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'Japan crisis may be as disastrous as Chernobyl'

News18test sharma |

Updated: March 18, 2011, 5:22 PM IST
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'Japan crisis may be as disastrous as Chernobyl'
The Ukrainian nuclear watchdog is analyzing an emergency situation at the Japanese nuclear power plant.

Kiev: A major crash at the Japanese Fukushima nuclear power plant may entail the same disastrous aftermath as an awful blast at the Ukrainian Chernobyl nuclear power plant, chairman of the Ukrainian State Committee for Nuclear Regulation Yelena Mikolaichuk told reporters.

"The current situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant did not stabilize and keeps deteriorating, therefore, it is premature to make any conclusions," Mikolaichuk said.

The Ukrainian nuclear watchdog is analyzing an emergency situation at the Japanese nuclear power plant "in order to tighten security at the Ukrainian nuclear power plants," she said. Mikolaichuk is confident that the current nuclear situation in Japan should be taken into account by all countries, which generate the nuclear power.

"These lessons dictate the need to create a hydrogen content control system in the reactor in the event of major crashes and the recombiners, which are passive hydrogen igniters. We have already practiced these lessons, when we were developing higher security systems for Ukrainian nuclear power plants.

Currently these measures can be realized fully at the most recently commissioned reactors, namely the second reactor at the Khmelnitsk nuclear power plant and the fourth reactor at the Rovno nuclear power plant, because the security requirements had been tightened for the reactors over the decision for their further operation.

Similar measures are planned at other reactors," Mikolaichuk stated.

She noted that Ukraine does not operate the first generation reactors (the Fukushima-1 reactors), which were launched before 1980, and Ukraine drew all proper conclusions from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

"Under the UN Nuclear Security Convention Ukraine brings all its power units in compliance with new standards and shut down those power units that can not match these standards from the economic point of view," Mikolaichuk said.

As far as the seismic hazard for the Ukrainian nuclear power plants is concerned the chief of the Ukrainian nuclear watchdog affirms that the equipment for them passes the seismic re-standardization under the IAEA requirements.

In the comments on the current situation at the Japanese nuclear power plants Mikolaichuk noted that "the development of the current situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant showed that its reactors withstood an earthquake measured nine points, but failed to endure the impact of several natural disasters, namely the earthquake, the tsunami and the flooding."

Ukraine operates four nuclear power plants with 15 reactors. Their share in the country's electric power output makes over 50 per cent.

First Published: March 18, 2011, 5:22 PM IST
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