The safety of people and environment has always been the priority of the nuclear industry, stressed M. Kashinath Balaji, Director of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, here on Thursday.

He was inaugurating an interactive session, ‘National summit on nuclear safety' organised in connection with Conjura-12, the annual technical and cultural festival of the TKM College of Engineering. “The global nuclear industry, with 430 reactors operating, has clocked a cumulative experience of 14,000 reactor years of safe operation. Indian reactors have clocked 350 reactor-years,” he said. The nuclear power industry thought of waste more seriously than any other industry and readied a plan on the reuse of waste even when the plant was in the conceptual stage.

Dr. Balaji said that all reactors in India were environmentally certified under ISO 14001. All existing and upcoming plants had undergone the international peer view process by the World Association of Nuclear Operators.

At the site of every nuclear power plant, an environment surveillance lab has been established by the Department of Atomic Energy to survey the premises for naturally existing radioactivity and also to the study the effect of the operation of the plant on the environment. Plant operations in India have not changed the natural radiation status at the surrounding sites. Nuclear power plants in the country strictly followed the theme of safe engineering and greener tomorrow, Dr. Balaji said.