The two earthquakes that jolted Maharashtra on Saturday had no impact on nuclear power plants in the state, India's nuclear operator said. "No effect was felt at any of the nuclear power plants and all reactors continue to operate normally," said S Krishnamurthy, executive director (operations) of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).
The NPCIL operates four nuclear power plants at Tarapur in Thane district with a capacity of generating 1,400 MW of electricity. It also operates two 220 MW nuclear power plants at Kakrapar in Surat, Gujarat.
Two earthquakes shook the state on Saturday morning. A 4.1 magnitude temblor with its epicentre at Kutch in Gujarat struck the region at 8.55 am. A 4.9 magnitude quake, which had its epicentre near Satara, 10km from the Koyna dam, shook the region at 10:50 am
Officials from Koyna dam said while the dam was safe, some minor cracks were seen at some houses near Patan. Being a quake prone region, Koyna has witnessed more than 1.1 lakh quakes - mostly minor - since the dam was built in the 1960s. The worst earthquake occurred in December 1967 that resulted in the death of around 180 people were killed and huge damage was reported after 6.7magnitude quake rocked the region.
"Minor earthquakes like these keep happening and have no significance. But it's a useful reminder for cities such as Mumbai and Delhi that fall under seismic zones 3, 4 and 5 to design earthquake resistant buildings and that standards have to be meticulously implemented," said professor Ravi Sinha, civil engineering department, Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay.