They term fears of radiation and threat to marine life hypothetical

The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) has come up with unparalleled safety features and it has been constructed in such a way that it can withstand any natural calamity, be it earthquake or tsunami.

The fears of radiation and threat to marine life are hypothetical since the nuclear power plant at Kalpakkam is good evidence to prove that the discharged water does not have any radioactivity; the sea water is used only for cooling the system.

These were the messages sent out by a two-member team from KKNPP, who made a presentation for students of Yadava College here on Tuesday to create awareness of the advanced safety features and multiple safety systems that are in place to meet any eventuality.

P.A. Suresh Babu, Additional Chief Engineer (Quality Assurance), along with P. Ganapathy Sundaram, Reactor Physicist, explained the “highly advanced additional safety features” provided for the Kudankulam plant compared to other nuclear plants in the country.

“If we take tsunami, the power plant will not get affected and will remain safe because it is designed with eight feet elevation from main sea level. The Kudankulam plant has a ‘tsunami wall' (26 feet) for protection,” Mr. Suresh Babu said.

Stating that the plant had a first of its kind and more sophisticated Passive Heat Removal System to ensure cooling of the fuel under most-stressed conditions, the public awareness material distributed to students and faculty informed that the functioning of this system was demonstrated and validated during hot run of the plant.

Mr. Babu stressed that the Kudankulam plant would be very safe due to passive inbuilt systems and improved technology. “We are now on a mission of conducting awareness programmes in schools and colleges for the younger generation to understand the importance of nuclear power to meet India's needs,” he said.

Designed to withstand earthquake

Apart from being safe from tsunami, the KKNPP is designed to withstand earthquake because the installed seismic sensors would automatically initiate the stoppage of reactor.

“It is a generation next plant. Every minute detail has been taken care of — be it in selection of location, design, equipment, construction and operation. Technically, we can assure that it is a safe nuclear plant and this is what we are trying to explain to remove people's apprehensions,” the Additional Chief Engineer said.

The Kudankulam plant officials also dismissed the talk about radiation chances because the radiation level was being monitored continuously around the plant. They also referred to the report given by former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

“We need additional power generation capacity soon in India. Right now, there are 20 operating nuclear reactors in the country at different locations such as Kalpakkam. Seven reactors are under construction,” Mr. Babu said.

K. Kannan, Principal, and R. Karuppaian, Head, Department of Physics, were among those who attended the lecture.

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