Kaiga-4 to be 'critical' from Nov 27

Kaiga-4 to be 'critical' from Nov 27

The 220 MW plant is to be critical in the presence of Atomic Energy Commission Chairman, Srikumar Banerjee, and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) CMD, S K Jain.
The plant would have been supplying power from September 27, 2007 itself, had it not developed hiccups one after another. The first problem was encountered two years ago, when it could not get certain equipment from Russia.

Then, an array of issues followed, including inadequate fuel supply and a freak radiation accident, stopping the plant from being ‘critical’. Even during these hiccups, one of the units of the station ha been operational since May 2007 and two others, from 2000. Now, everything is said to be in place, and the power plant is all set for transmission, authorities say. However, southern grid may have to wait for two more months for supply of power.
The plant has water potential enough to support two more nuclear reactors though no decision has been taken on their capacity and schedule, the officials say.

Kaiga faced its most difficult time almost a year ago, when tritium contamination was reported in some of the workers of the plant, triggering a nation-wide scare. Investigations showed radiation-poisoning happened because the workers drank water from one of the coolers in the plant, found contaminated with the heavier isotope of hydrogen. The water cooler was then isolated and put out of use.

Yet a medical check up showed 92 of the 800 workers have higher-than-normal tritium in their body. Though in most cases, the radioactivity was flushed out of the body, two workers needed grave medical care.

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