Radiation leak at Kaiga nuke plant leaves 55 sick

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Mallapur (Karnataka), Nov 29 (ANI): A radiation leak at the Kaiga Nuclear Plant in Karnataka's north Kannada district has left 55 employees in the maintenance unit falling sick in a case of suspected radiation poisoning.

The sick employees are being treated for increased level of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen in their bodies, after they drank water from a water cooler in the operations area on Tuesday (November 24).

Tritium, also known as Hydrogen-3, is used in research, fusion reactors and neutron generators.

A urine examination of the employees, which is done everyday, it was found that the tritium level was more than the normal level. The employees are receiving treatment at the plant hospital in Mallapur.

Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar has called it a case of radiation overexposure.

Nuclear experts have not ruled out the possibility pf sabotage behind this leak.

M.R.Srinivasan, former Atomic Energy Commission chairman, said the victims were from various departments, and therefore, steps should be taken to restrict entry to sensitive areas of the plant in the future.

Srinivasan said that the Atomic Regulatory Authority will conduct an enquiry into the leak.

B.Bhattacharjee of the National Disaster Management said that apart from the 55 in hospital, the rest of staff was safe.

The contents of the water in the cooler are being investigated and the lapse is being seriously viewed. (ANI)

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