Public reassured ahead of steam valve tests at KNPP
Chennai: Keen to avoid a repeat of a panic reaction among locals in April last during pre-commissioning trials, Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant authorities on Thursday said the ambient noise level was likely to go up later this week when they conduct a mandatory test and there need be no concern of any harm to them or environment.
The mandatory test relating to steam discharge valves would be conducted "during the day time only" and there was no need for any concern to the general public, KNPP Site Director R S Sundar said in a statement.
"No tests are being conducted at the KNPP that are harmful to the environment and public," he said as authorities geared up for the operation as part of measures to increase the power generation at the first 1000 MW unit of the plant, which started production in October last.
A similar test in April, when steam was let out into the atmosphere, had created a panic like situation. Anti-nuclear activists claimed that `intolerable` noise and smoke emanating during the operations affected the local people and called for a siege to the Indo-Russian joint venture plant.
In his statement today, Sundar said, "During the operation of the steam discharge valves, water vapour will be released into the atmosphere for a very short period of three to five minutes. During the testing, the ambient noise level is likely to marginally go up."
These tests are held as per the standard operating test procedures and as per the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) guidelines, he said.
The steam valve discharge test is tentatively scheduled this week subject to clearance from Southern Regional Load Despatch Centre at Bangalore, he added.
KNPP is presently generating 425 MWe and the total generation as on date was 35 crore units of electricity.
It is first in the country to have the VVER (Voda Voda Energo Reactor) type nuclear reactor. Work on the second 1000 MW reactor was in progress.
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