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India’s State-owned nuclear power corporation plans new nuclear units, without nuclear waste facilities set up

NPCIL’s stand on spent fuel riles environmentalists The Hindu, T.K. Rohit, FEBRUARY 27, 2018 

‘Asking Supreme Court to grant 5 more years to build ‘Away From Reactor’ facility for Kudankulam plants testifies to lack of technical knowhow’

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has sought another five years’ time from the Supreme Court to set up an ‘Away From Reactor’ (AFR) facility to store the spent nuclear fuel from the operations of Kudankulam units 1 & 2.

Earlier this month, the NPCIL filed an application before the Supreme Court after it failed to meet the five-year time given by court to set up the AFR in its judgment of May 2013. The deadline ends in May 2018.

The State-owned nuclear power corporation submitted in its affidavit that setting up the AFR for the two units “is a challenging task on account of no previous experience with long-term storage requirements of high burn-up, Russian-type PWR fuel”.

As these two units were ‘first-of-its-kind’ facilities, there is a need for considerable intensive interaction with the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Russian specialists for technical conceptualisation and detailing of the facility, the NPCIL said.

In May 2013, the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead to the Kudankulam plant to begin operations, rejecting a challenge to it based on environmental concerns and safety.

Petitioner surprised

The petitioner in that case, G. Sundarrajan of environmental NGO ‘Poovulagin Nanbargal’, expressed surprise at the NPCIL’s submission.“How can they continue running the plant and plan to set up two more units without having the technical knowhow to store the spent fuel?” he asked. The application is likely to come up for hearing in due course

February 28, 2018 - Posted by | India, wastes

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