that surrounds the core and the pressure vessel so that even during a loss of coolant accident, no radioactivity will escape into the outside environment.  Such engineering safety measures also fail sometimes.  If the main pipe in the primary cooling breaks, immediately the control rods eliminate the nuclear fission process, halting the activity.  But the radioactivity  in the  already disintegrating fission products cannot be arrested.  In a 650MW plant, the heat formation by the radioactive disintegration process amounts to roughly 200MW three seconds after the reactor is switched off, 100 MW after one minute, 30MW after one hour and 12MW after 24 hours.
Under normal operating conditions, the reactor has an external fuel casing temperature of about 350oC, while the interior fuel rods remain at 2220oC.  If the cooling liquid is lost, the outer surface  of the rods heats up rapidly within 10 to 15 seconds, the fuel casing will begin to break down and within a minute, the casing will melt.
Unless the emergency cooling system comes into operation within a minute, the fuel (approximately 100 tonnes) and the supporting structure will all begin to melt, leading to a major accident.  At this stage even if the emergency cooling system works, it will make the situation worse.  The molten metals react with the cooling water to produce steam and hydrogen and heat from the fission products adds to this, thus  sinking the melten core to the ground.  In a 200MW nuclear reactor radio-fission products accumulated after one year would be equivalent to the amount released by approximately 1000 atom bombs of the Hiroshima variety.  Since the reactor pressure vessel contains the core, any loss in the pressure vessel in excess of the supply from ECCS leads to the escape of the coolant, thereby exposing the core that gets overheated within seconds.   The failure of the vessel can inflict serious damage to the core and also break the containment.
EMERGENCY COOLANT FAILS: According to the advocates of nuclear power when the primary coolant comes out of the major pipe break in the coolant water loop, the control rods are immediately driven into the core to stop the fission reaction and the ECC system releases the cool water from the accumulators intended to cope with such emergencies.  But the environmental experts and opponents of nuclear power emphasise that by the time the emergency coolant water gets in the core, the temperature in the core would become so high that the water turns into high pressure steam, either obstructing the entry of more coolant or forcing it to exit through the breakage in the pipes  so that the reactor core gets overheated to cause a major disaster.  When the Aerojet Nuclear Company conducted tests of ECC system at the National Reactor Testing Station in Idaho, USA, mechanical failure occurred.  Subsequent tests at Oakridge National Laboratories indicated that the Zircalloyclad fuel rods may swell, rupture and obstruct the cooling channel thereby preventing the emergency cooling water from reaching the reactor core.  Fuel rod swelling commenced about 1400oF and at 1880oF the coolant channels were blocked by 50 to 100 percent and such a blockage could be catastrophic.  The combined effect of the rapid cooling during an emergency core cooling with the rapidly rising pressure in a reactor vessel could lead to its rupture, an accident that no nuclear plant is designed to cope with.  Failure of the vessel could occur due to inherent weakness in the construction of  the vessel itself or due to factors such as molten fuel coolant explosion or the gross failure of the vessel support system.  Steam generators also cause problems due to deformation of tubes  because of corrosion of support of plate materials, fatigue failures and tube pitting problems.  The feed water system piping is exposed to water-hammer, leading to the damage of valves.  These valves on their own face problems from packing, gasket leakage and erosion.
Places to be evacuated during accident at Kudankulam: When an accident at a nuclear plant releases enormous quantities of radioactivity into the air, water and soil environment, there will be immediate fatalities and long-term genetic damage among the exposed populations.  All the people within the zone of influence from the reactors must be evacuated.  Evacuation must be completed within 6 hours for 2 to 5km, 12 hours for 5 to 25km, 24 hours for 25 to 75km and 40 hours for over 75kms downwind from Kudankulam as per the British Accident scenario for the 1100MW, Sizewell reactor, based on a wind speed of 5m/sec rainfall of 1mm/hour and natural stability conditions of the atmosphere.  After thorough scrubbing and decontamination of lands, equipment and residences due to radioactive pollution from an accident, people may be permitted  to return to their original residence along with their cattle and other properties after three weeks upto 170kms, one year upto 140km, from 5 years upto 115km, 10 years upto 98km and 20 years upto 77kms distance from the nuclear plant.  Depending upon the weather conditions during the accident, certain places will be more affected than others.  Many villages of Ramanathapuram, Tirnelveli and Kanyakumari of Tamilnadu and Trivandrum and Quilon districts of Kerala will be affected seriously.  Killakkarai, Sattirakudi, Abiramam, Virudhnagar and Watrap of Tamilnadu and Gudalur, Thekkadi, Vengamala, Pantalam and Karunagapalli of Kerala lie within 170kms.  Sayalkudi, Nattakkadu, Sivakasi and Sattur of Tamilnadu, Edathora, Aruppokottair, Srivilliputtur and Rajapaliyam lie in between 140km and 170kms.  Karilgatti, Kalugumala and Puliyangudiof Tamilnadu, Tenmala, Kadakkal, Attingal and Kadiamkulam of Kerala lie within 115km.  Taruvaikulam, Kadambur, Tirumalapuram and Tenkasi of Tamilnadu and Palad and Attipara lie within 98kms.  Tuticorin, Kayattar and Trivandrum lie in between 98kms and 77kms, Sayarpuram Pudukkottai, tirunelveli, Ambassamudram, Mannar, Balaramapuram, Neyyattinkara, Nanguneri, Panakudi, Kolachel, Nagercoil and Cape Comorin lie within 77kms from the nuclear plant site. 
