Tsunami causes Kalpakkam-2 to trip
Kalpakkam-2 tripped following the giant tidal wave that hit the east coast of India Dec. 26, but the 170-MW PHWR remains safe and there was no release of radioactivity, India's Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) said in a message sent today to the IAEA. Kalpakkam-2, also known as unit 2 of Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS), was operating at nominal power when the giant wave sent seawater into its pump house, causing a trip at 9:15 a.m, said AERB's S.K. Sharma. Operators brought the unit to safe shutdown, he said. The event was provisionally rated at Level 0 (below scale) on the International Nuclear Event Scale. Kalpakkam-1 has been in extended shutdown since August 2003. Press dispatches quoted Indian national security adviser J.N. Dixit as saying there were no casualties inside the power station, but that five officials and other station employees and 25 of their relatives had been killed in nearby areas. MAPS is in Tamil Nadu state, one of the areas hard-hit by the tsunami that followed a massive earthquake near the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The overall death toll from the tsunami had risen to more than 52,000 by late afternoon today.
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