Contamination at Kaiga a deliberate act, says Chavan

Contamination at Kaiga a deliberate act, says Chavan

Prithviraj Chavan

An interim report of the National Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) into the causes of radioactive contamination in the Kaiga Atomic Power Station (KAPS) in Karnataka has indicated that heavy water containing tritium was “deliberately added to the drinking water cooler with a mala fide intent”.

Making a suo motu statement in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Prithviraj Chavan, however, made it clear that there was no security breach or damage to KAPS and “all the plant systems are operating safely”.

He said the Centre was reviewing processes and procedures at all nuclear power stations following the incident at KAPS in which 92 employees suffered radiation. Chavan said there was no radioactivity in the environment due to the incident, which has been described as “a mischief by an insider”.

The search for the source of contamination zeroed in on a water cooler located in the service building. The cooler was  sealed and put out of service.
An interim report of an internal probe by the NPCIL indicated the possibility of mischief by an insider who had deliberately added some heavy water containing tritium to the drinking water cooler, he said. The NPCIL constituted a committee under the chief superintendent to identify the cause and come out with reasons and remedial action.
Urine samples of about 800 personnel working in the area were analysed and 92 persons were found to have tritium content in the samples “higher than the normal” limit.
Referring to the investigation, Chavan said the local and central agencies were at work and evidences like log books, close-circuit TV footage, analysis of water samples, etc, were being used to ascertain the facts.
DH News Service

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