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Kudankulam Unit 1 shut due to operational purposes: Singh

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project

New Delhi : Rubbishing reports that the Unit 1 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) was shut for “political reasons”, Union Minister Jitendra Singh today said it was done due to operational purposes and that it would be started soon.

Department of Atomic Energy Secretary Sekhar Basu said that a safety review meeting next week will take a call on resuming operations at the plant.

“Unit 1 of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant was shut due to natural processes that are followed and it will start functioning very soon. It was not closed for political reason as reported (in a section of media). Unit 2 of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant will be operational by March this year,” said Singh, who holds the portfolio of MoS for the Prime Minister’s Office that looks after the DAE.

He was speaking after the inauguration of the ‘Hall of Nuclear Power’ at the National Science Centre.

Unit 1, a 1000-MW VVER technology reactor, started operation in October 2013 with Russian collaboration.

In an attempt to dispel the myth that nuclear power in dangerous, Singh said India has not a lost a single scientist working in the atomic energy establishment due to radiation.

He said the Hall of Nuclear Energy will help overcome several misunderstandings about the atomic power.

“Today is a historic day not only for the Department of Atomic Energy but for the whole India, since the DAE is one of the few departments whose headquarters are not placed in national capital,” he said.

“There were certain historic reasons for this, mainly that India’s nuclear programme owed its origin and legacy to Late Dr Homi Bhabha who lived in Mumbai and set up the country’s first ever Atomic Research Centre over there.

“This peculiar paradox also ended up in a situation wherein India’s nuclear programme, even though superior to that of most other nations of the world, did not find sufficient visibility or attention in the national capital,” Singh added.

The Hall of Nuclear Energy gallery has been set up at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore at NSC, Delhi, a unit of National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), the apex organisation engaged in popularisation of science through its science centres spread all over the country, in technical and financial collaboration with NPCIL.

The exhibition, titled ‘Hall of Nuclear Power – Atoms Serving the Nation’ is spread over an area of about 700 sq m, with over 60 permanent exhibits, covering various aspects of nuclear energy, with prime focus on nuclear power plant safety and applications for human welfare, which include nuclear medicine, food irradiation, as well as several other day-to-day applications of nuclear energy.

Scientific information about nuclear power generation, its basics and non-power uses of nuclear and radiation technology has also been showcased at the gallery. The gallery is replete with the state-of-the-art exhibits, interactive kiosks, virtual tour of a nuclear power plant in a mini theatre, glasses-free 3D displays, touch-screen info panels, as well as quiz and interactive Q&A exhibits for the visitors.

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