Kakrapar nuclear plant: BARC, AERB teams probe cause of leak

Over 350 employees and staff working in the reactor building were evacuated immediately following the leakage.

By: Express News Service | Surat | Published:March 13, 2016 12:54 am
Gujarat nuclear plant leak, gujarat news, kakrapar plant leak, gujarat nuclear leak, ahmedabad news, india news Kakrapar Atomic Power Station in Gujarat. File

A day after one of the units of Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) near Surat in Gujarat was shut down after heavy water leakage, a team of experts Saturday began a probe to identify the cause, even as officials reaffirmed that there was no radioactive release at the site.

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Teams from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and officials from Tarapur landed at Vyara in Tapi district Saturday and began probing the leakage in the reactor’s Primary Heat Transport (PHT). The regulatory board team also investigated the leakage and the damage done, besides carrying out a survey outside the plant. The team also collected water samples and conducted a medical health check-up of the local people to find out the radiation levels. Site director L K Jain accompanied the teams.

Due to heavy water leakage in the PHT in one of the two 220 MW units at KAPS, the entire plant was shut down Friday morning.

Over 350 employees and staff working in the reactor building were evacuated immediately following the leakage.

After the investigations, it was found that no major radiation was emitted from the plant as all safety systems had started functioning after the leakage.

The radiation check was conducted by the environment clearance team comprising health physics unit of BARC’s environmental survey laboratory. They collected samples of the standing crop, water samples and some fruits in the fields.

KAPS director Jain said, “The core cooling has continuously been maintained inside the plant with the help of shut-down cooling system and ECCS re-circulation system. We are also maintaining the coolant temperature up to 36 degrees. We are constantly monitoring the radiation levels inside and outside.”

But he said the investigation is still on. “After we know the exact cause of the leakage and its impact on neighbouring equipment, further action will be taken. The plant has currently been shut down,” he added.

(With PTI inputs)

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