THEIR ROUTINE RELEASES AND OUT CHIL
CASA-Nagar tsunami township sits dangerously close to Kudankulam reactors
VT PadmanabhanThe tallest structure in all nuclear campuses is a stack. The owners of the reactors say that they do notrelease any radionuclide in the environment. This statement is only partly true. They do release thingswhich they think will mix in the global atmosphere and will have no impact on people. These releases arenecessary for the health of the reactors. Most of the stacks are 60 meters high. The height of the stack isdetermined after a complicated mathematical modeling. The main consideration is that the released gasesand particles should not reenter the campus. The same kind of modeling is done when they decide on thelocation of their township. The township built for the Chernobyl staff after the accident was 45 km away.Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) township is only 15 km from the reactors.What do they release through the stacks? Lots of stuffs. Some 10 odd gaseous isotopes generally labeledas noble gases, tritium an isotope of hydrogen, iodine and particulates. Inside the stack, there aremonitors that record the releases on a regular basis. The summary of the emissions are reported to theUnited Nations Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation(www.unscear.org). Reporting is
voluntary and there is no way one can check the correctness of the data. Many countries do not reporttheir releases. Reporting is incomplete for many of the countries. UNSCEAR publishes these self-reported data in their reports published once every five years. Data for India is not available since 1995.The latest report has data for 1998-2002. Data is incomplete in most of the cases. What are the releasesfrom a VVER reactor? There is no data from Russia. There are more or less complete data fro Hungaryand Finland. In Hungary in 2002 four VVER reactors generated 1,609 MW of electricity. The releasesfrom these reactors per 1000 MW (e) per year are given in table below. (For those who are not familiarwith the scientific way of looking at large numbers, 3E+13 means that after 3 you have to add 13 zeros.Which means release of noble gases in a year from these reactors is 13 trillion Becquerel (Bq = onedisintegration per second). Since these are very large numbers, I have also given releases per second incolumn 3. Even those are fairly large, but we can talk about them with numbers we normally use in ourdiscourses.
ROUTINE RELEASES FROM A VVER REACTORIN HUNGARY - 2002 - DISINEGRATIONS PERSECOND
Isotopes Half life One OneYear Second
Noble gases Diverse 3E+13 1103635