Investigators on Monday questioned employees present in the operating area of the Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant after preliminary findings revealed "internal sabotage" for the radioactive contamination of drinking water at the high-security complex.
The probe team, which includes nuclear scientists, questioned the employees present on the night intervening November 23-24 during which radioactive heavy water (tritium) vials were put in the water cooler, said a senior official in the plant in Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada District.
"Relevant agencies are conducting the probe. Questioning is part of the investigation," he said.
In New Delhi, Union Minister Prithviraj Chavan said the Government was taking the issue "very seriously" as it was "breach of some security measures".
Chavan, who is the Minister of State for Atomic Energy, said, "All agencies are looking into the matter. Somebody from the lab, who had access to the water cooler, had done it between between 3 am and 6 am (of November 24)."
On the medical treatment provided to around 50 employees who were exposed to radiation after drinking the cooler water, Chavan said, "All the people have been medicated and they have returned to work."
Kaiga plant officials said the computer access control system has a record of all the personnel who had entered the “operating island” as the contamination incident is believed to be an insider's job.