Express concern at the use of “substandard components” in the nuclear power plant

Scientists associated with some of the country’s top research institutes have expressed concern at the reported use of “substandard components” in Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNP).

In a letter to the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the scientists associated with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore; Indian Institute of Technology (Madras); and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, among others, have cited reports in the media about the components used in KKNP units 1 & 2, and four defective valves in a critical safety system.

They have called for an independent and thorough quality inspection to prevent a hazardous event. “Any exercise to assure oneself of the quality of components used will have to be done before the plant is commissioned. Once commissioned, the radioactive environment in sections of the plant will make it impossible to access and test some potentially critical components,” says the letter.

The scientists said they were not arguing for or against nuclear energy. “All of us are of the opinion that when dealing with complex and potentially dangerous technologies, transparency, honesty and a rigorous adherence to the highest quality of standards are imperative.”

The 60 signatories include Atul Chokshi, Professor at IISc; C.P. Rajendran, visiting Professor at IISc; Ashok Pati, Professor at IIA; Joseph Samuel, Professor at Raman Research Institute (Bangalore); and scientists with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Bombay) and Indian Institute of Technology (Madras).