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npcil declines to release nuke safety report

Adv P & H High Court Chandigarh

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NCPIL) has objected to a Central Information Commission (CIC) order for releasing a safety report on the Kudankulam nuclear reactor, saying it is holding it in a fiduciary capacity on behalf of a Russian company, an official said.

NCPIL said it will approach the courts if the Central Information Commission (CIC) turns down its plea on the Kudankulam reactor Safety Analysis Report (SAR).

“The SAR is prepared by the Atomstroyexport and Atomenergoproekt (AEP) of Russia. It is a proprietary document which NPCIL is holding in a fiduciary capacity and cannot be shared with anybody without the consent of the Atomstroyexport and AEP,” SK Jain, chairman and managing director of NPCIL, told a news agency.

Stating that the SAR runs into over 10,000 pages in about 35 volumes, NPCIL has told the CIC that it is willing to show a copy of SAR to it so that it can come to a conclusion as to why the document is classified as proprietary document.

NPCIL charged the CIC of not following a due process of law before pronouncing its order April 30, 2012, under which NPCIL was asked to share by May 25 the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project’s (KNPP) Site Evaluation Report (SER) and the SAR with SP Udayakumar, an applicant under the Right to Information Act.

The CIC had also asked it to upload the two reports on the company’s website by May 30.

While NPCIL has shared the SER with Udayakumar – the coordinator of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) spearheading the movement against the KNPP – it has appealed to the CIC to modify its April 30 order on the grounds that it is holding the SAR in a fiduciary capacity for the Russian equipment supplier and also that due notification procedure was not followed.

NPCIL is putting up the project at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district around 650 km from here with Russia supplying the entire equipment, including the nuts and bolts, for the reactors and other related systems.

He said the report was prepared by a large number of Russian agencies the cost of which is borne by Atomstroyexport.

According to Jain, the results as claimed in the reports are checked by NPCIL on its computers and also during the cold and hot runs (trial run) of the reactor.

“While giving clearance to KNPP, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) prepares various reports and some are on its website which anybody can access,” Jain said.

Jain has already written to the Atomstroyexport’s president seeking its concurrence in sharing the SAR with Udayakumar and also uploading it on its website.

According to Jain, NPCIL was not informed by the CIC about Udayakumar’s appeals against the company’s decision to turn down g his requests for the two documents.

It was only on March 27, 2012, that NPCIL received a notice from the CIC with a direction to address the CIC through video conference April 23, 2012.

NPCIL contends that CIC has not followed the normal procedure in hearing the appeals while deciding on the matter and its April 30 order needs to be reviewed and modified.

Jain agrees with PMANE’s charge that the SER is illegible, but he disagrees that it is incomplete.

“The SER was prepared several years ago. It was a typed document and we photocopied it. The full report runs into several hundreds of pages containing several proprietary data. Hence, what will be given out will be the executive summary,” Jain said.

He said the SER will be mostly uploaded on NPCIL’s website on Saturday.

“NPCIL has blanked out several pages of the SER without any reason. Logically, SER will not have any information related to reactor design. It should supply the full report,” Udayakumar told a news agency from Idinthakarai near Kudankulam.




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