B.Scherbin, Deputy Prime Minister of USSR has said, “No amount of safety precautions can rule out an unfortunate combination of mechanical failures or human errors.  In future therefore, we must pay equal attention to nuclear plant safety and to effective ways of dealing with nuclear plant accidents.
The tragedy of Chernobyl must stimulate research into what should be a fundamentally new generation of advanced reactors with built-in-self-protection systems
When the accident at the reactor at Three Mile Island occurred in 1979, Dr.David E.Lilienthal, the first Chairman of the US Atomic Energy Agency demanded that since all the existing reactors are inherently unsafe, the experts all over the world must concentrate their energies in producing an inherently safe reactor.  In pursuance of this demand the Swedish, German and American experts began to work on the development of the safe reactors.  Today the experiment is a success.
American experts have recently developed such safe reactors for which probability of a serious accident is zero, that is a reactor whose ‘safety depends not on the active intervention of safety systems but on physical principles that ensure the reactor’s safety without mechanical or human intervention but upon immutable physical principles that even in an emergency could not be abrogated.
Enlightened nuclear and environment experts have been warning the industry and the government to renounce the current generation of reactors stating that no matter how extensive the safety measures are, the reactor machines are disasters, ‘writing in the wings’.  In fact General Atomics, an American firm, is building a (MHTGR) modular high temperatures gas cooled reactor in Idaho falls,  to produce tritium  for nuclear weapons and to serve as a basis for a civilian reactor that will generate electricity.  In this reactor, the core size and the reactor output has been restricted to 140MW.
The secret of a safe reactor lies in its sand-grain sized fuel particles encapsulated in multi-layered glassy carbon spheres that trap radioactive fission products but transmit heat while remaining intact upto 3300o.  Since the maximum temperature that the fuel grains can obtain in the spheres is limited to about 3000oF the uranium fuel will not melt through the spheres under any kind of accident.
The pressurized water reactors proposed to be built at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli District of Tamilnadu are inherently unsafe.  In these reactor, fuel rods of about ½ inch thickness attain a temperature 4100oF at the core while the casing temperature is maintained at 650oF  by the cooling  water.  If the pipe breaks, water supply fails for just a few seconds and the hot fuel can destroy the metal casing which begins to break at 1800oF and melts at 3370oF.  back up systems such as the emergency core-cooling system(ECCS) and concrete containment are expected to ensure that no radioactivity will escape into the outside environment during an accident.  In spite of this core-melt accidents occurred at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl plants.  While the maximum fuel temperature of 3000oF (1648oC)is less than the fuel casing failure temperature of 3300oF (1815oC)in a safe reactor, the maximum fuel temperature of 4100oF(2260oC) is more than twice the fuel-casing failure temperature of 1000oF(538oC) in an inherently unsafe reactor.
CONCLUSIONS: Since the present generation of nuclear reactors are inherently unsafe it is essential to make detailed environmental impact reports, risk analysis and emergency evacuation and disaster management plans before clearance is given for locating a nuclear plant at a given place.  The environmental impact reports must be prepared for various alternate locations and they should be presented to the public for organizing scientific debates so that constructive suggestions from the experts and the public can be received for incorporation in the final reports on which appropriate decisions can be taken by the government.
Whether the same economic goals can be achieved through alternate methods of generating the energy including the option of no nuclear power should also be considered.  If at all nuclear plants are considered essential for the production of plutonium for national security, the use of safe integral reactors (SIR) under development and the modular high temperature gas cooled (MHTGR) reactors under construction in countries like USA must be given preference over the present generation of light water and heavy water pressurized reactors.  Even if the inherently hazardous reactors have to be inevitably used, they should be located underground or in mountain caverns in coastal belts or Islands so that the damage and critical impacts due to air-plane crashes, sabotage, human or mechanical failures are minimized.

