Mysterious Metal “Small Pox” Causing Massive Radiation Leak at Nuclear Plant in India, Experts Befuddled
Hindustan Times, Mar 19, 2017 (emphasis added): A year after heavy water leaked from the coolant channel in unit I of the [India’s] Gujarat-based Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS-1), preliminary investigations have found corrosion spots on the channel’s outer surface, and through-wall cracks in it… On March 12, KAPS-1… underwent an automatic shut down at 9 am after a leak from its coolant system. Following this, a ‘plant emergency’ was declared.
Press Trust of India (India’s largest news agency), Mar 19, 2017: Scientists Probing How 2 Nuclear Reactors Contracted ‘Small Pox’ — In a highly guarded Indian nuclear reactor complex, toughened radiation resistant pipes have contracted ‘small pox’. As a consequence, literally in a plot similar to a Bollywood thriller Indian scientists are burning the midnight oil to unravel the mysterious nuclear leak at the Kakrapar Nuclear Power Plant… they are working over-time to find out the real cause of the cryptic leaks… Nuclear experts say pipes, made from a rare alloy, have contracted what seems like ‘small pox’ and this contagion has spread all over the critical tubes… [T]he teams of scientists really do not understand what has gone wrong. It was on the morning of March 11, 2016… [the] nuclear plant suffered a heavy water leak in its primary coolant channel and a plant emergency was declared… [An] initial probe using a specially designed tool revealed that four big cracks had formed on a coolant tube which led to the massive leak. The discovery of the crack was only the beginning of the mystery, further efforts to find the root cause established that the outside of the tube, the part which was not exposed to high temperature heavy water, was also for some unexplained reason “corroded”. This was a stunning discovery… [The AERB] discovered that the contagion of the “nodular corrosion” or what in layman’s language can also be described as “small pox-like” was very widespread in many of the 306 tubes… A further postmortem revealed that the Unit-2… had also been affected by a similar leak… almost ten months before the Unit 1 had a sudden appalling failure in March 2016… This literally back-to-back failure of two fully functional nuclear reactors befuddled the engineers… The international community is as much at a loss in explaining the failures…
Previous report concerning India’s nuclear power industry here: “Nuclear Nightmare”: Children with mutations “on almost every street” — Deformed heads, lopsided bodies, “toad skin”, eyelids turned inside out (VIDEO)