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* There is no radiation leak at Kudankulam, India assures Sri Lanka
Wed, Mar 6, 2013, 09:02 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 06, Colombo: India today dismissed media reports that said there has been a radiation leak at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu state as "totally baseless" and urged the media to avoid "erroneous and alarmist" reporting.

In a statement the Indian High Commission in Colombo, reiterated an earlier clarification issued last month that said erroneous reports appearing in media on leaks having developed in critical equipment of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, are raising unwarranted fears of dangers of radiation leaks.

An environmentalist group yesterday staged a protest in front of the Indian High Commission in Colombo charging that there is a uranium leak from the plant since February 27.

The environmentalists demanded India to stop building the nuclear power plant to protect the people and environment.

Explaining the progress of the nuclear plant, the High Commission said the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (Unit-1) is currently in an advanced stage of commissioning.

The statement said 'Initial Fuel Loading' has been completed and various tests prior to 'First Approach to Criticality' are under progress.

"Close monitoring of the testing procedures and their results is being undertaken by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). Further, an AERB Observers' Team is at the site to monitor various commissioning activities and report to the AERB on a daily basis. Only after checking compliance with safety requirements does AERB permit taking up of the next commissioning stage," it explained.

According to the statement, nuclear fission process has not yet begun at this stage of commissioning, and there is no generation of radiation or radioactive material, and therefore, there is no release or leakage of radioactive material.

Also, as per established practice, area radiation monitoring (within the plant) and environmental radiation monitoring (covering air, water route discharges) are in place and their readings are continuously monitored. These readings are of background level and do not indicate any release or leakage of radioactive material.

"Given the close and friendly ties between India and Sri Lanka, any erroneous and alarmist reporting, which is not based on facts, should be avoided," India urged.

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