A.  Dosage and damage to public Health
No visible symptoms except change in blood
Vomiting and nausea for one day plus symptoms of radiation sickness in 10% upto 120 rems; 25% upto 170 rems, 50% upto 220rems
Vomiting and nausea on first day plus sickness amaong all people with 20% deaths within six weeks upto 330 rems and 50% deaths in 1 month upto 500 rems
Vomiting and nausea within 4 hours and death upto100%
B. Single high dose and late effects
Blood, nervous system, thyroid in excess of 100 rems, Leukemia rises correspondingly.
Lenses of eyes become increasingly opaque at 200 rems
Brief sterility at 150rems
Impairment of organ functions.
 Rate doubled between 20 and 200 rems.
Radiologists have 5 years lowered life-span
C. Chronic low doses
Cancer, immune deficiency, mutations, stillbirths, abortions etc.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Note:This report obtained by Kudankulam anti- nuclear  activists from NPCIL under pressure of the RTI Act is presented as rough draft as certain pages were omitted during supply of the copy.
Based on Dianuke website report under the following website.
1.Introduction:  The acceptability of a site for locating a nuclear power plant is dependent not only on site characteristics, related primarily and directly to safety, but also on a large number of other aspects  which are only indirectly related to safety.  These include the reliability and stability of the electrical grid, the adequacy of communications etc.
The siting of nuclear power plant (NPP) generally involves studies in three stages, namely:
1)Site survey stage: The purpose of a site survey is to identify lone or more preferred candidate sites after both safety and non-safety considerations have been taken into account.  This involves the study and investigation of a large region.  It results in the rejection of unacceptable sites, and is followed by systematic screening, and comparison of remaining sites.
2) Site evaluation stage:  This stage involves the study and investigation of one or more of the preferred candidate sites to evaluate their acceptability from various consideration, and in particular from the safety considerations.  The site-related design bases are established at this stage.  Subsequent to this a preliminary safety analysis report is submitted for clearance before site construction is started.
3) Pre-operational stage: This stage includes studies and investigations of the selected site after the start of construction and before the start of operation in order to complete and refine the assessment of site characteristics and to confirm assumptions made in the safety analysis of the reactor as a part of the final safety analysis report.  The base line data on environment are also established at this stage.
The stage one is within the scope of the work of the site selection committee.  The present committee aims to have a preliminary evaluation of the feasibility of a site mainly from safety considerations and ensure that the plant site combination does not constitute an unacceptable risk.  However, in ivew of the fact that some non-safety considerations may affect safety related aspects, such items also have to be studied.  It is to be understood that the present committee has evaluated the site from screening considerations.  The site related design parameters/bases are to be established at appropriate stages.  The review is based on the available information on population and industrial growth and other proposed facilities at and around the site in addition to safety related aspects like seismo-tectonic environment, geology, hydrology, extreme meteorological Phenomenon etc.  The site is evaluated from the following considerations.
1.       Effect of the region of the site on the plant   2. Effect of the plant on the region
3.       Population considerations.
While the first of the above factors decide the safety of the plant due to site related natural and man-induced events, the second factor influences the potential radiological impact from the plant on the environment.  Population consideration is important for emergency planning.
The acceptability of a site for a particular NPP depends on the existence of engineering solution to site related problems which gives assurance that the proposed plant can be built and operated within acceptably low risk to the population of the region.
IAEA guidelines (1,2) have been kept in mind for the site evaluation.
Potential site-specific natural hazards and man-induced events have been evaluated for initial appraisal of their impact on the plant design and the enigneerability under the given circumstances.  Subsequently, these studies form the design bases.
Among the natural hazards, the following aspects as relevant to site have been studied.
i)                    Surface faulting     ii)Seismicity     iii)Suitability of subsurface material
iv)                 Flood and     v)Extreme meteorological phenomena (e.g cyclone)
Because of rocky substrata slope instability, soil liquefaction, surface collapse, subsidence or uplift are not applicable for the present site.
Man-induced events include accidents due to
i)                    Air traffic        ii)Vehicular road traffic
ii)                   Industrial and Military activities in the immediate vicinity of the site.
Capability of dispersion in air and water are studied for possible radiological impact on environment. The availability of adequate cooling water supply for the ultimate Heat Sink is the central safety issue.  Feasibility of implementing effective emergency actions has also been considered.
