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Thursday, September 20

India’s nuclear plants are safe, assure officials

India’s nuclear plants are safe, assure officials


Mangaloretoday News Network

Mumbai, March 14: Nuclear plants in India are safe but a safety review would be carried out in light of the massive earthquake in Japan, the establishment has assured as it attempted to allay fears following the damage to nuclear plants in that country.


TARAPUR

Nuclear Power Plant at Tarapur


TARAPUR

Nuclear Power Plant at Tarapur


The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) are closely monitoring the situation. They are in touch with the World Association of Nuclear Operators, Tokyo Centre, the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, World Nuclear Association and the International Atomic Energy Agency.


"In-depth review of all such events have been done for all the plants and necessary reinforcement features based on the outcome of these reviews have been incorporated as a laid down procedure.


Nuclear Power Plant at Kaiga

Nuclear Power Plant at Kaiga


"The event of Japan will be reviewed in detail in due course as the detailed information becomes available. Resulting out of such a review, any reinforcement as needed in Indian reactors will be implemented," the NPCIL said in a statement released late Sunday.


An NPCIL official said in the statement that Indian nuclear plants maintain the highest levels of safety as per international norms and have withstood major natural disasters in the past.


In India, NPCIL currently operates 20 nuclear power reactors - as compared to 54 in Japan - with an installed capacity of 4,780 MW, including two Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) and the rest Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWRs). Their safety was re-analysed some years back and reviewed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.
The PHWRs are designed differently than the BWRs and they also have multiple shutdown systems as well as cooling water systems.


The Indian nuclear plants have proven their safety during the severe temblor in Gujarat in 2001 when the Kakrapar Atomic Power continued to operate safely and supplied much-need energy to the affected regions, the statement said.


Similarly, during the 2004 tsunami which hit Tamil Nadu, the Madras Atomic Power Station was safely shutdown without any radiological consequences, and then restarted a few days later following regulatory review, it pointed out.


In Japan’s Fukushima city, six people were injured Monday after an explosion at a nuclear reactor.


The city is home to 10 reactors at two power plants, and explosions have occurred at two of the reactors since Friday’s magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami. One happened Saturday and the second Monday after a magnitude-6.2 aftershock.


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