January 3, 2011

Areva in Ratnagiri!

Do you know you can never completely dismantle a nuclear power plant? Ever. Is it then any surprise that the country which pioneered nuclear technology and nuclear power plants, have not built one in the last 25 years?

A French company, Areva, however is building the world's largest nuclear power plant, that too based on technology that has not been completely tested, in the pristine, beautiful coastline of Ratnagiri (Jaitapur Town), India.

In these videos, Rada Krishna, who was the construction manager in building the last and the largest nuclear reactor of the US in San Onofre, California goes beyond the known clich├ęs for and against the same, to talks about issues rarely, if at all, talked about. He busts many myths surrounding the construction, working, dismantling and the zillion hazards -- economic, social, environmental and political - of a nuclear power plant.

The revelations and repercussions for India are chilling.

• Once a nuclear plant is built it cannot be completely shut down and has to be maintained for perpetuity costing multiple times over the cost of building one proving that Nuclear energy is definitely not cheap.

• Today we don't need missiles to sabotage a Nuclear power plant and a computer hacker sitting in some nondescript corner of the world can do a much better job of sabotage and perhaps destruction of a nuclear power plant as the Stuxnet virus that has delayed the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in Russia and threatens to do the same to Iran's nuclear facility in Natanz show.

• Half life of the uranium in the reactor is over 24,000 years i.e. its danger is reduced to only half in that time and they have to be kept for an eternity, literally, before the spent fuel (the used Uranium from reactors) for it to become safe completely.

• The proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant in Ratnagiri district of India, with 6 reactors, is an act bordering on lunacy because even if there is damage to one, all six will have to be closed which besides causing irreparable damage to ecology and the entire region, will lead to a lost of billions of dollars of taxpayers money. It is perhaps best that India does not do something that will go down as one of the greatest blunders in its history.

The question to ask thus is why would any nation consciously build a Damocles sword to hang over its own necks perennially? What is the stupidity and illusion that pervades all our consciousness that forces us into illusions about nuclear power plants? Isn't it more sensible to go for other, safer options that are indeed available?

In the light of these facts, isn't building a power plant today, akin not just to shooting oneself up but actually blowing ourselves up with our families and friends? Can human civilization survive even one single nuclear power plant, let alone many? You decide.

About Rada Krishna:
Rada Krishna, is a retired construction specialist, who is responsible for building many power plants in the United States of America. He began by working with the Tatas in India then shifted base to the US where he was involved with building various types of power plants from those that operate on oil and gas, to building the first solar plants with reflecting mirrors and the first geothermal power plants in the US. His most important job was as the senior construction manager in the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant in California in the early 80s (units 2 and 3), which has the largest nuclear reactors in the US. That was also the last nuclear power plant built in the US, the country that pioneered it in the first place. Incidentally he was also involved in the planning of dismantling a power plant.

Gratitude is due to Vivek Sundara for his help in the production of this video. (Contributor: Satyan K Bordolai)

1 comment:

Alcachofa said...

Wow that is scary, nuclear power plants are very dangerous but these days people are so in need of energy that they take these risks. I wish we could find a cheap sustainable relaliable source of energy.