The need for auditing of the procurement process followed in the case of  nuclear power reactors for the country

Dated, 7th July 2019

To
The Comptroller & Auditor General Of India
Pocket – 9, Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg
New Delhi – 110124
Email: cagoffice@cag.gov.in

Dear Sir,

Subject: The need for auditing of the procurement process followed in the case of  nuclear power reactors for the country

Greetings from Sagar, Western Ghats, Karnataka.

This has reference to my earlier e-mails of 28th March 2019, 30th April, 2019, 22nd May 2019 and 1st July 2019 on the subject :”The need for auditing of the procurement process followed in the case of  nuclear power reactors for the country “.

Whereas the enormous magnitude of capital costs associated with the setting up of a nuclear power reactor and the associated infrastructure may not be an issue to our govt. and to a common man, who is deeply consumed by the day to day issues, there are concerns of much higher magnitude such as the recurring costs associated with the safe storage of spent fuels and other nuclear wastes over a period of few hundred years, if not thousands of years, as has been acknowledged by the scientists.  The govt. and the common man may choose to ignore even these costs because they may accrue to the future generations.

If the larger civil society ignore such costs for any reason, there should be a diligent consideration of another horrendous cost associated with nuclear power technology; the multi-dimensional cost associated with the nuclear accident.  Whereas it may not be feasible to estimate or compile the environmental, social and economic costs associated with an unfortunate accident such as the ones at Chernobyl and Fukushima, one indication of the financial cost associated with the feeble attempt to contain the leakage from the exploded nuclear reactor at Chernobyl is available, as indicated in the news link below.—————————————————————————————————–

New structure built to confine Chernobyl reactor

https://www.euronews.com/2019/07/03/watch-new-structure-built-to-confine-chernobyl-reactor

 Reactor No 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine exploded and burned down on April 26, 1986. The complex construction effort to secure the molten reactor’s core and 200 tonnes of highly radioactive material has taken nine years to complete under the auspices of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The entire shelter project cost around €2.1 billion. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development managed a fund with contributions from 45 countries, the European Union, as well as €715 million of the bank’s own resources.  The shelter is the largest moveable land-based structure ever built, with a span of 257 metres and a total weight of over 36,000 tonnes.——————————————————————————————————————-
In this context may I draw your kind attention to the horrendous financial cost of about 2.1 Billion Euros to build the largest, movable and land-based structure ever built, with a span of 257 metres and a total weight of over 36,000 tonnes to contain the radiation leakage at Chernobyl? 

Any rational person with a concern for the overall welfare of our society will shudder even to think of the impact of such costs to the people of a densely populated and a poor country like India, which has more than 20 operating reactors, and to which the govt. is planning to add scores more reactors in the next 30-40 years at enormous overall costs to the society.  It is a commonly accepted engineering/technological reality that with more and more nuclear reactors, the risk of such a humongously costly accident will increase.  It will be impossible even to imagine how our poor, vulnerable, and unprepared communities will survive one or more of such unfortunate accidents.

An educated and conscious society cannot afford to ignore the consequences of such realities.  A diligent process of the auditing of all the associated costs/expenditure by CAG will help to minimise such risks. 

Regards
Shankar Sharma
Power Policy Analyst
Anugraha, 5th Cross, 80 ft Road
Vijayanagar
1st stage, Sagara, Karnataka – 577 401
Phone: ++ 91 94482 72503
shankar.sharma2005@gmail.com
shankar.sharma2005@hotmail.com