Leaky reactors

Sir,— This has reference to the news report, "Leakages in nuclear power plants minor in nature" (Nov. 29). It quotes a Minister as saying that a few incidents of leakage of heavy water have occurred. How can one say that six leaks during the past four years have not produced dangerous levels of radiation. The impact from each leak is not known. Also, how many people know about the permissible dose of radiation and the nature of radiation from a leak, be it the tritiated hard water or radioactive material itself. How have they estimated the impact and how long do they think that the radiation effect will last.

The impact of radiation can be immediate or cumulative and lasting for many years. High dose of exposure can show immediate effects but small dose radiation is more lethal because it will produce different forms of cancer especially in children.

Sumithra Raghuvaran,

Nagerkoil, T.N.

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