India’s nuclear power producer, Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC), would strengthen safety applications at its plants by implementing a slew of recommendations made by several task forces, which were formed in the wake of the nuclear disaster in Japan.
The task forces had recommended additional shore protection measures at the Madras and Tarapur atomic power stations, which are located on sea coasts.
They had also called for the augmentation of water inventory and arrangement for the transfer of water from the nearby sources and additional hook-up points to compensate for water spent at fuel pools at Tarapur 1 & 2, Rajasthan 1 & 2 and Madras 1 & 2.
The task forces had also recommended atomic reactor shutdown initiation on sensing seismic activity, increasing the passive power source capacity. They had also asked for provisions for hook-up arrangements to add cooling water inventory through external sources to all the reactor cooling systems, along with mobile diesel-driven pumping units.
NPC Chairman & Managing Director S K Jain said, “NPC proposes to take up the implementation of these recommendations immediately, with requisite approvals from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), wherever applicable. The crises at Fukushima is still unfolding. As and when more details are available, the recommendations would be revisited and additional measures deemed fit would be incorporated.”
Jain said a detailed walk-down of all the plants had been conducted by specially constituted teams at the sites and the preparedness ensured. AERB had also constituted a high-level committee to study the implications of the incident at Fukushima to examine the need for enhancing the safety of Indian nuclear power plants.
Jain said unlike Fukushima, Tarapur 1 & 2 (which have boiling water reactors) have completely passive means of core cooling in the form of an emergency condenser, which does not require any motive power and cater to core cooling for a period of six hours.
The condensor also has a provision to augment its water inventory. These reactors had been modernised and brought on a par with current requirements in 2004-06. It has been recommended that the primary containment be made inert with nitrogen and an advance tsunami alert mechanism be implemented.