In Kalkar in Germany the first full size, commercial fast breeder reactor was constructed by spending $ 5billion.Yet in 1991 the German Government decided to abandon the project as the reactor was unsafe to that nation. It was sold for $30 million and converted to an amusement park. United States that built the first breeder reactor and spend lot of money for more than 20 years abandoned the breeder programme in late 1970s. Japan has shut down its Monju reactor after a sodium fire in December 1995. French breeder program, remained inoperative for the majority of its 11-year lifetime until it was finally shuttered in 1996. Indian Engineers who work in Kalpakkam were trained in France and they are going to cause grief to India in the near future. Fast breeder reactors aren’t ready for commercial use. Fast reactors could become a nuclear bomb in layman’s language.
In fast reactors, an accident that rearranges the fuel in the core could lead to an increase in reaction rate and an increase in energy production. If this were to occur quickly, it could lead to a large, explosive energy release that might rupture the reactor vessel and disperse radioactive material into the environment. They have positive coolant void coefficient, that can result in Chernobyl type accident. It means that if the coolant in the central part of the core were to heat up and form bubbles of sodium vapor, the reactivity, a measure of the neutron balance within the core, which determines the reactor’s tendency to change its power level would increase. Core melting could accelerate during an accident. A positive coolant void coefficient, not involving sodium, contributed to the runaway accident in April 1986 Chernobyl reactor. Light water reactors typically have a negative coolant void coefficient so that a loss of coolant reduces the core’s reactivity.
Our smaller fast breeder test reactor, with its much smaller core, doesn’t have a positive coolant void coefficient. DAE doesn’t have real experience of a large fast breeder reactor and these bastards are taking the nation for a radioactive ride. The smaller German reactor designed to produce 760 megawatts of thermal energy would produce 370 mega joules in the event of a core-disruptive accident. In the case of the PFBR, the DAE has lied as usual the worst-case core disruptive accident would release an explosive energy of 100 mega joules only. The U.S. Clinch River Breeder Reactor, which was designed with a heterogeneous core like PFBR was eventually cancelled. Four percent of the thermal energy could be converted into mechanical energy and can cause ejection of radioactive materials into the atmosphere that can cause vast areas of Tamil Nadu a Chernobyl. The Tamilians are sitting on a possible catastrophic nuclear holocaust from a poorly designed fast breeder reactor.
In June 21 2003, a radiation leak was noticed at the nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at Kalpakkam near Chennai which is just 48 km from the city. Two scientific officers, B.P. Singh and Sridharan, and a worker named Raju went into the radiation free zone of the reprocessing plant to take routine samples and had suffered excessive exposure to radiation due to this. Kakkodkar tried to hush up the issue. After a week the agitated DAE workers went on a flash strike. Then the management in Kalpakkam to come out with the truth to the media and the public. There is an unhealthy concentration of nuclear power and research units in Kalpakkam that can make Chennai unsafe to live in case of a major accident. The MAPS I and II reactors produces 340 MWe, the IGCAR research reactor produces 30 kilowatts, the fast breeder test reactor produces 40 MWe and the prototype fast breeder reactor using mixed-oxide fuel is scheduled to produce 1,400 MWe by 2008.
Read Daniel Patrick Moynihan the US ambassador (1973-75) wrote a book- A Dangerous Place – ISBN 0316586994. . Economist Dr Ashok Mitra was also Chief financial Advisor to Indira Gandhi wrote a book titled ‘A Prattler’s Tale’ , Samya, 2007, ISBN : 81-85604-80-0, Dr Ashok Mitra was a well known economist and was a former Finance Minister of West Bengal. His book says that the USA asked P.V. Narasimha Rao to make Manmohan Singh as finance minister in his Cabinet. Manmohan Singh was flown back from Washington in a CIA plane, late in the night 20-6-1991 and on 21-6-1991 Singh was sworn in as Finance Minister along with PV Narasimha Rao as PM.. So Manmohan’s foray in to NPT is not surprising. Better the media do the digging on Manmohan’s true background. Sonia Gandhi was planted in India and before marriage was working for ISI under Salman Tassir in London.
Manmohan Singh has sold our DAE to Americans and our future in nuclear technology is doomed because of the additional expenditure that is required to bifurcate civil and military nuclear installations. With less and less good engineers joining DAE, coupled with a total lack of interest in basic sciences by the brilliant, our nuclear installations are headed in the direction of Chernobyl. India operates 17 reactors of which 13 are Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) reactors. and another 5 are under construction. These PHWR reactors are CANada Deuterium Uranium reactors (CANDU). . All the current CANDU reactors share a characteristic known as positive coolant void coefficient of reactivity. Under a Large Break Loss of Coolant Accident (LBLOCA) it may lead to a positive feedback, which can, in turn, cause a large power pulse. Recent experiments suggest that this feedback effect may be stronger than originally believed.
