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India seeks more security measures from Russia for Kudankulam nuclear plant

Monday, 9 June 2014 - 7:13pm IST | Place: Moscow | Agency: PTI

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India has sought "enhanced security measures" for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant after the Fukushmia Daichi atomic disaster in Japan, Russia said on Monday.

"We had received a request from India for enhanced safety measures. Of course India had to pay more for such kind of system. The Kudankulam plants have four channels of safety system," said V Asmolov, first deputy general of Rosenergoatom, the Russian nuclear power station operations subsidiary of a state-owned company.

"This can lead to immediate stopping of chain reaction in case of crisis. The system will ensure water supply for cooling of the reactor even if there is a black out for 24 hours," Asmolov said. He was speaking at the sidelines of Atom2014 Expo, a conference organised by Rosatom, a Russian state atomic energy body.

"The system will also help faster cooling of the reactor in case of a crisis. The plant is one of the safest in the world and has both active and passive security measures, which are independent of one another," said Mikhail Bykov, Deputy Chief Designer of Rosatom. Units 1 and 2 of Tamil Nadu-based Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) have been built with the help of Russian assistance at the cost of Rs 17,200 crore. A General Framework Agreement was also signed between the two countries to construct reactor 3 and 4.

Sources pointed out, request by India was necessitated after the 2011 Fukushima Daichi incident in Japan due to overheating of the reactor after tsunami hit the plant.

The second reactor of Kudankulam is also likely to attain its full capacity by the end of the year. The first reactor of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant attained 100% capability only last week and had started generating power in October last year.

"The first reactor attained 100 per cent capability last week. The second reactor should also attain full level hopefully by late this year," said V Limarenko, head of NIAEP-ASE, a company of Rosatom, responsible for building reactors for KKNPP.

Anti-nuclear activists and People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) have been spearheading more than a two-year-old protest against KNPP in Tirunelveli, demanding its closure, citing safety reasons.

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