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India's nuclear plants soon to get additional safety features: NPCIL

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Apr 14, IRNA -- India's nuclear plants may soon get some additional safety features, including more provisions to add water to the reactors to deal with over heating of the core, a condition that led to the Fukushima nuclear accident.

The measures are part of six recommendations made by four separate task forces set up by the country's nuclear plant operator NPCIL to study the capability of handling extended power loss scenario witnessed during Japan's nuclear crisis.

'Detailed walk down of all the plants have been conducted by specially constituted teams at sites and preparedness has been ensured,' Shreyans Kumar Jain, Chairman and Managing Director of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) said in a statement late last evening, pti reported here today.

He said the reports of the task forces were thoroughly reviewed and discussed by experts and the top management at NPCIL.

The studies have indicated that capabilities exist in all Indian nuclear plants to handle severe natural events, Jain said.

However, the task forces have suggested introduction of new technologies to ensure initiation of automatic reactor shutdown on sensing seismic activity.

It has also suggested setting up of an advance tsunami alert mechanism at the Tarapur Atomic Power Station which houses two Boiling Water Reactors, similar to the crippled reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant, which was affected due to a massive tsunami on March 11.

The task forces also recommended additional shore protection measures at Madras and Tarapur Atomic Power Stations which are located near the sea coast.

The task forces have suggested additional hook up points to bring water to the spent fuel pools at Units 1 and 2 each of Tarapur, Rajasthan and Madras Atomic Plants.

While Units 1 and 2 at Tarapur began operations in 1969, RAPS-1, built with Canadian assistance, became the prototype for the country's indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs).

India completed the RAPS-2 on its own after Canada suspended its assistance following India's 1974 nuclear test.

The two units of MAPS are also an earlier version of the PHWRs design of which was standardised later.

Standardised PHWRs are located at Narora (two units), Kaiga (four units), Kakrapara (two units) and Tarapur (two units). The units at Narora, Kaiga and Kakrapara are of 220 MW capacity each, while Tarapur has two 540 MW capacity units.

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