        (Economic, Technical, Environmental and Social Aspects)
These are primarily related to engineering feasibility.  However, some of the factors may indirectly be related to the safety of the NPP.
The factors considered are:   i)Electricity network  ii)Availability of cooling water iii) Transport routes
iv) Topography   v)Industrial support at site  vi) Non-radiological impact on the environment (e.g.. chemical and thermal pollution, industrial growth and its impact etc.)
The committee has studied all site related data submitted by NPC (3,4,5) and has, in accordance with the criteria mentioned above, made a review of the suitability of the Kudankulam site for locating nuclear power station having two units of 1000 MWe VVER reactor. 
The review findings are presented in Tables I and II
 The committee recommends that the following actions should be taken at appropriate stages.
1)      ODC committee of NPC to evaluate suitability of transportation of ODC at design stage
2)      Maximum Flood Level should be estimated accurately considering IAEA safety Guide 50-SG-S10B.  Revised report of CWPRS should be submitted to Design Safety Committee.
3)      Analysis for the quality of construction water is to be carried out.
4)      In order to enhance additional reliability for water Supply, which is essential for functioning of various safety systems of the reactor, intake well at Pechiparai Dam should be provided at lower elevation than the minimum draw-down level of the reservoir.  However, it should be ensured by proper management of water distribution that the water level is maintained above this minimum level.
5)      Adequate storage of fresh water for prolonged safe shutdown of the reactors is to be provided within plant boundary for safety related systems.  Ground water source should be explored.
6)      Environmental Survey laboratory should be set up at site and instruments are to be installed at site to collect meteorological data and background radiation.
7)      Site related design considerations such as seismic aspects, etc are to be established before submission of PSAR.
8)      The committee has been informed that detail subsoil investigations have been carried out (12).  Bore-hole investigations are to be carried out at the proposed location of various buildings and structures.  The report should be forwarded to design group for taking into account at the time of actual design.
9)      Power evacuation studies particularly that influence the plant grid interaction should be persued.  Feasibility of operation on islanding mode may be studied in collaboration with CEA.  In addition availability of a reliable (dedicated) startup power source of adequate capacity should be examined.
10)   Stipulations made by various state and central authorities in giving clearance, should be met.  In addition, plantation in the area under control of the project should be taken up along with site development.
11)    Tamilnadu legislation to control population growth beyond natural growth within the sterilized zone is to be implemented.
12)   Termination of the lease in 1994 for lime stone quarry.
1.       Radiological impact should be assessed with proper source terms and relevant dispersion characteristics of the site.  Dose limits prescribed should be met at a distance of 1.6km in event of greater exclusion radius adopted by NPC.
2.       Stack height to be checked by Health Physics Division,BARC, considering topography and dispersion characteristics.
3.        Model studies should be taken up for intake and outfall structure for thermal pollution and recirculation.
4.       Studies on Biofouling and jelly-fish etc. that may affect the water supply should be taken up.
5.       Studies on accretion/erosion rate around the plant site should be carried out.  If required, proper protection should be provided.
6.       Design should be engineered to meet site related design basis events.
7.        Atleast two evacuation routes from plant site during an emergency should be provided.
The committee is of the opinion that Kudankulam site meets the major criteria for siting 2 x 1000 MWe VVER units.  The Committee at the same time recommends that the observations made in the preface and the actions recommended in Section 3 above need to be implemented at appropriate stages.
1.       IAEA – Code of Practice on Safety in Nuclear Power Plant Siting.  IAEA Safety Series No.50-C-S International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, 1979
2.       Site Survey for Nuclear Power Plants.  IAEA Safety series No. 50-SG-S9.  IAEA(1984)
3.       Environmental data on proposed Kudankulam site for submission to Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board for 2 x 1000 MWe VVER nuclear power station.
4.       Write up on Kudankulam site – DAE
5.       Siting data in AERB standard format.  (Received from NPC vide letter NPC/KK/24/1032, dt.7-3-89
6.       Layout of main plant building for 2 x 1000 MWe VVER project at Kudankulam
7.       CWPRS Pune Report: “Safe Grade Elevation for the proposed nuclear power station at Kudankulam,  Tamilnadu
8.       Draft report on Earthquake design basis for Kudankulam site, DAE, 1988 – A.K Ghosh and DC Banerjee.
9.       Appendix to Part-I of Site Selection Committee report
10.   Power Transmission system for Kudankulam Atomic Power Project -CEA report
11.   Letter NPC/KK/24 dated 16-3-89 received from NPC
12.   Brief note from NPC on “Geological setup of Kudankulam site”.             
T A B L E -1

