07 December 2011

Poovulagin Nanbargal's letter to Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries Association

The President
TANSTIA- Tamilnadu Small & Tiny Industries Association
No.10, G.S.T. Road,
Chennai - 600 032.

Dear Sir

Re: Koodankulam Struggle- “Power or Nuclear Power”

We are happy to note the yeomen service that your association has been doing to promote the small & tiny industries in our state and we convey our wishes for furthering your services. Our movement strongly believes that only the Small & Tiny sector can take this county forward and also will be able to bring in prosperity to very scale of population. We always quote the Gandhian Principle that was furthered by renowned Gandhian J.C.Kumarappa that “India does not require mass production, it requires production by Masses” and we are principally in favour of small & tiny sector that involves very large section of population and also we advocate that Mass Production will never be in tune with Nature. We wish that you continue your journey in tune with nature.

I am sure you are well aware of the struggle that is happening in the areas surrounding Koodankulam initially and now it has spread all over the state and country against the Nuclear Plant at Koodankulam. We would like to give you add few points that you are aware of to counter that we don’t require Nuclear Power. 

We would like to point out that the struggle that is happening in the country is not only against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) but to raise the fundamental question- if we require “Power or Nuclear Power”?. 

  1. Globally nuclear energy produces about 3,70,000 MW whereas Renewable Energy (RE) produces more than 4,00,000MW.
  2. The global scenario of RE is getting highlighted and use of Nuclear energy is coming down drastically- Countries like Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and Italy has said “No to Nuclear Energy”.
  3. After the Nuclear Disasters in Three Mile Island in USA and Chernobyl in erstwhile USSR they have not added one MW of power using Nuclear Energy. In Fact USA has converted three nuclear power stations (Before commencement of production) into coal/Gas based power stations. The 3 stations are Shoreham, William H Zimmer and Midland co-generation facility. Each of these stations were complete over 95% as a nuclear power plant.
  4. Australia, which has got about 23% of Global deposits of Uranium, has not got even a single reactor and they are cleverly planning to sell Uranium to India. They are trying to do this as if they are trying to help our country.
  5. The country which is largely dependent on Nuclear power – France dumps its Nuclear Wastes in Germany. Even in France there is movement against Nuclear Energy that is gaining momentum.
  6. In India at present Nuclear Energy contributes only 2.7% (4,780 MW out of 1,82,000 MW) which can be easily compensated if the incandescent lamps and irrigation pumps in Tamilnadu are alone replaced with LED lights and energy efficient pumps. (There is a survey that states that there are over 4 crore incandescent lamps in Govt offices in TN).
  7. The official figure of transmission and distribution (T&D) loss in India stands more than 27% and the Aggregate Technical and Commercial Losses (ATC) that includes theft of power stands at 50%. The T&D losses are due to rudimentary transmission lines and sub-stations and transformers. Where do we need to invest our money? To improve T&D systems or nuclear plants? We leave to your choice. In fact during the peak of wind power production days, our electricity board does not have the Evacuation Facilities to evacuate power from Wind mills and power produced goes in waste.
  8. The Integrated Energy Policy (IEP) of the Govt of India (An official policy by GOI) clearly states that we can get about 25,000 if we use our energy efficiently using energy efficient gadgets. Again where do we invest our money? In replacing energy in-efficient gadgets or Nuclear Energy
  9. Re-powering: When the windmills were introduced in our country about 20-25 years back we had the technology to produce 200Kw of power but now we have machines that can generate power about 2.1MW. If re-power all the old machines we can increase our power output at least 6 times.
  10.  We have got a coastline of 7,200 Kms in which we can use the hybrid model of wind, ocean wave and ocean current to produce electricity. We all very well know that off-shore winds are more powerful than Inland winds.
  11. India is diverse and its needs are diverse and we don’t require all the electricity in one place. We have got about 5,900 sub-districts (tehsil, block or mandal) out of these 80% of them require only 15-20MW of power. This requirement can be met out with easily on a hybrid system of solar, wind and Bio-mass. Hence we can think about “Distributed Electricity Generation” as a solution to our needs
  12.  Modern solar plants can produce energy more efficiently these-days and we can generate about 35-40MW per Sq. Km. Thar desert is about 1,00,000 Sq. Km. Even if we use 50% of that land mass we can generate more than 10 times of our present requirement. As the technology progresses the cost of solar power is coming down and by 2014 it is expected to equal the cost of power from Coal.
The above given are just some of the ways that power can be produced. If the government can constitute an expert panel then it can come out with more alternatives. 

Most of your members being people who deal with machineries will surely agree that Machines are bound to fail, and Nuclear Reactor is a machine, but failure of the reactor will lead to catastrophic effects that will leave vast area un-inhabitable for years and generations will be affected. The effects of nuclear radiation on humans are very well-known and established. If we accept that Nuclear Reactors are fool-proof then why no insurance company is ready insure reactors globally? Also the liability issue is being so seriously rejected by the companies/countries that supply reactors. 

The concept of Nuclear Energy being cheap is completely mythical and huge amount of subsidies are being provided by governments to show the cost very low. If the entire Nuclear Fuel cycle is considered in Nuclear Power then definitely the cost will be about Rs.15/unit of power. Also no country has got the technology for the disposal of hazardous nuclear waste and it has to be stored for the next thousands of years for which no one can estimate the cost.

If the reactors are safe then why the West Bengal chief minister has said No to Haripur Reactor? I am also sure that you are aware that National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has announced that about 70% of our country’s land mass is vulnerable to disaster, in that case should we should not opt for more safe and reliable ways to generate power. 

If all the MNC’s and companies is SEZ’s can be supplied with 24 hours of power then why not SME’s be supplied the same. Is it not discrimination? There is also no surety that power from Koodankulam will be given to SME’s. Is it not the time to fight against this discrimination?

Sir, I am here to submit that “let us not consider this mother earth as an asset that we have inherited from our fore-fathers, but treat this as a liability that we need to repay with interest to our grand children”, in whatever we do, let us put “Environment first…”

I am sure you will accept that we have alternate ways to generate power and completely review your stand for Koodankulam in particular and Nuclear Energy in General. With this back ground we request you to show your solidarity with the people opposing the KKNPP. Now the time has come to decide if we need “Power or Nuclear Power”.

With Warm Regards,

For Poovulagin Nanbargal

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