Ex-AERB chief moots quality check of Koodankulam reactors
Former Atomic Energy Regulatory Board Chairman A Gopalakarishnan on Saturday flagged worries over the the quality of reactors at the upcoming Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP).
Addressing a meeting here, he said: “KKNPP may have sub-standard reactors and needs inspection, especially since there are allegations of corruption against Zio-Podolsk, the subsidiary of Russian firm Rosatom, which is involved in the building of the plant.”
Speaking to Express, Dr A Gopalakrishnan said, “The major components for the KKNPP are supplied by Rosatom, which sources some of them from Zio-Podolsk. It has been reported that Zio-Podolsk procurement director Sergei Shutov was arrested a couple of months ago by Federal Security Service and charged with corruption. Ever since, suspicions over the quality of reactors built by Rosatom in developing countries are getting stronger. News reports from Russia state that products manufactured by Zio-Podolsk are used in building nuclear reactors in countries like India and China.”
China, he said, has already started inspecting the quality of its nuclear reactors. India too should do so without delay.
He urged the Indian government to pressure its Russian counterpart and Rosatom to make a formal statement on the suspicion about supply of sub-standard components for nuclear reactors.
“Top officials of AERB and AEC (Atomic Energy Commission) should make a clear statements on the issue,” said Gopalakrishnan, who was here to give a talk at a convention on ‘Approach to the power question in the country’ organised by People’s Committee for Safe Energy (PECOSE) and Breakthrough Science Society (BSS).