Site characteristics Influencing the NPP
Specification/Desirable Characteristics
Observations for Kudankulam site
Plain topography
Plain topography-elevation+3m to 45m above MSL.  Area measuring 1Km to 2Km available (3), (6)
Terrain suitable sufficient land available for future expansion
i) Nearest Broadgauge rail head

Kanyakumari(27Km), Valliyur (27Km)
Recommendation for ODC transport
1)All consignments/equipments with weight (30Ton: USSR-tutitorin by ship Tuticorin-site: by road or on barges by sea route

2) All consignments (30 ton USSR-site: by ship and barges. To be unloaded at jetty within the plant

ii)Nearest National Highway

NH7 at Kanyakumari 27Km, Valliyur 27Km,

iii) Nearest Seaport

 Tuticorin (100Km)

iv) Nearest district road

Coastal road 4Km
Construction Facilities
i)Construction materials

Coarse aggregates available at Anjugrarer (4km).  Sand available at Ratucenathjewari   road (7km) Bricks available at Panagudi (27km)
More sources will be established at construction stage.

ii)Construction power
26KVA +2 KVA for township
Panagudi sub-station (27Km)  - 110KV line exists. 110KV line from Kodyar power station is also being considered.

iii)Construction water
3.5 cu.sec (350 cu.m per hour
Initially limited supply to be tapped from ground water sources.  Subsequently the demand will be met from Pechiparai dam
Quality of construction water is likely to be acceptable.  Analysis of water will be carried out.

iv)Infrastructure facilities (e.g minor workshop etc)

Nagercoil (30km) and Tuticorin (100km)

Availability of Power Supply and Transmission Lines
i)Start-up Power

50KVA per unit
Available from main state grid and Tuticorin Thermal Power Station Plant (630MW) 220KV line to be drawn from Tuticorin.

ii)Power evacuation scheme

Feasible as per preliminary study conducted by CEA.  Detail study is in progress
Present grid capacity 12832 MWe.  Nuclear 470MWe. Projected capacity in 1995 will be 27541MWe.  Nuclear  1910 MWe
Availability of Water
i)Condenser cooling
6000 Cu sec 
(on once-through basis)
Sea water cooling on once-through basis silt content:60-100 ppm Particle size75 microns.Temperature:26-29 oC
No constraint. Titanium tubes will be used.  Study on biofouling and jelly fish that may affect the water supply will be taken at design stage.  Model study will be taken up for intake and outfall structure(5)

ii)Fresh water for make-up and domestic use
10 cu sec
Assured by State Government.  One pipeline from Pechiparai dam (at 65km) to be laid. pH:7.  Dissolved solids:25mg/litre,  Suspended solids:negligible, Turbidity:5mg/l (5)
Dam storage 4.45 TMC ft. Dead storage can account for 3 years drought (5)
400 acres
400 acres of land identified near Chettikulam village about 7km from the site (3)

