India-based Neutrino Observatory project will not affect environment: Experts

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340 tonnes of explosives have to be used in controlled blast for five years to make a tunnel under the hill and that the explosives could be used only three times a day.

THENI: The India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) project will not harm the people; on the contrary, Pottipuram will become a familiar global name, said V M Datar, Project Director, INO, and Senior Professor, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, in Theni, on Saturday.

Datar and T V Venkateswaran, Scientist, Vigyan Prasar (Department of Science and Technology, Government of India), jointly told media persons that the INO authorities had applied for a clearance from the Pollution Control Board and Wild Life authorities and that it has got environmental clearance.

The two officials explained that there are three types of neutrons, electron, muon and tau, in the world and that the sources of neutrons are sun, stars, the atmosphere and nature. The project will involve collecting muons from the atmosphere, they said.

Stating that around Rs 70 crore out of the total project cost of Rs 1,583 crore has been spent on executing the preliminary works, the officials assured that transparency would be maintained and that members of the public, school and college students and research scholars would be invited to the lab.

A 5000-tonne weigh magnet will be installed in the rock tunnel and neutrons would come with cosmic rays. “The INO project will be implemented under a rocky hill to filter the rays. The hard rocks have the capacity to filter the rays and the neutrons can enter through the rocks,” they reiterated.

The detector will not produce any radiation, nor will it affect the nearby villages and agriculture, the two experts said.

They mentioned that around 340 tonnes of explosives have to be used in controlled blast for five years to make a tunnel under the hill and that the explosives could be used only three times a day. The dams, water bodies and villages will not be affected during the blasts, they clarified.

The project authorities have requested the TWAD Board to release five KLT of water per day to the project site for five years, and 340 KLT of water after the lab begins to function. “During the implementation, 2,30,000 cubic metres of rocks will need to be removed in the Amparapper Hill. All granite will be handed over to the state government. m-Sand can be used to erect buildings,” the officials said.

Source: The New Indian Express

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