Giving up nuclear power `harmful`, says PM

Making a strong pitch for nuclear energy, PM said it would be "harmful" if the country gave up the option of additional source of electricity.

New Delhi: Making a strong pitch for nuclear energy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said it would be "harmful" if the country gave up the option of additional source of electricity.

"We are not in a situation in which Japan is there... It would be harmful for the country`s interest to pass an Ordinance of self-denial that we shall give up the option of having nuclear power as an additional source," he told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

Singh was replying to a question by Anant Geete (Shiv Sena) on the Prime Minister`s views on giving up nuclear power like Japan which has put safety issues ahead of its need for electricity.

At the same time, the Prime Minister said there would be no compromise on the issue of nuclear safety.

He said that as far as the present policies with regard to nuclear power were concerned, the government was of the view that when it comes to questions of safety, there should be no compromise whatsoever.

"Our safety measures are an open book... So, I think, the policy that we have right now is that we must do everything in our power to ensure foolproof safety of the nuclear plant. That we will never compromise with," Singh said.
“But, at the same time, I would respectfully submit that it would be harmful for the country`s interest to pass an Ordinance of self-denial that we shall give up the option of having nuclear power as an additional source," Singh said.

The Prime Minister said that government would never do anything which creates doubts about the safety of nuclear plants.

India has 19 functioning nuclear reactors and there has never been any incident, Singh noted.
"And even after Fukushima, I ordered a complete revisit to all the 19 reactors. Those findings of the NPCIL are on the websites for everybody to see," he said.
On Germany giving up nuclear power, the Prime Minister pointed out that Germany relies on France to meet its power need and France has a large number of nuclear power plants.

PTI

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