The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) or Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd does not have any plans to dump nuclear waste generated from Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu in the Kolar Gold Fields (KGF), Karnataka.
This clarification from DAE comes following recent media reports that nuclear wastes from Kudankulam plant are likely to be dumped in KGF. In fact, in the last few days, there were agitations in Kolar due to the media reports.
“It is hereby categorically stated that the DAE or Nuclear Power Corporation do not have any plans to dump nuclear waste from any nuclear power plant in the KGF,” said a press release issued by DAE.
In fact, the Nuclear Power Corporation today submitted a supplementary affidavit to the Supreme Court stating very clearly that it was not considering the Kolar Gold Mine of Bharat Gold Mines Ltd for purposes of nuclear waste storage as is being alleged or has been suggested by a section of media.
The DAE has been conducting studies in an underground chamber in Kolar Gold Mine to understand the behaviour of rock mass at an elevated temperature and to ultimately develop appropriate models, their validation and to develop suitable instrumentation for the underground mining conditions.
These studies are being carried out since the 1980s at a depth of 1,000 metres in the ‘amphibolite’ rock formation of KGF. The studies employ electrical heater to simulate the heat conditions which will be encountered in an actual deep geological repository.
It may be noted that Kolar Gold Mines being vulnerable to water ingress, have never been and will never be a candidate for deep geological repository, the release said.