Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant
|Owner(s)||Nuclear Power Corporation of India LTD.|
|Reactors operational||1 x 1000 MW|
|Reactors under construction||1 x 1000 MW|
|Power generation information|
|Maximum capacity||9200 MW|
|As of 21 August 2011|
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power station under construction in Koodankulam in the Tirunelveli district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Construction started March 2002 but completion was not achieved 11 years later. Long construction times for nuclear reactors are common in India, but this delay is by some people believed to have been caused by anti-nuclear protests by the locals and People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy. As a prelude to the commissioning of the first unit of the plant having the capacity of generating 1000 MW, Engineers started its pre-service inspection on 30 June 2012 which is likely to take 10–12 days. Recently, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board's inspection of the reactor pressure vessel of Unit-1 was completed and no defects therein were found.
An Inter-Governmental Agreement on the project was signed on November 1988 by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, for the construction of two reactors. The project remained in limbo for a decade due to the political and e Soviet breakup. There were also objections from the United States, on the grounds that the agreement does not meet the 1992 terms of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Construction began only in September 2001 and the cost was estimated to be US$ 3 billion (Rs.136.15 billion).
A small port became operational in Kudankulam on 14 January 2004. This port was established to receive barges carrying over sized light water reactor equipment from ships anchored at a distance of 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi). Until 2004 materials had to be brought in via road from the port of Tuticorin, risking damage during transportation.
In 2008 negotiation on building four additional reactors at the site began. Though the capacity of these reactors has not been declared, it was expected that the capacity of each reactor will be 1200 MW or 1.2 GW. The new reactors would bring the total capacity of the power plant to 6800MW or 6.8 GW
In June 2011, Sergei Ryzhov, the chief designer of the light water VVER nuclear reactors used at this nuclear power plant, was killed in an airplane accident. The plane belonging to the Rus-Air airlines was flying from Moscow to the Karelian capital Petrozavodsk.
Technical description 
Two 1 GW reactors of the VVER-1000 model are being constructed by the Nuclear Power corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Atomstroyexport. When completed they will become the largest nuclear power generation complex in India producing a cumulative 2 GW of electric power. Both units are water-cooled, water-moderated power reactors. The first was scheduled to start operation in December 2009 and the second one was scheduled for March 2010. Currently, the official projections put unit 1 into operation in May 2012, and unit 2 will go in July 2012.
Four more reactors are set to be added to this plant under a memorandum of intent signed in 2008. A firm agreement on setting up two more reactors, has been postponed pending the ongoing talks on liability issues. Under an inter-government agreement signed in December 2008 Russia is to supply to India four third generation VVER-1200 reactors of 1170 MW.
||This section may present fringe theories, without giving appropriate weight to the mainstream view, and explaining the responses to the fringe theories. (February 2013)|
Thousands of protesters, belonging to the vicinity of the plant, have used various means to protest against the plant fearing a Fukushima like disaster. The protesters base their objection on the "more than 1 million people live within the 30 km radius of the KKNPP which far exceeds the AERB (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board) stipulations. It is quite impossible to evacuate this many people quickly and efficiently in case of a nuclear disaster at Koodankulam", etc. According to S P Udayakumar, of the voluntary People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy, "the nuclear plant is unsafe". No public hearing was held. It's an authoritarian project that has been imposed on the people." A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has also been filed against the government’s civil nuclear programme at the Supreme Court. The PIL specifically asks for the "staying of all proposed nuclear power plants till satisfactory safety measures and cost-benefit analyses are completed by independent agencies". Protesters said that even advanced countries like Germany have decided to shutdown all its 17 Nuclear reactors through which the country gets 23% of its energy. Gopal Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, former West Bengal governor also said that an "Indian Fukushima cannot be ruled out and government needs to convince people about safety aspects of the project".
In March 2012, police said they had arrested nearly 200 anti-nuclear protesters objecting resumption of work of building one of two 1 GW reactors, a day after the local government restarted work on the project.
On, 24 February 2012, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh blamed American and Scandivanian NGOs for fuelling protests at the power plant. Three of the NGOs were later found to have used foreign funds received for social and religious purposes to fuel the protests, violating foreign exchange regulatory rules. The PM also blamed these NGOs for opposing genetically modified foods and the use of biotechnology to increase food production in the country.
Christian Conspiracy 
There are allegations from various agencies throughout India and officials from Home Ministry that several Christian organisations and Christian NGOs are behind the protest against KKNPP. The Church of South India, The Catholic Bishops Conference of India and the National Council of Churches openly oppose the KKNPP. It is also implicitly recognizable that officials in the Catholic Church of these regions too spread rumors through anti-nuclear videos from church premises and through Missionary Schools. The prime motives for opposing the Nuclear Reactor were allegedly multi-faceted. Few of the allegations are that,
- To send a strong message to the Government, irrespective of what ever be the ruling parties at the Center and in the State, by mass-deceiving and misleading the illiterate Public (who are totally unaware of the Clandestine hands of Church officials) through their 'innocence mobilization' tactics in perfect sycronisation with the US funded Transnational Missionary Organization across the world.
- To facilitate the American interests in India, and thereby ensure the smooth flow of further funds to the Conversion mission by those organizations. It is to be noted that the US is the prime donor of funds as Foreign Aid to the various Christian NGOs in Kudankulam.
- To damage the Russian civil nuclear credibility and to make it impossible for Russia to recover costs of construction and thereby artificially creating a state of uncertainty for future foreign investments in India and to increase the inevitable dependability of India towards US alone for future Foreign investments.
