More safety features at KNPP soon

While the NPCIL is in the process of coming up with these new safety features, these are not preconditions imposed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board in operationalising the first of the two 1,000 MW Russian-origin nuclear plants which in any case have advanced safety features.

“We are setting up a tank of 8,000 cubic metre capacity as an additional source of water. Also there will be mobile power units to run the pump in case of station black out and failure of all emergency generators,” Kasinath Balaji, site director of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant told Deccan Herald.

Balaji was categorical in asserting that such an emergency might be an extremely rare event because of several rounds of redundancy that were built into Kudankulam project.  One such redundancy is a passive heat removal system, which would function even if everything failed. The December dateline for operationalising the first 1,000 MW unit, however, would definitely be missed.

Balaji said NPCIL would follow all AERB recommendations in toto to have maximum safety for the power plant.

Providing a new insight to the Fukushima accident, an independent nuclear scientist has pointed out that Tepco, the Japanese power utility who ran the Fukushima plant, was largely responsible for the accident as it repeatedly ignored the safety advices from the Japanese regulatory authority and General Electric who manufactured the reactor.

“In the last 15 years, Tepco was told at least twice that its safety features were not good to block damage by any large tsunami. They were told not to install the reactor on the sea shore. They ignored all advices. It is scandalous,” Swadesh Mahajan, a nuclear physicist from the University of Texas, Austin told Deccan Herald.

“There are chinks in the Japanese armour. Fukushima did not implement many safety features,” said Mahajan, who interacted with US regulators and nuclear industry at length.

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