India denies reports on Kudankulam threat to Lanka

India has once again denied reports of leaks having developed in critical equipment of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant which could result in radiation leaks posing a threat to Sri Lanka.
The Indian High Commission in Colombo said that that these reports are totally baseless and that there has been no radiation leak at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.
The High Commission said that the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (Unit-1) is currently in an advanced stage of commissioning.
It said that ‘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,” the High Commission said.
The High Commission says at this stage of commissioning, the nuclear fission process has not yet begun 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,” the Indian High Commission added.
Sri Lankan environmental activists have protested opposite the Indian embassy in Colombo, demanding a halt to a nuclear power plant being built in southern India.
Environmental groups in Sri Lanka had this week raised fears of the dangers posed by the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant to Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette) 
Report by Easwaran Rutnam