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Steps to deal with nuclear waste



Steps to deal with nuclear waste
The wastes generated at the nuclear power stations during the   operation are of low & intermediate activity level and are managed at the site itself. These wastes are treated, concentrated, compacted, immobilised in solid materials like cement, bitumen, polymers etc. in high integrity steel containers and stored in specially constructed structures such as reinforced concrete trenches and tile holes, located at the site. Such facilities are located at all the nuclear power stations. The area around the facility including ground water is monitored for radioactivity. The radioactivity level of the stored wastes reduces with time and by the end of the plant life, falls to normal levels.


The cost of waste management, including waste storage at the nuclear power plant sites, is small and is internalised in the Operation & Maintenance (O&M) cost.

The tariffs of electricity through nuclear energy are comparable to those of the contemporary conventional base load power generating units (like coal based thermal power) located in the area/region. The tariffs of nuclear power projects presently in operation range from 94 Paise per unit for the first generation plants at Tarapur Atomic Power Station Units 1&2 (TAPS-1&2) to 388 Paise per unit for latest commissioned plant in Dec.2014 at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP). The average tariff of nuclear power was about 278 Paise per unit in 2014-15. The range of tariffs of fossil fuel based sources of electricity in the central sector are given below:

Technology
Tariff Range (Paise/kWh) as on 31.03.2015
Coal  (Pithead Generating Stations)
163 – 347
Coal (Non Pithead Generating Stations)
360 – 529
Natural Gas (APM)
431 – 579
Natural Gas (NAPM)
590 – 657
Liquified Natural Gas (LNG)
1040 – 1273
Naphtha/ HSD
790– 1500
   Source: CERC Report on short term power market in India 2014-15                         

This information was provided the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in a reply to an unstarred question Rajya Sabha today. 

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No death due to radiation related hazards
There has been no death due to radiation related hazards, accidents and sickness in India’s nuclear installations.

The safety of the radiation workers in the nuclear installations, including the Uranium mines, is fully ensured by the Health Physics Unit (HPU) situated in every plant. It is also enforced by regular monitoring and regulatory inspections. Various types of protective equipment are provided depending on the type of operations being undertaken to ensure radiological safety of the workers. Moreover, they are periodically monitored by appropriate dosimeters to ascertain that the dose received by them does not exceed the stipulated / permissible limit.

For example, at all Nuclear Power Plants, as a first step of prevention, radiation exposure to occupational workers is controlled and maintained at very low levels. The occupational workers are imparted training on safety aspects prior to their employment. In addition, they undergo periodic refresher safety training courses during the period of their employment. For carrying out jobs in the Nuclear Power Plant, the occupational workers are provided with protective clothings like coveralls, boiler suits, lab coats etc., respiratory protective equipment like oro-nasal, iodine and airline respirators, ventilated plastic suits etc., and protective gears like rubber gloves and shoes, head caps, etc. Further, all occupational radiation workers are provided with dosimetry devices for close monitoring of their radiation exposure to maintain it well below the stipulated limits as set by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).

This information was provided the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in a reply to an unstarred question Rajya Sabha today.
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21 nuclear power reactors with an installed capacity of 5780 MW
There are 21 nuclear power reactors with an installed capacity of 5780 MW currently. Of this, a capacity of 3380 MW, comprising thirteen (13) reactors is under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards and use imported fuel, which is available in required quantity.  
Eight (8) reactors with a total installed capacity of 2400 MW are fuelled by indigenous fuel.  The Government has made efforts to augment indigenous uranium supply by opening of new mines and processing facilities. Thus the demand of reactors using indigenous fuel is also being almost met.

The quantities of uranium imported and the expenditure incurred thereon are             mentioned below:  
Year
M/s. JSC TVEL Corporation, Russia @
M/s.NAC Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan #
Quantity (MT)
Expenditure (Rs.in crore)
Quantity (MT)
Expenditure (Rs.in crore)
2012 -13
295.64
522.91
402.5
329.32
2013 -14
296.31
549.91
460
382.78
2014 -15
296.54
401.49
283.4
216.93
2015 -16
(up to Oct -15)
242.99
393.89

Nil.

42.15*
292.06

 @  Natural Uranium Dioxide Pellets
 #   Uranium Ore Concentrate
 *   Enriched Uranium Dioxide Pellets.

This information was provided the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in a reply to an unstarred question Rajya Sabha today. 



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