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Probe into Kakrapar plant leakage

A day after one of the units of Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) near Surat in Gujarat was shut down after heavy water leakage, a team of experts on Saturday began a probe to identify the cause behind the leak even as officials reaffirmed that there was no radioactive release at the site.

Two experts from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) are at the site to assist KAPS officials in the probe. The experts have been deputed to carry out an independent assessment of the situation at the plant, which was shut for the second consecutive day.

One of the two 220 MW units of KAPS was shut down after leakage around 9 am on Friday. Water is used for cooling off the nuclear reactor core. A temporary site emergency was also declared as a measure of safety, although the officials said that there was no radioactive leak and all the workers were safe. “We have carried out a thorough radiation survey and there is no change in the radiation level at the plant and into public domain (outside the plant) as of today. There is no increase in radiation level. This confirms no radioactive release,” site director KAPS, Lalit K jain, said.

“Now that we are assured on the front of containing the leakage, our focus will be on identifying the cause of the leakage. The plant remains totally shut, and further normalisation of the plant is currently being carried out, with two experts from AERB assisting us,” Jain said.

The radiation levels inside the plant and in the nearby areas are being regularly monitored, he said. In July 2015, another unit of the power station had been shut due to maintenance issue. KAPS 1 and 2 consist of two units of pressurised heavy water reactors of 220 MW each. 

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