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High Court asks Centre for details of Koodankulam Nuke Plant

The Madras High Court today directed the Centre to furnish details of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project, which has now run into rough weather following a prolonged stir by the locals who feared that their safety and livelihood would be at stake, if it becomes operational.

When a petition demanding scrapping of the project came up for hearing, the First Bench comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam asked Additional Solicitor General M Raveendran to ‘get instructions’ from the Centre and all the details about the project.

The Court granted three weeks’ time to the Centre to submit the details and adjourned the case for further hearing.

The petition, seeking to shelve the project, was filed by Environmental Activist, working for the people of Koodankulam Kalpakkam, Sundararajan, who is an Engineering Graduate from Annamalai University.

The first unit of the 1000 MW Indo-Russia project was all set for commissioning in December this year with the completion of the hot run, when the stir by the locals hit the national headlines.


One Comment “High Court asks Centre for details of Koodankulam Nuke Plant”

  • A nuclear reactor is quite complicated than any other machine. The main thing is the amount of fuel inside the reactor. Fuel for four years is loaded in the beginning. That means the core will have enough uranium that will generate 1000 MW of electricity for 28,000 hours. Equivalent to some 16 million tons of coal. In normal times, the reactor will burn (or fission) 48 milligrams of uranium. Under abnormal circumstances, it can burn hundreds of grams in a few seconds. This will lead to increase of the core temperature to 3000 C – ten times the normal temperatures. This leads to melting of zirconium and uranium and to a metal water reaction and generate tons of hydrogen and oxygen inside the core.

    In such an eventuality, water is ultimate security. If there is no enough water in the core, the reactor will behave abnormally. That is why the post Fukushima task force appointed by SK Jain paid great deal of attention on the water reserve in the reactor campus. And their reports show that for every MW of electricity generated there is about 5 cubic meters of water in reserve at Kudankulam. The reserve at Kalpakam is 75 cub meter per MW and this according to the task force report is sufficient to run the reactor for 7 days. They recommended to add another 750 cub meter of water at Kalpakam.

    In 1998 the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) decreed that besides the pipeline from Pechiparai reservoir, a backup source from Upper Kodayar should also be ready. These pipelines have not been constructed. There is only a sea water desalination plant with a capacity to produce 10,000 cub mitres of water a day. If these plants malfunction, the station will start dehydrating on the third day.

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