Amid concerns over the Koodankulam nuclear power project,the National Disaster Management Authority has said safety measures at all atomic plants in the country were in place but admitted earthquakes at these sites cannot be completely ruled out.
“Earthquake is a matter of great concern to us,especially in the six nuclear states of the country. The list of seismically vulnerable places is being constantly revised.
“You cannot completely rule out a quake at these sites. The challenge is to be prepared for an unlikely disaster,” NDMA vice-chairman Shashidar Reddy said.
As far as the safety of the nuclear plants are concerned,he said,they are designed to withstand higher intensity than is forecast for that particular place. All the measures taken by the government and other agencies are “foolproof”,he said.
“However,there is still scope for additional facilities to further bolster safety at these plants,especially after what happened in Fukushima (in Japan),” he said.
On the recent protests in Koodankulam that have stalled work on the project for over a month now,Reddy said the government and Atomic Energy Regulatory Board had undertaken a thorough review of the safety measures at the site as part of its assessment of nuclear plants across the country in the wake of Fukushima disaster.
On Friday,India’s nuclear watchdog AERB had claimed the controversial Koodankulam plant was “very well protected” but the NDMA,headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,is taking no chances as it conducts mock drills at all nuclear sites and frequently reviews safety measures.