The People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) has expanded its existing ‘scientific team' and constituted an ‘Expert Panel' with 21 members for inspecting the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP).

“The proposed panel comprises noted scientists, engineers, doctors, environmentalists, columnists and advocates with the objectives of guiding the movement, educating the public, interacting with the State and Central governments and also the Expert Group constituted by the Union Government,” S.P. Udhayakumar, coordinator of the anti-KKNPP struggle committee said in a statement.

The members

The members of the ‘Expert Panel' are: M. Arunachalam, Head (In-Charge), Sri Paramakalyani Centre for Environmental Sciences of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University at Alwarkurichi, Tirunelveli; Praful Bidwai, senior journalist and opinion maker; M. G. Devasahayam, IAS former civil servant; Dr. Soumya Dutta, formerly head of Indira Gandhi Environment Centre; Department of Science and Technology; Dr. Meher Engineer, a physicist, who has served as the Director of Bose Institute, Kolkata; Dr. Surendra Gadekar, who has worked at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore; Jacob John, Infrastructural economist trained in the London School of Economics and Warwick University in the UK; Dr. S. Ajmal Khan, Professor, Centre for Advanced Studies in Marine Biology, Annamalai University, Parangipettai, Tamil Nadu.

R.S. Lal Mohan, formerly Principal Scientist in Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (ICAR), and in Indian Council of Agricultural Research; Dr. C.R. Neelakandan, environmentalist and writer; V. T. Padmanabhan, Member of European Committee on Radiation Risk who did a genetic study on high radiation areas of Kerala; and cancer risk in BARC, TAPS and MAPS; Dr. M.P. Parameswaran, India's first Ph.D.-holder in nuclear engineering and worked at Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC) during 1957-1975; Dr. V. Pugazhendi a medical practitioner studying the impact of Kalpakkam nuclear power plants on the local environment, people and plant workers; Dr. R. Ramesh a medical practitioner, who has written books on the geology of Kudankulam; Professor Hanumantha Rao, formerly member of Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission; Professor T. Shivaji Rao Director of Centre for Environmental Studies, GITAM University, Visakhapatnam.

T. Lajapathi Roy, practices law at the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court; Sukla Sen, a retired engineer from Kolkata working with EKTA (Committee for Communal Amity); K.A.S. Sharma, formerly Energy Secretary, Government of India and formerly secretary of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance; Dr. P. Sivakumar formerly Head of Department in Physics at Presidency College, Chennai; and Capt. B.K. Subbarao, formerly Captain, Indian Navy and advocate Supreme Court of India.

The brief

“The Expert Panel will probe the different aspects of the KKNPP project such as land acquisition, site of reactors 1 and 2, environmental impact assessment (EIA) report, Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) violations, public hearing processes, construction quality and reliability, contractor irregularities and corruption charges, employment issues, VVER reactor design and engineering, VVER reactor performance and safety, dummy fuel and disposal, fresh water demand and supply, Pechiparai dam and Tamirabharani river water utilisation; security threats to the reactors, threat to the fishermen and their livelihood etc.,” Dr. Udhayakumar said.

“Share reports”

He appealed to the KKNPP authorities to share the EIA, site evaluation study, Safety Analysis Report, VVER Performance Report and other relevant documents to initiate dialogue with the Central Government's Expert Group.

Position papers

“On receiving the above reports, our experts will prepare brief position papers on the above mentioned issues and topics as soon as possible. Second, the PMANE will publish a compendium with all these research papers. Third, the PMANE will organise a national symposium on the KKNPP project and hold a press meet. This publication will be used for popular discussions, media outreach, discussion with the governmental authorities and a national debate on KKNPP,” he said.