Site Characteristics Influencing the NPP
Specification/Desirable Characteristics
Observations for Kudankulam site
i)Foundation conditions depths of bed rock and type

Bed rock at 5-16m below ground. Biotite granite genesis with lenticular bodies of charnockites or quartzites

ii) Strength
Maximum intensity of loading 6kg/ at RB
Dry strength : 650kg/
Wet strength: 450 kg/ (5)

iii)Ground water
Below 1m
5-8 m below ground – gradient towards sea (5)

Natural events:
i)Coastal erosion

Erosion insignificant with respect to life of station. Nearest main plant structure from shore about 120m away from the sea base line
Layout for the main plant still under consideration figure of 120 tons estimate on the basis on 7 ton as the ground elevation at main plant building.


Maximum flood level considering tidal range wave run-up and maximum stage surge 5.9m above chart datam of 0.0 Exposed structures placed well above this level. (7)
Grade level around Reactor Building will be above 7m from MSL.
Revised report on MFL from CWPRS awaited.  Grade elevation will be changed if necessary.


Not significant as per preliminary report of CWPRS
1m height of wave considered due to tsunami effect.

iv)Wind, storm, Cyclone

Maximum speed of storm:112km/hr. Storm surge accounted for in flooding. Exceedance probability 5% as per preliminary repsort from CWPRS.
Engineering capability to design for wind load exists.

v)Slope instability

Not applicable for rocky substrata

Vi)Soil liquefaction

Not applicable for rocky substrata

vii)Seismotectonic environment
No active fault within 5km of NPP. Engineering capability for stipulated earthquake acceleration should be possible
No active fault within 5km. Site is in seismic zoneII as per IS 1893; 1984. Nearest epicenter at Trivandrum (90km) earthquake in the region.
Magnitude 6 at Coimbatore (8 Feb, 1900) (300 km) Estimated peak horizontal acceleration for SSE is 0.15g and for OBE is 0.06g.
Engineering capability to design for such earthquake loads exists. Seismic evaluation report finalized after discussion with GSI and Soviet Specialists.  Further ground checks have confirmed the assumptions regarding the nearest
Use of Land

Within in the exclusion zone: 34% of area lies in sea.  Remaining 650-750 ha of land (no forest), mostly private owned, is barren and unirrigated/poorly cultivable.  Extremely limited agriculture.  Annual yield: 20 tons of  millet and 2 tons of cotton
Within 10km radius area: 60% of area lies in Sea. Remaining land is barren or used for agriculture.  Annual yield:Paddy 14400 tons, millet 4300 tons, chillir 3000 tonnes, tobacco 380 tons, pulses 830 tons, cotton 250 tons, oil seeds 70 tons (4)
A lime stone quarry of about 70 acres falls within the sterilized zone.  The lease for this area expires in 1994.  Termination of the lease beyond the period has been requested.
Use of Water

Ground water, limited in supply is used for drinking andhas a gradient towards the sea.  No salt pans within 5km. The degree of development of fisheries is as common as in a coastal belt.   In the near by area, indinthakarai, Koothapuzh, Koothankuzhi and Perurranal are the fishing villages within 20km and annual fish produce of about 4000 tons in the area is reported.  About 3900 fisherman in these villages are engaged infishing as per information furnished in 1982.  At Chinneruttar near Kanyakumari, a fishing harbor is being developed. (4)

Disposal of Radioactive waste from the NPP
i)Solid waste

Low level solid waste to be buried within exclusion zone in leak-proof RCC vaults/trenches/tile holes.  160-180 m cu per year of  cemented waste including spent absorption materials, 40m cu/yr of compacted waste and 5 m cu/yr of cemented ash will be generated from one reactor (5)
Borewells surrounding the solid waste burial area will be provided for monitoring migration of activities.

ii)Liquid waste
To be diluted to 2 x 10E-7 micro Ci/ml when discharged into the sea.
Most of the radioactivity in the liquid is removed in the Ion exchange resin and as evaporator concentrate.  After above processing the liquid effluent from two units is estimated as 6000 m Cu/year with activity levels lesser or equal to 10E-9 Ci/l.  This will be further diluted by condenser cooling water to meet the limits allowed by AERB
6000 cusecs of sea water available for dilution while sea water less than 1 cusec required to achieve the specified limits.

