Kaiga quake-proof, says director

Safety concern

The nuclear power plant at Kaiga in Karwar taluk. DH Photo

Addressing a press conference on Monday in Mallapur, he said it was unfortunate that the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11 has led to multiple meltdown of its nuclear reactors.

India is a member of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). A representative of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), who is with the WANO team is updating us about the nuclear crisis in Fukushima, he said.

As the nuclear power plants in Japan are located in highly seismic-prone region, the damage has been compounded. Owing to the devastating earthquake and tsunami, power generation in 11 nuclear plants in the country had been stopped, said Gupta.

The Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant falls under Zone III, which is safe and less seismic prone area. Moreover, the Kaiga nuclear reactors are located 50 km away from the Arabian Sea.

Even if an earthquake hits the region, there is no danger of radiation leak, explained Gupta.

The region near Koina in Maharashtra is a seismic-zone. In case earthquake hits the region, the Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant, which is located 300 km from Koina, will not be affected. A mock operation to create awareness about radiation leak and steps to be taken to combat the situation was also organised, said Gupta.

The NPCIL is managing 20 nuclear power plants which have 4,780 MW of power generation capacity, across the country. Two among the nuclear power plants are Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs), while the remaining are Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs). The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has inspected the safety aspects in the nuclear power reactors, he said.

The Kakrapara Nuclear Power Plant was unaffected by the ravaging earthquake that hit Gujarat in 2001. There was no radiation leak reported in the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS), when the Tamil Nadu coastline was hit by tsunami in 2004. Without any damages reported, the power generation was stopped at the atomic station, said Gupta.

The unhindered functioning of both the Kakrapara Nuclear Power Plant and the Madras Atomic Power Station after the earthquake and tsunami is a testimony to the safety of nuclear power plants in the country, he added.

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