Radioactive water is ingested from water cooler by the staff in nuclear plants. Filtered water to a water cooler could be linked to some radioactive utility tank line that holds radioactive water. These branches are provided with isolating valves and check valves. But there were cases where these check valves malfunctioned after years of service and the radioactive water backing up to the water cooler line. There are many areas were a totally isolated line can not be given to a water cooler. Such things go on unnoticed for sometime. During maintenance workmen in a totally covered suit and with fresh air mask may wrongly connect pipes in radioactive areas. The number of such accidents run in tens of thousands. Kakkodkar has just a day more in service and it is a bad way to end his tenure, after his three times illegally extended service.
A heavy water leak at Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) forced the reactor to be shut down in September 1988. On 5-3-1991, 0.847 tonnes of heavy water escaped from the moderator system. 350 kg was recovered and over 53 % spilled heavy water was released into the atmosphere through the stack and about 3 % was released into the sea. The radioactivity concentration of the heavy water was 10 curies/litre and the radioactivity concentration of the air in the chamber was 3,225 DAC (Derived Air Activity).. In the case of tritiated water vapor, the DAC is 20 micro curies/cubic meter. Clearly, 3,225 DAC of tritium air activity is dangerously high. A worker will receive more than the annual limit if he or she were to work in such an atmosphere for even an hour. This exposure is similar to heavy water ingestion.
At Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) on 26-3-1999, 14 tonnes of 2 curies/kg level of radioactive heavy water from the coolant cycle spilled from the second unit and seven tones or 14,000 curies have been released into the atmosphere through the stack. The permitted level is 300 curies per day per reactor . 42 workers who mopped up the spill for 4 days were subjected to heavy exposure . Seven workers who plugged the leak have been placed in the “removal category” (The Hindu, April 9, 1999). Workers received tritium uptake in excess and that these employees have been removed from regular work. (The Hindu, April 21, 1999). There have been at least two similar accidents at MAPS. The environment pollution result in general public receiving radiation doses from tritiated heavy water. Public exposure limit is 1 mSv/year (or 0.1 rem/year) per person as recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP).but the spill resulted in many times the prescribed limit
Tritium is present naturally in the environment, this amount is too small for practical recovery. Naturally occurring tritium was about 34 million curies, of which 22.2 million curies were contained in the oceans and 9.2 million curies were present in inland areas before the advent of nuclear energy. Nuclear weapons testing has added about 3,600 million curies of tritium in the northern hemisphere. By 1970, only about 2,900 million curies was left, mostly in the oceans; the rest had undergone radioactive disintegration to become helium-3. American light-water reactors generate about 15 to 23 curies of tritium per megawatt year, of which no more than 1 curie is normally released into the environment. CANDU reactors generate about 620 curies per megawatt year, of which about 16 curies to the air, 4 curies to the water are normally released into the environment. The radiological significance of tritium is due to its easy incorporation into all parts of the body that contain water.
Tritium for strategic purposes is produced artificially, with neutrons that are made to strike a target of lithium or aluminum metal, which gives tritium and other by-products or by a neutron reaction with helium-3 which gives tritium and hydrogen as by-products. Tritium is produced in Reactor moderator heavy water, due to the capture of neutrons by deuterium atoms in the water. Tritium is used in medical diagnostics, for hydrogen bombs and to boost the yield of both fission and thermonuclear weapons. Each thermonuclear warhead contains 4 g of the isotope. For neutron bombs designed to release more radiation uses 10-30 g of tritium. USA’s total tritium production since 1955 is about 225 kg which after decay is now has some 75 kg.
Tritium is produced in nature by the action of cosmic rays from outer space. It is also produced by atomic explosions and by nuclear power plants. Each CANDU reactor produces from 30 to 100 times as much tritium as a comparable American light water reactor, because the heavy water in a CANDU “breeds” tritium while the reactor is operating. Tritium resulting from neutron generators etc, is mostly drawn off from the plants into the atmosphere by way of waste gas lines. The tritium poisons the air and since tritium adds on to or builds into water vapor the radioactivity returns to the earth’s upper surface, for example through rain water and can thereby cause environmental poisoning.
Most of the tritium produced in a reactor is as a byproduct of the absorption of neutrons by a chemical known as boron. Boron is a good absorber of neutrons, which nuclear reactors use to help control the fission chain reaction. Toward that end, boron either is added directly to the coolant water or is used in the control rods to control the chain reaction. Tritium can also be produced by absorption in lithium or to a lesser extent from the fission process itself. Tritium can be produced in large amount when neutrons are absorbed heavy water moderator and coolant. Like normal hydrogen, tritium can bond with oxygen to form water. When this happens, the resulting water is called tritiated water and is radioactive. Tritiated water is chemically identical to normal water and the tritium cannot be filtered out of the water. Nuclear power plants routinely and safely release dilute concentrations of tritiated water.
