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20 May 2019, Edition - 1406, Monday

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Coimbatore

Kalpakkam plant safe, says DAE

Covai Post Network

The safety measures taken at the Kalpakkam atomic power station meet standards of any global nuclear plant and radiation levels inside the plant have at no time gone beyond the permissible limits, saus the Department of Atomic Energy.

The statement from DAE today came as there were reports of an officer there dying due to radiation in the plant.

The station, around 80 km from Chennai, has two unites a capacity of 440 MW. The first was commissioned in 1984 and the other two years later and are operated by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd.

“The radiation levels inside the plant have never gone beyond the permissible limit at any point of time. The radiation protection programme of the station is reviewed by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) in its regular inspections, besides periodic corporate reviews,” the statement said.

Studies were conducted on effects of radiation on health and it had been proved that the employees were not prone to any higher rate of occurrence of disease, particularly cancer, than the general public, the statement added. The latest study was conducted by Government Arignar Anna Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre.

It said the officer died of cardiac arrest and the management `has been very transparent both to employees and public as far as radiation information is concerned’.

The station had recorded the highest electricity generation in the last fiscal year. It has successfully coped with many challenges in the past posed by severe natural events like tsunami in 2004, floods in 2014 and cyclonic storms over the last three decades, including the Vardah in 2016.

“All the personnel are fully aware of the nature of work, working conditions and the type of protections to be used. It is a fundamental requirement of the Radiological Work Permit System and management strictly enforces the same,” the statement said. Health physics officials monitor the strict compliance as per AERB norms, it added.

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