November 29, 2009

life in general & financial markets: can we please have a nuclear-free India?

On Friday (27 November '09) this week, one of the few nuclear plants here, in India, (see the map of plants locations in India above; it was taken from and the original image is at experienced a disaster. The newsreport below provides the detail.

Advanced science can offer potential benefits but these should far outweigh the potential dangers to Earth ands all its inhabitants. Nuclear science, unfortunately, does not fit this bill.

The harmful radiation leak in the Kaiga nuclear plant (see its pic to the left; taken from an the original pic is at .com/Img/2009/6/11/kaiga1.jpg)

I wish for a nuclear-free India, and a nuclear-free Earth.
has currently harmed humans (employees of the factory) but there is also the future potential risk of the ecology around the plants being completely devastated by a careless operation of the nuclear plants.
N-plant radiation leak in Karnataka leaves 45 staffers sick
Prashanth G N , TNN 29 November 2009, 01:30am IST
BANGALORE/KARWAR: In a nuclear accident that is bound to raise key safety concerns ahead of India’s ambitious atomic expansion programme, about 45 employees of the Kaiga atomic power plant suffered radiation poisoning when radioactive heavy water from the plant contaminated the drinking water. Kaiga is one of India’s newer nuclear reactors.
There was no official word from the usually secretive nuclear establishment. Sources said the employees were in hospital because they experienced a mildly higher level of radiation than permissible on Friday after drinking from a water cooler near an open area in one of the reactors.
Though a tiny amount of radiation is normal, scientists said the contamination was unusual because the affected employees do not go into the actual reactor area but work around it. ‘‘With no exposure to the reactor directly, it was surprising to see them with mildly higher level of radiation,’’ was the only comment Kaiga station director A M Gupta had to offer.
Heavy water molecules have two atoms of deutrium instead of the hydrogen in drinkable water H2O. It can cause fatally high levels of toxicity in humans.
The Nuclear Power Corporation, which runs Kaiga, did not respond to media queries over the nuclear accident. According to the deputy commissioner of Uttara Kannada N S Channappa Gowda, there were no casualties or injuries reported.
‘‘Investigation is on and we’ll probe how the (heavy) water got into the drinking water. For now, we have isolated the cooler and drinking water. Simultaneously, water testing is on,’’ said an NPC official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The contamination was detected when some of the affected employees felt a change in the pattern of urination.
They were rushed to the doctor and all of them were tested and found normal. The employees even got back to work.
However, tests confirmed radioactivity in the urine samples. Sources said some amount of used heavy water, used as a moderator in reactors that use natural uranium as fuel, had got into the cooler containing drinking water and contaminated it. This heavy water caused the higher radiation. NPC has not released the names of those hospitalised at NPC’s medical establishment at Malapur.

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