Chennai: Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has endorsed the opinion of scientists attached to various national agencies that there was "no active volcano" near Kalpakkam nuclear complex near here, as stated by Smithsonian Global Volcanism programme.
The complex at Kalpakkam houses three major nuclear installations -- Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), two units of Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) and Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR), presently being constructed.
In a reply to an RTI application of city-based advocate M Vetriselvan, NPCIL has said, "The volcano indicated by Smithsonian Global Volcanism programme having number 0305-01 is an unconfirmed/uncertain volcano."
"The issue was discussed at highest level with National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Geological Survey of India (GSI) and National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI). The experts from these organisations have opined that there is no active volcano in this region, which could cause any concern," NPCIL said in its June 13, 2013 reply to the RTI applicant.
Earlier on May 31, in a separate reply to Vetriselvan, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) said it had asked utilities at Kalpakkam to undertake detailed study through expert agencies and the work in that regard was in process.
The board said it was aware of the information of the reported volcano located at about 100-110 km from Kalpakkam with status uncertain.
The regional scale geophysical surveys conducted by NIO did not notice any significant bathymetric anomaly, it said, adding the seismic data and wells drilled by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in the vicinity too did not indicate any volcanic intrusion.
However, GSI had recommended for further data analysis. Based on the feedback from these agencies, AERB had ordered a detailed study, it said.
Referring to the official website of Smithsonian Global Volcanism programme, which indicated a volcano about 100-110 km from Kalpakkam, Vetriselvan sought to know the details of whether the AERB and the NPCIL had made any study and what was its impact.