Govt pushes ahead with Jaitapur, assures safety
New Delhi: Making its intent clear, the government, Tuesday, said that the Jaitapur project is on track and that the strictest safety systems will be implemented with the focus being on transparency.
In a joint briefing on project by the Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office V Narayanasamy, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan and Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission Dr Srikumar Banerjee, it was announced that the government will ensure complete transparency in the country’s nuclear power programme.
In an important decision, the government has also decided to set up an autonomous nuclear regulatory which will succeed the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. The bill for the same would be introduced in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament.
Specifically with regards to Jaitapur, it was announced that each nuclear reactor in Jaitapur will have its own standalone safety system.
It will be also ensured that all reactors and technology, without exception as to whether it is of domestic origin or imported, meet the safety standards stipulated by the regulatory authorities.
The focus would be maintaining transparency, Narayanasamy said.
Jairam Ramesh also assured that environmental factors are being factored in while giving a go ahead for the project, adding that Jaitapur plant will be implemented in phased manner with the first two reactors scheduled to start operating only by 2019.
The slow approach towards the project – six reactors in all – is to study the environmental impact, if any, of the first two reactors before the other reactors are built.
Ramesh also said that the lessons learnt from the Japan nuclear crisis have also been factored in.
Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan on his part added that all concerns regarding the project would be taken into account and a special compensation package will be announced soon.
On the political opposition to the project, he hoped that everybody would understand the importance of Jaitapur and support it.
The announcements were made today after Chavan and Ramesh met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today morning and discussed the issue.
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