NPCL told to review radiation level, security at nuke plants

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New Delhi, Dec 3 (ANI): Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Singh Chavan announced here on Thursday that radiation levels and security measures of all nuclear power stations in the country will be reviewed in the wake of the Kaiga plant sabotage.

Making a statement over the alleged nuclear leakage at the Kaiga Atomic Power plant in the Lok Sabha, Chavan said: "The Nuclear Power Corporation Limited has ordered for the review of radiation levels and security measures of all its plant in the country."

In his statement Chavan clearly ruled out any breach of security on the plant's premises.

"All the plants are functioning normally, there is no harm to the environment or to public health. And strictly, there is no breach of security. It is clearly an act of insiders," he said.

Chavan also informed the House " The NPCL has constituted a committee headed by its Chief Manager to go into the entire episode. As per the interim report a small unit of tritium has been deliberately included into the water cooler near the service station."

Tritium is a heavier form of hydrogen and is radioactive. Small samples of heavy water are drawn daily from the reactor to check its purity.

"The NPCL has sough the assistance of both the local as well the Central intelligence agencies, the investigators are going through the details of the log books, close circuit television (CCTV) footages and water samples are being examined," he said.

"An FIR has been filed at the Mallapur Police Station" and Chavan said: "A strict action will be taken against the culprits."

He informed the House that the matter came to light during the routine health examination of the plant employees.

Chavan said: "Out of over 800 employees of the plant 92 people showed the presence of tritium in their body, in which only two people showed the radiation limit slightly above the prescribed level of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). No one is hospitalised."

Earlier, a few years ago, in a similar incident at the Tarapur Atomic Energy Plant, an employee was found to have deliberately hidden a tiny bottle containing minute quantities of highly radioactive waste in a chair cushion, three people who later sat on the chair were exposed to low levels of radiation as a result. (ANI)

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