Several “good practices” too at atomic plant, to be shared with global nuclear industry

The safety review of units 3 and 4 of the atomic power station at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has ended with the inspection team identifying certain deficiencies in the operations of the units. The team has found problems in the maintenance of the fire doors and electrical cables and has flagged a need for improvements in certain aspects of the surveillance-testing programme and the system for root cause analyses.

JAIPUR: Raising doubts over the inspection by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) in Rawatbhata, anti-nuclear activists on Friday demanded safety examination by an independent body. Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) and People's Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) claimed that the exercise is a mere eyewash and power generation through nuclear plants is hazardous for people.

The activists fear that the IAEA will give clean chit to Rawatbhata nuclear plant where implementation of proper safety measures is still under a cloud.

A 12-member team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan on Monday for carrying out an in-depth safety review of two units of the atomic power station in the town. This is the first operational safety review team (OSART) mission in the country being conducted at the Union government’s request.

The team comprises experts from the nuclear power plants of Canada, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden. The OSART mission will stay at the Rawatbhata plant till November 15. The review will check adherence to the nuclear regulator’s safety standards and proven good practices.

SOG Probes Whether Accused Are Linked To Int’l Smugglers

Jaipur: The special operations group (SOG) of state police on Tuesday busted a racket involved in smuggling of turtle shells and arrested two persons. The duo were held while they were trying to sell 65 shells to some buyers. The estimated price of these shells is nearly Rs 50 lakh in the international market. The SOG got a tip-off in August that some people belonging to the Kalbelia tribe in Kota are planning to catch and sell turtles once the monsoon recedes. Accordingly, the SOG formed a team and sent decoys to the smugglers, said sources.

The National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD) will help the Rajasthan Government revamp the half-century-old Chambal canal system which caters to the irrigation needs of the Hadauti districts of Kota, Bundi and Baran. The Hadauti region is known for its grain and cereal production including export quality Bundi rice, thanks to its comparatively better water availability.

The fund for the revamp of the canal system forms part of a total loan assistance of Rs.1,833 crore from NABARD to Rajasthan under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF-XVIII) and the NABARD Development Assistance (NIDA) in the current financial year. The other major projects include two roads -- Alwar-Behror-Narnul Road and Jaipur-Nagaur Road -- rural village roads and major district roads.

JAIPUR: Underweight newborns are not only common in rural areas but also in big cities of the state. The annual health survey released by the Centre recently said it is common problem of both urban and rural areas.

In Jaipur 31.7% infants have weights less than 2.5kg at birth. Infants born with weight less than 2.5kg were 30% in Jaipur urban area while the figure is 33.9% in Jaipur rural areas.

Yet another leak has been reported within a month at the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) at Rawatbhata near Kota, exposing workers to tritium radiation, and causing concern among the country’s nuclear energy watchers. The senior management at Rawatbhata, a site getting ready for India’s second-biggest Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) with a capacity of 500 tonnes a year, however, has dismissed the leak as a “routine’ matter.

Four maintenance workers were exposed to tritium radiation last Thursday (July 19), while repairing a faulty pipe in PHWR (pressurised heavy water reactor) Unit 4. The earlier incident, which took place on June 23, reportedly exposed more than 40 persons, working on a coolant at Unit 6, to tritium.

There appears to be considerable opposition from the local population to the Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) proposed to be set up at Rawatbhata near Kota in Rajasthan. The complex, with an envisaged capacity of 500 tonnes fuel a year, is to cater to the four PHWR (Pressurized heavy water reactors) plants of 700 MWe capacity each coming up by 2016 in Rajasthan and Gujarat. In capacity, the Rawatbhata fuel complex is to be next to only Hyderabad NFC in the country which produces 850 tonnes fuel a year.

Read Environment Impact Assessment of nuclear fuel complex proposed at Rawatbhata, Rajasthan. This project was opposed at the public hearing organized on 11 July 2012 by the Department of Atomic Energy and NPCIL.

JAIPUR: The two under-construction power generating units and the proposed Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) at the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) in Rawatbhata have raked up a major controversy wi