Fukushima-like accident can be avoided at Kudankulam: Kalam

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A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

The former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, on Monday highlighted the safety features of the Kudankulam nuclear plant and asserted that a Fukushima-like accident can be avoided in the coastal project in Tamil Nadu.

“The Kudankulam plant has installed 154 hydrogen recombiners across the plant, which can absorb any leaked hydrogen and prevent any structural damage,” Mr. Kalam told international nuclear scientists here.

Sharing his experiences from the Sunday visit of the Kudankulam plant, he said it planned to have a separate control unit for each of the reactors to prevent cascading effect of reactor instability.

In the case of Fukushima, one of the primary reasons for structural collapse was the explosion in hydrogen, which got out of control due to heat generated by failure of providing continuous power supply to the spent fuel complex, he said.

Mr. Kalam was delivering the inaugural address at the 21st International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology (SMiRT-21).

On Germany's decision to give up nuclear power by 2022, he said it was a power surplus developed nation, which could afford to lose a few plants. “More importantly, Germany has completely exhausted its nuclear resources. Thus, nuclear energy never fits into their goal of energy independence.”

India was a leader of the new resource of nuclear fuel — Thorium — which is considered as a fuel of the future. The most advanced safety feature in the Kudankulam plant was the installation of the Passive Heat Removal System (PHRS). It was latest in technology to ensure rapid cooling of the reactor in the event of a reactor problem.

The PHRS is a unique steam re-circulating system, which can continue to cool the plant in the event of the failure of AC power and even when the worst possible scenario of coolant malfunction occured, without leaking any radiation in the atmosphere. The plant was designed to withstand earthquake up to a stress of six on the Richter scale with an acceleration of 0.15g and have been tested up to 0.6g.

The structure of the plant was made with the highest safety standards, which doubled containment and hermetically sealed.

To counter any risk from tsunami and cyclones, the plant was elevated to a minimum height of six metres (pump house) and the auxiliary diesel sets were at a height of 9.3 metres with a four time redundancy, Mr. Kalam said. — PTI



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