iii)Gas release

Stack height is 100m. Use of high efficiency (0.3 micron) particulate absolute filter will help to comply with authorized limits for particulate activity. The estimated gaseous discharges from two units as following.
Nuclides          Avg daily
Noble gases--       2220
I-131             30 x 10E-4
Long life             0.012
Short life            0.26
It is understood that specific detailed information regarding waste and radioactive releases will be available along with PSAR for review
i)during normal operation
AERB prescribed limits
Based on releases vide para7, preliminary estimates indicate very low dose rates 11.24 mrem/yr to the individual at 1.6km exclusion radius.  Both the water and air routes have been considered in the above estimates.

ii)During design basis accident conditions
10 rem for whole body, 50 rem for child thyroid at exclusion radius
For all design basis accidents adequate engineering safety features shall be  provided to meet the specified requirements.
DBA calculations will be carried out at the design stage
Thermal Pollution

Not significant.  Intake and outfall will be well separated.  Depth of sea water and large dilution due to sea will avoid thermal pollution
Model studies will be carried out at CWPRS Pune.  The requirements of Tamilnadu pollution Control Board should be met
Storage and Transportation of Fresh and spent fuel

Space for storage of fresh fuel for 5 years plus one core charge will be provided.  Each unit layout can store spent fuel of 5 reactor years in the spent fuel pool located inside the containment.  Besides this space will be available to unload one core inventory.
50 ton of spent fuel will be discharged annually from the 2 reactors.  After adequate cooling inside the pool, it will be shipped to Soviet Union by sea route in hermatically sealed casks.  Special jetty provided within the plant area will be used for transfer of cask to the Soviet ships so that spent fuel remains within plant boundary at all stages during the process of shipment of irradiated.
Fuel Reprocessing facility

Reprocessing not planned at this site

Population considerations
i) Population within 2km radius exclusion zone
No habitation
No resident population

ii)Population within 5km radius sterilized zone
Less than 26,000 population density (2/3  state average.
Total population:15,000, 3 villages in this area Kudankulam, Idinthakarai and Erukkanatharam
Tamilnadu legislation to control population growth beyond natural growth within the sterilized zone to be implemented.

iii)Population within 10km radius zone
No center >10,000
No population centre with more than 10,000 people.  total population 40,842 (1961 census). Population density:130 persons/

iv)Population within 30km radius zone
No center >1,00,000
No population center with more than 1 lakh people.  11 centers have population more than 10,000  Nagercoil (at 30 km has a population of 1,71,641. 

v) Population within 50km radius zone

33 population centers with population more than 10,000 (4)

Emergency Preparedness Considerations

3 routes exist for possible evacuation.  Schools and other public buildings exist for adequate temporary shelter, nagercoil (30km), Tirunelveli (100km) and Tuticorin (100km) can provide rehabilitation medical facilities and administrative support
Draft proposal on off-site emergency preparedness plans already submitted to AERB.
 Additional Statutory requirements of the Central and State Government

Clearance for the following has been obtained:
Tamilnadu pollution control Board, Shore protection committee of Tamilnadu Government, State Committee on Environment, Minister of Environment and Forests (Government of India)
Stipulations made in the clearance documents should be adhered to.

About Me

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Born in 1932 at Mudinepalli, near Gudivada, Krishna Dist. Andhra Pradesh, received Bachelors degree in Civil Engg., from Viswesaraiah Engineering College, Banglore (1956) and Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering from Rice university, Houston, Texas, (USA) (1962), Ph.D (Hony). Former Head of the Department of Civil Engineering and principal of College of Engineering, Andhra university.Formerly Hony.Professor in Andhra University,Manonmanian Sundarnar University,JNT University. Fellow of the Institution of Engineers,India Recipient of the University Grants Commissions National Award "Swami Pranavananda Award on Ecology and Environmental Sciences" for the year 1991. Recipient of Sivananda Eminent Citizen Award for 2002 by Sanathana Dharma Charitable Trust, Andhra Pradesh state. Presently Working as Director, centre for Environmental Studies, GITAM University,