The Tarapur atomic power station, the country's largest nuclear plant, has applied to the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) for renewal of its licence, days after the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan suffered damage following the quake and tsunami, leading to radiation leaks.The five-year operational licence of the Tarapur plant, being operated by Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC) since 1969 on boiling water reactors (BWR), expires on 31 March. In India, nuclear plants are required to seek a fresh licence from the AERB after every five years. The two plants share a similarity: Both units 1 and 2 of the Tarapur plant and unit 1 of Fukushima are operated on BWRs supplied by GE.Tarapur Station Director RK Gargey said the station has a well-defined emergency plan for fires, earthquakes, floods and tsunami.The plant is conducting a radiation emergency exercise (plant, site and offsite) routinely to check the responses of various agencies. According to Gargey, after the Three Mile Island (TMI) accident in 1979 in the US, NPC had installed an additional battery bank capable of powering the Tarapur plant for 12 hours. Further, it has added a 100 per cent start-up transformer to enhance the off-site power reliability.In the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, NPC revised all operating procedures at the Tarapur station, added a hydrogen-monitoring system and launched full scope inspection of primary containment.Contact: Atomic Energy Regulatory BoardTel: +91 22 2599 0100Web: www.aerb.gov.in
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