Free Press Journal

NPCIL dismisses reports of blast at Kudankulam plant


Chennai: Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) today dismissed reports about blast or steam pipe leak at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, saying there was only “an incident of hot water spillage” in which six persons were injured.

“There was no accident like steam pipe break or blast happened at KKNPP today as has been reported by some sections of the Press and Media,” an NPCIL statement said.

“While carrying out maintenance work on a valve in Turbine Building of Unit 1, at 1210 hours, there was an incident of hot water spillage from the valve in which three departmental personnel and three contractor personnel sustained injuries,” KKNPP Site Director R S Sundar said.

The injured were given first aid at the KKNPP site and were shifted to Anuvijay Township Hospital and subsequently to a speciality hospital at Nagercoil for further treatment,he said.

Maintenance activities in Turbine building systems were taken up as scheduled after the unit was shutdown on May 12, he said.

Reactor No.1 attained criticality again today morning and continued to operate at low reactor power level. Steam supply to turbine and subsequent synchronisation to the grid was planned for tomorrow, he added.

Abut 60 public representatives from nearby village visited the KKNPP site today as part of public awareness programme, he added.

However, an anti-nuclear group opposed to the project claimed today’s incident vindicated its stand that sub-standard equipment were being used in the Indo-Russian joint venture.

S P Udhayakumar of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), also AAP candidate from Kanyakumari in the April 24 Lok Sabha polls, expressed doubts if today’s mishap will be an ‘excuse to close down the non-functioning’ power generation unit and sought a probe by Centre and state government into the matter.

Speaking to reporters here, he questioned claims about power being generated from the plant, saying it had not been accounted for by TANGEDCO and added that even during her election rally in Tirunelveli district where it is located, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had made no mention about the plant while speaking on the state’s power shortage.

Activist G Sundarrajan, whose plea to appoint a committee to supervise safety measures in the plant was rejected by Supreme Court last week, saying there was “no laxity” on the part of authorities, described the mishap as ‘unfortunate’ and added that he will file a review petition in the apex court against its May 8 verdict.