Genesis of Heavy Water leak at Kakrapar Nuclear Power Plant still under investigation

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As the world just observed the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan on 12th March,  a minor leak was reported from one of the two units of Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) near Vyara district in Gujarat.

the 220 megawatt (MW) power plant at KAPS automatically shut down after a heavy water leak was detected in the primary heat transport (PHT) system of the plant on Friday morning. This is not the first time a leak has been reported in KAPS. In August 2011, seven workers were said to have been exposed to radiation while they working in a spent fuel transfer duct (SFTD) tunnel.

A team from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Tarapur, Maharashtra, and Gandhinagar carried out radiation monitoring, KAPS site director Lalit Kumar Jain said.  “We don’t know yet if the pressure tube has leaked. That part has to be seen and we are moving towards that. We still have to investigate which specific part was affected,” he added.

Plant authorities also said that BARC checks have confirmed that there was no release of radioactivity and no increase in the radiation field both in the plant and public premises. Asked about a contingency plan in case of a nuclear disaster, Jain said the design of the station as well as security measures in place were such that there was no chance of a radiation leak.

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