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Kakrapar power station may take 3-8 months to become operational

The Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) unit 1 in Gujarat, which has been shut since March due to radioactive leak, may still take nearly 3-8 months for full recovery. Sources said the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), the watchdog of the Indian nuclear sector, is investigating the matter. But a senior Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) official said the plant, which is near Surat, may take around 7-8 months to become fully operational.

Kakrapar Atomic Power station (KAPS) unit 1, an indigenously built Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR), was commissioned on May 6, 1993, with a capacity of 220 MW. Of the total nuclear power generated in India, which is around 5,780 MW, it roughly contributes around 4.5 per cent.

On March 11, there was leak detected from its coolant system, following which it was shut down. At present, KAPS Unit 1 is in “cold shut-down” state and all the systems are functioning normally. S Harikumar, secretary, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), said the leak has already been arrested and “all systems are normalised”.

“We are looking at Phase II, which involves investigation behind the leak,” he said. 

“The procedure of isolating the leak has been successfully implemented and the leaky channel has been isolated. The plant emergency has been terminated at KAPS. There has not been any report of abnormal radiation exposures to any personnel since March 11, 2016,” the AERB said.
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