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Indian nuclear power plant to use drones for surveillance

Nuclear plant to have eye in the sky 
RAHUL WADKE MUMBAI, APRIL 2:  Situated in vast areas and away from human settlement, the surveillance of nuclear power plants have been a challenge for paramilitary force CISF, which is tasked with the security of such installations.

Now, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) plans to deploy drones for the purpose at the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) near Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu.

While MAPS would be the first such facility in the country to use drones for general surveillance and intrusion detection, they were famously deployed by Japanese engineers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after the nuclear accident of 2011.

The Kalpakkam plant, located 70 km from Chennai, is also in the vicinity of other sensitive installations of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) such as the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, the Fast Breeder Reactor Project, the BARC-run nuclear desalination demonstration plant and Kalpakkam fuel reprocessing plant.

Sources close to the development said tenders are likely to be floated by the NPCIL for procuring the drones and their control systems this fiscal. The use of drones will also require clearances from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), the regulator for all atomic energy institutions in the country.

Both aerial and ground level drones are capable of large-scale territorial surveillance. They are fitted with video cameras and other sensors that allow continuous surveillance of facilities.

Sources said the cameras mounted on the drones could be programmed to scan for certain topographical features on the ground and if there is a mismatch between the programmed image and the live feed from drones, alarms would go off.

Lt Gen DS Hooda (Retd), who served as Chief of Northern Army Command, told BusinessLine that the Army had been using drones on the India-Pakistan border and in Kashmir region. Drones allow the forces to get a bird’s eye view of the terrain and identify intruders hiding in tall structures. Drones would prove to useful in securing large installations, he said.


April 3, 2017 - Posted by | India, safety

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