Equipment not to blame for Kudankulam incident

22 May 2014

India's Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has concluded that there was no deficiency in the construction of a valve that injured six workers after spilling hot water at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant earlier this month.

AERB says that the hot water spillage occurred during routine maintenance of a 3-way hot water inlet valve to a heater loop in the turbine building, due to trapped hot water release. The 1000MW Kudankulam 1 VVER-1000 reactor was shut down for maintenance at the time.

"Preliminary investigation of the incident reveals that hot hold up water spread over the persons during dismantling of the valve of 500 mm size leading to the burn injury," AERB said.

"This was due to inadequate draining of the hot water before taking up the routine maintenance work on the valve."

Three contract workers and three employees of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) were injured during the incident on 14 May. Those that sustained 1st degree burns, are presently undergoing treatment at hospitals, AERB said.

Photo: Kudankulam 1 was cleared by AERB to run at 100% power earlier this month.

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