Cyclone Nivar
Cyclone Nivar

Kalpakkam atomic power complex geared to withstand Cyclone Nivar say officials

According to the director, the disaster management rescue force has been stationed in Kalpakkam.

The atomic power complex in Kalpakkam, about 70 km from Chennai, is geared up against Cyclone Nivar that is expected to cross the coast near Mamallapuram and Karaikal in Puducherry on Wednesday evening, said a top official of the Disaster Management Committee.

Arun Kumar Bhaduri, Director, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) and also the Chairman, Disaster Management Committee, Kalpakkam complex said the atomic power reactor of Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) belonging to Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) will continue to generate power if everything pertaining to the grid is normal. "We had a review meeting. We are all geared up to meet Nivar. All our diesel gensets are ready to kick in when needed and there are sufficient diesel reserves," he said.

The Kalpakkam complex houses various nuclear facilities of IGCAR, NPCIL, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the fast breeder reactor company Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (Bhavini).

According to Bhaduri, the disaster management rescue force has been stationed here."We are also monitoring Nivar's movement continuously on our own and also with the weather department.” Workers in high rise structures have been asked to stop their work as a precautionary measure, he added.

Meanwhile, MAPS said it has activated its cyclone protection machinery. The MAPS have two 220 MW nuclear power units of which one unit is functional.

According to M Srinivas, Station Director of MAPS, all the plant systems are operating normally and are expected to withstand the impact of cyclone Nivar when it crosses the coast. Placing of sandbags on the coastal side, cleaning of storm water drains, inspection of plant and machinery and other structures have been completed, Srinivas said.

In the wake of Cyclone Nivar, officials have prepared for the possibility of damage including trees being uprooted, power supply disruption and telephone, internet lines being broken. Low-lying areas are expected to be flooded too.

(With IANS inputs)

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