- To sustain its divisive politics by ensuring the economic and social backwardness of the locality, especially of the fishing community of the region, which guarantee them the smooth conduct of active conversion mission which in turn ensure the survival of Church itself.
- To felicitate the supposed illegal arms, drugs and money transfer for LTTE across the sea from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka all of them which benefits cross-border missionary activities through the coastal belts of Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli which would be impossible if the KKNPP become operational, since the coastal areas will be under strict scanner by the Navel Vessels and the Coast Guard and will be marked by active patrol and surveillance.
Response from Officials 
Former Indian President Dr. Abdul Kalam had expressed satisfaction about the safety of the Kudankulam Nuclear Plant after having detailed discussion with KNPP officials and inspecting the safety features of the plant.
Former chairman of Atomic Energy Commission of India Srinivasan said that one should never compare the Fukushima plant with Kudankulam and added "The Fukushima plant was built on a beachfront, but the Kudankulam was constructed on a solid terrain and that too keeping all the safety aspects in mind. Also, we are not in a tsunami prone area. The plants in Kudankulam have a double containment system which can withstand high pressure. At least Rs140 billion has been spent. If we don't operate the plant immediately, it will affect the economic stability of our country".
A center panel constituted by the Government of India, which did a survey of the safety features in the plant, said the Kudankulam reactors are the safest and fears of the people are not based on scientific principles. Dr. Muthunayagam, the panel's convener, also added that the protesters have asked for some documents which are not related to the safety of the reactor, hence he suspects the very nature of their questions. Nuclear scientist and principal scientific adviser to the federal Government of India Rajagopala Chidambaram has said “We have learnt lessons from the Fukushima nuclear accident, particularly on the post-shutdown cooling system,” and also added Fukushima nuclear accident should not deter or inhibit India from pursuing a safe civil nuclear program.
The Tamil Nadu state government formed a four-member expert panel which submitted a report to the government after inspecting the safety features of the plant. The Tamil Nadu government in the wake of the acute power shortages in the state has ordered in favour of the commissioning of the plant. Recently, the Chairman and Managing Director of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, K.C. Purohit stated that things are going on smoothly and the loading of fuel assemblies into the reactor pressure vessel would begin by mid-August 2012.
See also 
- "Engineers begin key inspection of Kudankulam n-plant". 30 June 2012.
- "No defects in Kudankulam nuclear reactor: V Narayanasamy". 8 August 2012.
- Nuclear Exports to India from Russia
- http://www.eca-watch.org/problems/asia_pacific/india/documents/SFried_indiaprojectssurvey_jan2004.pdf At What Cost? ECAs in India: Bankrolling Nuclear Power Plants, Mega-Dams, and Scandal-Ridden Projects; January 2004
- Kudankulam Port operational
- Dmitry Sergeev (1 February 2008). "Russia, India edge closer to major nuclear deal". Reuters. Retrieved 1 February 2008.
- [dead link]
- "Designer of Indian N-reactor killed in Russian plane crash - Times Of India". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- NPCIL to go into details with 4 reactor suppliers
- Nuclear Power Plant Type
- "Koodankulam to start production in 40 days". Retrieved 1 March 20116.
- "Kudankulam Atomic Power Project 1 & 2 and". Archived from the original on 1 May 20085. Retrieved 1 June 2008.
- History of the Kudankulam Project
- Four more reactors
- Details on the Next Generation Reactors
- "Kudankulam reactors safest: Central panel". The Hindu. 19 November 2011.
- Rahul Bedi (28 October 2011). "Indian activists fear nuclear plant accident". NZ Herald.
- Thirteen Reasons Why We Do Not Want the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project
- Siddharth Srivastava (27 October 2011). "India's Rising Nuclear Safety Concerns". Asia Sentinel.
- Ranjit Devraj (25 October 2011). "Prospects Dim for India's Nuclear Power Expansion as Grassroots Uprising Spreads". Inside Climate News.
- Germany to shut all nuclear reactors
- See March 2011 shutdown & May closure plan in German nuclear power units table in this article
- Indian Fukushima possible: Gopal Gandhi
- "Nearly 200 arrested in India nuclear protest". France24. 20 March 2012.
- "Rally seeks power generation at Kudankulam plant". The Hindu. 16 February 2012.
- "Blood donation camp in support of N-plant". The Hindu. 24 February 2012.
- "5 NGOs diverted foreign funds to fuel Kudankulam stir". hindustantimes. 24 February 2012.
- "Foreign NGOs behind Kudankulam protests: PM". Hindustan Times. 24 February 2012.
- Kudankulam Protests , Church and Western NGOs, Who is Udayakumar?
- Probe and Expose the Ploy - Missionary Hand in the Kudankulam Protest
- Churches back Kudankulam stir
- http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/at-kudankulams-core-is-fear-ignorance-and-anger/article4154421.ece At Kudankulam’s core is fear, ignorance and anger
- The Plot Behind Sabotage Kudankulam
- Conspiracy of church behind Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant
- The Plot Behind Sabotage Kudankulam, Targeting Russia
- Probe and Expose the Ploy: Missionary Hand in the Kudankulam Protest
- The Plot Behind Sabotage Kudankulam, Local collaborators
- Antonimuthu, Rajamanickam (6 November 2011). "Former Indian President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam expresses satisfaction about the Safety of Koodankulam Nuclear Project |QualityPoint Technologies". Qualitypoint.blogspot.in. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
- "Kudankulam plant is safe: Srinivasan". The Times of India. 14 November 2011.
- "R. Chidambaram bats for Kudankulam". The Hindu. 12March 2012.
- "Kudankulam nuclear power plant issue ends - India - DNA". Dnaindia.com. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-17.