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* India allays Sri Lanka's fears over Tamil Nadu nuclear plant
Thu, Sep 27, 2012, 02:08 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sept 27, Colombo: India once again has assured Sri Lanka that the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli district has high safety standards and it is no threat to Sri Lanka.

The High Commission of India in Colombo in a statement responding to local news reports raising fears of the dangers to Sri Lanka arising from the commissioning of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant reiterated that the Indian government "assigns utmost attention to nuclear and radiation safety, including the safety of operating personnel, public as well as the environment."

The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is a state-of-the-art plant that is compliant with the highest safety standards available in the nuclear industry today. The safety measures instituted at the plant are of the highest order, India has assured.

The statement further said that the safety is the overriding priority in all the activities associated with nuclear power plants, ranging from siting, design, construction, commissioning, operation to de-commissioning.

Testing to demonstrate the adequacy of each system, and the plant as a whole, by actual performance tests to meet the design intent, is carried out well before commencing operation of the plant, it said.

The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board of India reviews the operational limits and conditions for various system parameters and approves them before operationalizing the plant, to ensure safe operation, India assures.

All nuclear power plant sites in India are capable of managing the radioactive wastes generated at these sites, the statement said adding that each site has adequate facilities for handling, treatment and disposal of such waste, in line with international standards.

The establishment and verification of appropriate emergency response plans is a mandatory prerequisite for all nuclear power plants in India, the High Commission's statement further noted.

The preparedness of the agencies involved is verified through periodic exercises and the National Disaster Management Authority has drawn up a holistic and integrated programme for "Management of Nuclear and Radiological Emergencies".

India is party to the Convention on Nuclear Safety (1994), Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident (1986), and the Convention on Assistance in the case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency and is fully aware of, and complies with, its obligations under these conventions.

India and Sri Lanka have an ongoing dialogue on cooperation in the area of nuclear energy, including in the areas of isotope hydrology, radio-tracer studies and dam safety.

A Sri Lankan delegation is scheduled to visit India in the coming months to discuss these and other areas of potential cooperation, including the area of safety.

"The relevant issues are being addressed in the spirit of close and friendly relations existing between India and Sri Lanka," the statement said.



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