Tritium is almost always found as a liquid and primarily enters the body when people eat or drink food or water containing tritium or absorb it through their skin. People can also inhale tritium as a gas in the air. Once tritium enters the body, it disperses quickly and is uniformly distributed throughout the soft tissues. Half of the tritium is excreted within approximately 10 days after exposure. Workers in weapons facilities; medical, biomedical, or university research facilities; or nuclear fuel cycle facilities receive increased exposures to tritium. A tritium concentration to yield a 4 mrem per year dose as 60,900 pCi/L and the maximum contaminant limit is 20,000 pCi/L. Like all radioactive substances, tritium is a carcinogen, a mutagen, and a teratogen. Laboratory work with mice and rats has clearly shown that tritium is particularly potent as a mutagen and teratogen
Due to an accident, radioactive heavy water or tritiated water leaked out from the core area of the reactor through the pump seals and mingled with the emergency cooling water, contaminating it with 3,500 curies of radioactive tritium and this necessitated a deliberate dump of 3500 curies of tritium into the Ottawa River upstream of Ottawa in Canada, on 19 July, 1981, with no warning to the population or to municipal authorities.
Drums of radioactive heavy water were dumped in to the river by mistake at RAPP. The dumping of high amounts of tritium began in the middle of the 20th century, in multiple locations near nuclear power plants, such as Savannah River in the U.S., or Marcoule in France. Cases of exposure to the radioactive material have been documented in other facilities around the U.K. and Russia.
Tritiated water can be ingested in the liquid form. It can also be inhaled or absorbed through the skin in the form of water vapor or steam, which makes tritium an occupational hazard in CANDU nuclear power plants. In pregnant females, tritium ingested by the mother can cross the placenta and be incorporated directly into the fetus. Like all radioactive substances, tritium can cause cancer, genetic mutations, or developmental defects in unborn children. Passage of tritium in the form of tritiated water from the mother through the placenta and into the fetus results in shrunken heads, sterility, stunting, reduction of the litter size etc. Tritium is capable of inducing dominant lethal mutations, chromosome aberrations and point mutations. Even in low levels, tritium has been linked to developmental problems, reproductive problems, genetic and neurological abnormalities and other health problems.
No threshold or “safe dose” of tritium has been scientifically established for any of these effects. Tritium is four or five times more dangerous for causing cancer than that would be predicted just on the basis of its energy alone. Additionally, there is evidence of adverse health effects on populations living near tritium facilities. Tritium contamination has been reported in many nuclear reactor site in ground water soil from operational releases and accidents. The tritium pilot plant at BARC, Trombay was set up in 1992 and is called the detritiation plant. Tritium is extracted from moderator heavy water that is being used in research and power reactors. The tritium build up in reactors increases with the number of years of plant operation.
CANDU reactors poison us with tritium. Tritium is radioactive hydrogen. It is created and released into the environment in far greater quantities from CANDU reactors than from other nuclear power reactors, such as US light-water designs. Quantities of tritium accumulate in the heavy water existing in the reactor, which is a highly dangerous radioactive substance, and these quantities are higher and higher as the reactor’s operating time increases. The reactors requires heavy water top up throughout the reactors’ lifetime of about 30 years for the water loss through seals etc. This amount is around 12 tons per year per unit and will result in the radioactive pollution with tritium. Higher the heavy water losses means higher the concentration tritium pollution at the nuclear plant. It would be nothing special, but because of the lack of tightness inherent in any industrial plant, a part of the heavy water infested with radioactive tritium escapes outside the plants and infests the area.
Tritium gas is currently used in certain illuminating devices, as phosphorus can easily be made to glow, by the electrons emitted by the radioactive material. These device, known as ‘tracers’, are used to make self-powered lighting key-chains, exit signs, and watches. The military experiments make use of the similar properties of the radioactive radium in order to make gun sights for fire arms, but have recently been replaced by tritium, since exposure to the radium has greatly increased the risk of getting bone cancer.
40 to 50 employees ingested contaminated water from the water cooler on the premises of heavy water reactor-1, which has been closed for maintenance. Their urine samples were showing increased tritium levels. The most abundant isotope of hydrogen, protium, has one proton and no neutrons in its nucleus. Deuterium is isotope of hydrogen with one proton and one neutron in its nucleus and is stable and non radioactive. Tritium nucleus has one proton and two neutrons. Deuterium oxide or heavy water is used in nuclear reactors. Tritium is produced in the reactors and is radioactive. Tritium has a half-life of 12.3 years, meaning that 5.5% of tritium will decay into non radioactive helium-3 every year. Tritium decays to helium-3 atom plus emission of an electron and an electron neutrino and when inhaled and ingested, it can result in radiation poisoning. Radio active normal water ingestion from water coolers have happened in CIRUS reactor in Trombay due to malfunctioning check vales.
Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) developed the Candu-6 reactor in the early 1970s. The CANDU-6 is the only reactor AECL has sold. Nine CANDU-6s have been built internationally in China (2), Argentina (1), South Korea (4) and Romania (2). Two were built in Canada in New Brunswick and in Quebec. Despite its current promotion of the prototype Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR), the CANDU-6 remains central to AECL’s business plans. AECL hopes to sell additional CANDUs to Argentina, Romania and Turkey India etc. Ontario abandoned its plan to build a CANDU-6 reactor in 2006 as design did not meet safety requirements. AECL is marketing antiquated reactor design. In 1972, AECL started up a prototype reactor called Gentilly-1. The magnitude of positive reactivity by Gentilly-1 was so great it could not operate stably. Containment would not withstand an explosive power pulse of Gentilly-1 from failure of the emergency shut down system and Gentilly-1 was permanently shut down in 1977
CANDU Design has positive reactivity flaw and could experience an explosive power pulse. All new CANDU reactors were mandated to have two independent emergency shutdown systems, that diverged from the approach taken by most other international regulators. The ability of CANDU shutdown systems to operate under accident conditions has not been confirmed by test or experience. Confidence in the estimated effectiveness of CANDU shutdown systems in accident situations is low because of the significant uncertainties in modeling such situations. The CANDU and Chernobyl RBMK reactor designs both exhibit positive reactivity. A significant contributor to the 1986 Chernobyl accident was positive reactivity. The Chernobyl accident spurred Canada’s nuclear regulator to reassess its assumptions regarding the hazards posed by positive reactivity in CANDU reactors. Studies showed a high degree of uncertainty in the assumptions underlying safety assessments for CANDU reactors.
New international safety standards preferred reactors with negative reactivity. AECL complained that the application of international standards would have negative impacts on the marketing prospects of the CANDU-6 internationally and would reflect badly on operating CANDUs in Canada. If modern international safety standards were strictly applied, a reactor with positive reactivity such as the CANDU-6 could not be built. In 2008, AECL was forced to abandon the commissioning of two small MAPLE reactors at Chalk River because they exhibited uncontrollable positive reactivity. In 2001, AECL began a marketing push in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom for its prototype Advanced Canada Reactor (ACR). Unlike the CANDU-6, the ACR is intended to have negative reactivity in order to meet modern licensing requirements. To do this, it uses slightly enriched uranium instead of natural uranium, and light-water cooling.
The CANDU is a pre 911, 2001 design and was not designed to resist a terrorist attack and are vulnerable to terrorism. In 2006, Ontario abandoned its plan to build a new CANDU-6 because of the design changes required to meet post-September 11th safety requirements. While requirements for reactors to be more robust against terrorist attacks continue to evolve since September 11th, it is clear that the CANDU-6 would not meet current standards if they are applied rigorously. AECL is interested in selling additional CANDU-6 reactors to countries such as Turkey, India and Jordan. The economic re-building and extending the life of CANDU reactors, of nuclear power station, is weak and dependent on the modern regulatory requirements and upgrades to the reactors. India does not have a independent and proper Nuclear Safety Commission or safety requirements to protect its citizens as all things are done in house.
Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) bribed officials in Argentina and South Korea in the 1970s in order to obtain reactor sales. Those bribes totaled at least $22 million. As recently as 1994, AECL’s agent in South Korea was convicted and imprisoned in that country for corruption and bribery, after giving a bribe to the head of KEPCO, the Korean state utility that owns and operates that country’s nuclear power plants. AECL has in the past disguised bribes as agent fees like that was done by the Bofors thief Rajiv Gandhi. AECL’s corrupt practices are never stopped and will benefit the UPA government.
Canada has shut down one third of its own nuclear power reactors due to technological problems. AECL is selling the same flawed technology to other countries. In 1996, CANDU performance was by far the worst of all major reactor types. In Canada, there have been no new reactor orders since 1978 like in USA, where the last uncancelled reactor order was placed in 1973. AECL’s attempt to sell CANDU reactors to Turkey at Akkuyu Bay in December 1996, was cancelled because of a nearby earthquake fault. Terrorists do not need nuclear weapons if they can trigger a catastrophic radiation release by sabotaging or bombing a nuclear power plant. Potential security threats to a nuclear plant in India is both internal and external. India is in a terrorist war with muslims of India and Pakistan. CANDU reactors, or other reactor designs, can experience catastrophic accidents. CANDUs have had their share of serious accidents, and it is only a matter of time before a disastrous accident occurs.