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Kakrapar radiation leakage highlights need for investigation of All of India’s nuclear reactors

Kakrapar leakage: Call for stronger regulation, investigation  Of all nuclear reactors in the country, after determining what went wrong at the atomic power station, termed ‘lucky’ for having a radiation disaster averted, Business Standard,  BS Reporter  |  Ahmedabad March 26, 2016 Those worried say Kakrapar was lucky to have witnessed leakage of heavy and light water from the coolant channel without any serious damage to fuel bundles in the reactor

The recent leak in coolant channels of the unit-1 reactor at the Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS, near Surat in Gujarat) is a warning which necessitates thorough investigation of all such reactors in the country, experts say.

At 9 am on March 11, a leakage in the Primary Heat Transfer (PHT) system led to the reactor being shut down and a plant emergency declared at KAPS. It has two units of pressurised heavy water reactors of 220 Mw each;Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCI) is the operator.  According to site officials, one of the channels carrying the fuel bundles and the heavy water coolant had leaked. The high-grade radioactivity from the fuel itself was confined within the fuel bundles and no radioactive substances escaped from the reactor containment building.

The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has stated that, as of now, KAPS’ Unit-1 is in a shutdown state, even as all plant systems are “functioning normally”……

Any damage to fuel bundles could have resulted in thousands of times more severe  radiation leakage from the reactor, and some of it could have eventually escaped into the public domain, he said.

Seconding him is nuclear activist and physicist Surendra Gadekar, monitoring the Indian nuclear industry since 1987.  “The problem has been isolated but the fact is it took them 10 days to do that, with the plant emergency ending on March 22. They claim it is a ‘small leak’, which otherwise does not call for a plant emergency for 10 days. They were lucky that they didn’t find any radiation in a 20-km radius,” says Gadekar…….


March 26, 2016 - Posted by | incidents, India

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