Mumbai: India's nuclear regulator ordered replacement of four defective valves of the system that cools the reactor of Kudankulam nuclear power plant after the problem was detected during ongoing pre-commissioning tests. The defect in the components of the four valves--there are thousands of such devices in a nuclear reactor--was found during pre-commissioning tests early this year, officials said.
"During testing of thousands of valves installed in the plant, the performances of four valves of a particular type were found deficient," R Bhattacharya, Secretary, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) said in a statement in Mumbai on Friday evening. Officials said that the valves were in the Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS) that removes heat from a nuclear reactor under extreme components. On finding the defective valves, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) had procured replacements through its Russian collaborators.
"These valves are requiring larger efforts to get corrected," another official said but added that this was not an unprecedented development. AERB Chairman SS Bajaj said the new components have been procured and were being assembled. "Once assembled, the entire systems would be put through a series of tests. Subsequent learances will be granted by AERB only after a satisfactory review," Bhattacharya told PTI. Elaborating on the multi-level tests which are carried out, he said a Quality Assurance Programme is adhered to.