People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Phone: 98656 83735; 98421 54073 April 13, 2013
NPCIL, AERB, and KKNPP Dodge the Substandard Equipment Issue
There have been persistent reports that substandard equipment and parts have been used in the Koodankulam Nuclear Power
Project (KKNPP). When thePeople’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) asked the Nuclear Power Corporation of India
Ltd. (NPCIL) and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board
(AERB) under Right to Information
(RTI) Act if they have indeed received equipment and parts from the controversial Russian companies, Zio-Podolsk
and Informteck, both these organizations have been evasive in their replies (as shown below):
 PMANE’s RTI Application to NPCIL dated January 28, 2013 asked:
“Zio-Podolsk, owned by the Russian company Rosatom, is under investigation in Russia
for shoddy equipment it produced for several nuclear plants in that country and abroad since 2007. It is suspected that Zio-Podolsk used wrong type of steel (cheaper than the one originally required) to produce equipment for nuclear plants, such as steam generators. This company is said to have supplied several equipment and parts to the KKNPP. Please give a list of those equipment and parts that have been supplied by Zio-Podolsk to the KKNPP units.”
The NPCIL replied tersely on February 20, 2013 (No. NPCIL/VSB/CPIO/2460/HQ/2013/371):
“No Information regarding any investigation against Zio-Podolsk is available to NPCIL.”
 Since the above reply of the NPCIL does not answer our question, the PMANE filed another RTI Application to the NPCIL on March 7, 2013 asking:
“Are there any equipment and/or parts in the KKNPP 1 and 2 units that have been supplied by Zio-Podolsk directly or indirectly? Please give us a list of all those equipment and parts.”
The NPCIL has just replied on April 09, 2013 (No. NPCIL/VSB/CPIO/2574/KKNPP/2013/578):
“[I]nformation will be provided to you, as soon as receives from concern section (sic).”
 The PMANE posed the same question to AERB on January 28, 2013:
“Zio-Podolsk, owned by the Russian company Rosatom, is under investigation in Russia for shoddy equipment it produced for several nuclear plants in that country and abroad since 2007. It is suspected that Zio-Podolsk used wrong type of steel (cheaper than the one originally required) to produce equipment for nuclear plants, such as steam generators. This company is said to have supplied several equipment and parts to the KKNPP. Please give a list of those equipment and parts that have been supplied by Zio-Podolsk to the KKNPP units.”
The AERB replied on February 12, 2013 (No. AERB/RSD/RTI/Appl. No. 329/2013/2421) very evasively:
“Selection of a company for supplying any equipment to NPCIL, is not under the purview of AERB. However, with respect to Quality Assurance
(QA) during design, construction, commissioning and operation, a set of well established AERB documents on QA Codes and Guides are published and they were followed during the safety review of KKNPP.”
 Mr. R. S. Sundar, the site director of the KKNPP, has claimed that “the NPCIL had placed orders for obtaining a range of components for KKNPP from LG Electronics
, South Korea, Alstom and VA Tech, France and Siemens, Germany, apart from getting components from Russia” (P. Sudhakar, “Kudankulam plant Director denies allegation,” The Hindu
, April 4, 2013). Although he lists all these foreign companies and their host countries, Mr. Sundar carefully avoids the names of Zio-Podolsk and Informteck.
 In the meantime, Mr. Yevgeniy N. Dudkin, the Head of the Russian Specialists Group at the KKNPP, seems to be preparing the grounds for assuming joint responsibility for all the equipment and parts used in the KKNPP. He also avoids mentioning the names of Zio-Podolsk and Informteck very carefully.We reproduce sections from a newspaper report (P. Sudhakar, “Kudankulam reactors safest in the world: Russian expert,” The Hindu, April 5, 2013) below:
Right from fabrication to the erection of the components at KKNPP, every part used and being used in the reactor and the other parts fitted in the allied sections were being jointly inspected by Indian and Russian specialists prior to a series of tests conducted on them to ascertain their quality.
Again, the products were being received at the project site jointly by the KKNPP engineers and the Russian specialists, who would sign the documents to certify the quality of the components arrived here.
Any observation made by anyone during the quality check would be keenly followed and rectified immediately, as everyone had to give their consent at the end of the inspection in black and white.
“If any of the observation made by one of the members questioned the quality of a particular component, it will not be installed until the issue is settled. Hence, there cannot be any room for compromise in quality in the products supplied to KKNPP,” Mr. Dudkin said.
 And finally, Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, the former head of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), has claimed: “Sub-standard materials have come to the Kudankulam plant and they are causing problems. …Chinese have now started examining the components from Russia” (“Inferior parts being used in Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant
: Top scientist,” The Times of India
, April 7, 2013).
We have been asking about equipment and parts from Zio-Podolsk and Informteck but we do not get any kind of honest or direct answer from anybody. It is also quite puzzling and intriguing how or why The Hindu correspondent alone gets special interviews from both the Russian and Indian nuclear scientists. With all these mounting evidences that substandard equipment and parts have been used at the KKNPP and there have been efforts to gloss over this isuue with the help of Russians and some media companies, the PMANE supports the call for a thorough inquiry and demands complete closure of the KKNPP immediately.
The Struggle Committee
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)