Nuclear scientist Balu ensures safety of Kudankulam nuclear plant
Chennai, Mar 11 (ANI): Former Director for Nuclear Recycling and Waste Management, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Dr. K. Balu has assured the safety of Tamil Nadu's Kudankulam nuclear power plant.
Interacting with media persons on the sidelines of an event on Sunday, Dr. Balu said the plant has extremely safe reactors, with extra safety provisions.
"Its extremely safe plant, it is a plant which has been designed and built to the current standards of safety. Infact, it is known as a 3G plus reactor, third generation plus. That means the safety features involved in Kudankulam are as of today, they are the latest, its extremely safe reactor, there is absolutely no fear of safety as far as Kudankulam is concerned," said Balu.
Reacting on the setting up of two Russian technology reactors, Balu said Russian science is of the highest order in the world.
"Russian science is of the highest order, there technology is second to none in the world. We are very happy to have this technology and we are proud to have the best reactor in the world," said Balu.
However, in the wake of the Fukushima incident in Japan, several nuclear projects across India, such as one in Jaitapur in Maharashtra, have run into rough weather as protesting locals and activists argue that such plants could adversely affect the environment.
Balu said, whenever something bad happens, particularly of a large magnitude, there is always a knee jerk reaction, but after the dust settles down, they realise that technology is not really that bad.
"Fukushima is an isolated incident where there was a very unusual combination of natural events, apart from the fact that it was a very old reactor. Therefore, all those countries which were initially nervous have all become more sensible now and they are going back with their nuclear power programme," said Balu.
Talking about the fear of nuclear waste among residents, Balu said there is plenty of misconception as to what constitute waste from a reactor.
"Some material gets contaminated, some radioactivity gets into water, which is used in the reactor, and such things can be removed by decontamination. We have technologies to remove radioactivity from the liquid or from solid. Solid waste can be compacted; can be incinerated. Liquid water, there are a number of technologies like chemical treatment, iron exchange, evaporation, reverse osmosis, quite a number of technologies and we have all of these in the country for the last 40 years. Kudankulam is not the first reactors in India, there are 20 other reactors," said Balu.
The project has also met the approval of former Indian President and eminent nuclear scientist, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who had vouched for the safety standards set up at the plant after visiting the site to check the existing mechanisms.
Established as a joint collaboration between India and Russia, the Kudankulam nuclear power project envisaged to build two 1,000 MW VVER type reactors by the end of last year.
The Kudankulam power station is one of several planned power projects that are seen as vital to plugging huge electricity shortages that have damaged economic growth.
India has a total installed power generation capacity of 164 gigawatts (GW) and aims to raise it to 187 GW by the end of March 2012. There are 20 reactors in operation in six power plants, generating over 4,000 megawatts of electricity while five other plants are under construction. (ANI)
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