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Karachi nuclear reactor leaks

A seven-hour emergency was declared at a key nuclear power plant in Pakistani city of Karachi after heavy water leaked from a feeder pipe of the reactor but no one was affected by radiation, officials said on Thursday.

world Updated: Oct 21, 2011 01:37 IST

A seven-hour emergency was declared at a key nuclear power plant in Pakistani city of Karachi after heavy water leaked from a feeder pipe of the reactor but no one was affected by radiation, officials said on Thursday.


The emergency was declared at Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) at midnight on Tuesday after the leak in the primary heat transport system of the plant at Hawke's Bay was detected.

The emergency at the plant built in 1971 with the cooperation of Canada continued till 7 am on Wednesday, when the situation was brought under control, a media report said.

The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission announced today that a "minor heavy water leakage" occurred during a "maintenance job" at KANUPP in the early hours of October 19.

According to standard procedure, a "station emergency" or an emergency limited to the plant was declared to put staff on alert and to summon additional support staff.

"The leakage at the plant was under control with no injury and no one was affected by radiation," PAEC said in a statement.

There was no injury to any worker and radiation exposure of all workers "remained within permissible limits".

The leakage was brought under control by following routine procedures and the "emergency was terminated".

There was no leakage outside the reactor containment and "most of the lost heavy water has since been recovered", the statement said.

Earlier, plant spokesman Tariq Rashid said it "was a leak but there was no radiation or damage to the reactor".

"There is no need for any alarm as the situation at the plant is under control but the leakage may delay the reopening of the plant and making it operational again," Rashid said.