The startling data obtained by an NGO in Tamil Nadu and a subsequent expert’s opinion put questions over the robustness and safety of the 1000 MW unit-1 of the reactor of Kudankulam nuclear plant built by a Russian company. The serious apprehensions regarding the unit came out even as the authorities of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd disclosed on Saturday that the 1000 MW unit-1 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant which was shut down in November 2018 due to technical faults may resume its operation in the next two days. Some of the senior reactor engineers in the country are placing suspicion over the quality of the reactor. “Unit-1 for which works began in 2002 was commissioned in December 2014. But this reactor has been facing problems since day one was commissioned and had undergone many breakdowns and closures. Unit-one has been shut down for most of the time since its commissioning and this is a matter of serious concern,” said an NPCIL engineer with decades of experience in designing and commissioning nuclear power reactors. According to details collected by an NGO representing the anti-nuclear power brigade from the NPCIL under the Right to Information Act, unit-one had tripped 11 times since March 2016 and the unit-2 had tripped 19 times since March 2016. According to the engineer who does not want to disclose his identity “by the time unit-one resumes operations, chances are that the unit-2 would conk-out. ‘This is what we have seen in the past,” he said.
The Statesman 19th May 2019 read more »