12 MARCH 2016
GS III: ENVIRONMENT
Kakrapar nuclear plant shut down after coolant system develops leak
A rupture in the coolant system of one of the nuclear reactors at Kakrapar, Gujarat, on Friday morning forced the authorities to indefinitely shut down the plant. Multiple sources confirmed that there was no harmful, radioactive leakage and the backup safety mechanisms kicked in.Kakrapar Atomic Power Station, which was operating at its rated power, had to be shut down about 9 a.m. today, consequent to a small leak in the Primary Heat Transport (PHT) System. The reactor was shut down as per design provisions.The radioactivity radiation levels on the plant premises and outside are normal
The pressure tubes that had supposedly ruptured were last changed in 2012, as per a planned refurbishing.Likening it to the coolant system of a car engine engendering a leak.It was the magnitude of the leak that was of concern and it was probably the first time such an incident had occurred in an Indian nuclear power plant.aAll of the components that constitute the cooling and backup safety system were indigenously manufactured.Located in south Gujarat, the Kakrapar atomic power plant consists of two units of pressurised heavy water reactors of 220 MW each.
The first reactor was commissioned in September 1992 and it started commercial production in May 1993.The second unit was commissioned in January 1995 and began commercial production in September 1995. Authoritative sources in the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) said heavy water leaked in the reactor building of the first unit when a feeder tube in the primary heat removal system gave way.