Gujrat/Nagpur: In a statement issued some time ago, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, a Government of India enterprise said that Unit-1 of Kakrapar Atomic Power Station in south Gujarat which was operating at its rated power was shutdown at about 9.00 hours today.
The statement further reads, “consequent to a small leak in Primary Heat Transport(PHT) System, the reactor was shut down as intended and as per design provisions. All safety systems are working as intended. The radioactivity/raditation levels in the plant premises and outside are normal.”
KAPS-1&2 consists of two units of pressurized heavy water reactor of 220 MWe each.
It is learnt that all employees are asked to remain in the premises till further notice as investigation is going on into cause of automatic shutdown following leakage of coolant.
The statement was signed by Site Director Lalit Kumar Jain.
The impact of nuclear accidents has been a topic of debate practically since the first Nuclear reactors were constructed in 1954. It has also been a matter of public concern with examples of local populace vehemently opposing such plants in their area. Some technical measures to reduce the risk of accidents or to minimize the amount of radioactivity released to the environment have been adopted. Despite the use of such measures, human error remains, and there have been many accidents with varying impacts as well near misses and incidents.
Still, it’s a fact, that inspite of all these sophistications etc. accidents could still occur. The problem with nuclear accidents is – though, less frequent (due to high degree of sophistication and control measures), but, once an accident occurs, the impact is severe.
Some of the worst known nuclear accidents have been at:
Three Mile Island, near H Harrisburg Pennsylvania, USA in 1979
Chernobyl (in current Ukraine), in (then) USSR, in 1986
In recent times the worst case was of Fukushima in Japan where the psunami triggered by an earthquake that happened ironically on 11th March only in 2011 caused leakage at the FukushimaNuclear power plant. The damage caused by the tsunami produced equipment failures, and without this equipment cooolant accident followed, resulting in three nuclear meltdowns and the release of radioactive material beginning on 12 March.