Bangalore, India: In the wake of the devastation caused by the 9-magnitude quake in Japan, India’s leading geologists voiced concern over safety of the country’s nuclear plants, Deccan Herald reports. However, Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister, Government of India, stated that Indian nuclear plants are safe because they are away from geological faults.
K.S. Valdiya, a geologist at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore, is one of those who believe that complacence will be harmful. Valdiya said his latest work had confirmed that many “lineaments” that have been identified by remote sensing technology and field work along the western coasts of Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra “are actually geological faults” potentially capable of causing earthquakes. “Some of these faults are active, some inert and some are ‘locked,’ meaning there is no movement taking place,” Valdyia said. There are hundreds of faults with no movement, “but certainly stresses and strains are accumulating there and when the limit is exceeded there will be an earthquake,” he added.
“One cannot simply locate nuclear plants on the basis of today’s hazard zoning map that is based on past occurrences of earthquakes. Just because a fault has not been identified, it doesn’t mean the fault does not exist,” Valdiya stressed. Valdiya’s findings will soon be published in the journal of the Geological Society of India.
According to C.P. Rajendran of the Centre for Earth Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, the biggest earthquake threat to India is from the Himalayas. He said, “It can generate both large and great earthquakes (magnitude-7 and above).” He added, “We need to focus both on the earthquake engineering and on the scientific research of the earthquake processes.” Vineet Gahalaut, senior geologist at the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) in Hyderabad also supports Rajendran’s view point.
Source: Deccan Herald