Govt should halt setting up of Jaitapur N-plant: CPI-M

The CPI(M) demanded an immediate halt to the setting up of a nuclear power project in Jaitapur and the environment clearance given to it.

New Delhi: The CPI(M) on Tuesday demanded an
immediate halt to the setting up of a nuclear power project in
Jaitapur and the environment clearance given to it, saying the
crisis in nuclear reactors in Japan following the tsunami
warranted a re-examination of the project.

The party also claimed that the imported European
Pressurised Reactors (EPR) from French company `Areva` have
not been commissioned anywhere in the world and questions are
being raised about the reliability and safety of these "more
expensive" new reactors.
"Given the crisis which has developed in some of the
nuclear power reactors in Japan after the tsunami and the
threat of a meltdown, it is imperative that the environmental
clearance given to the project be withdrawn. The issue should
be reexamined," party Politburo said in a statement.

The party Polit Bureau calls for an "immediate halt to
the Jaitapur nuclear power project, it said adding the locals
have been "totally opposed" to the location of the plant and
refused to accept the forcible acquisition of their lands.

"Both in France and Finland, the construction of these
reactors (EPR) have run into various difficulties. The
justifications being given about the EPR project at Jaitapur
by the concerned authorities cannot be accepted. The safety
and interests of the people of Jaitapur and the country should
be paramount," the party said.
Earlier this month, an NGO `Coalition of Nuclear
Disarmament and Peace` (CNDP) has termed the plant a "bad
bargain" and alleged that the government was purchasing six
"untested" EPRs, a technology about which regulators in
Britain and US has raised around 3,000 safety issues.

They claimed that the purchase was a bid help the
French company Areva, which "is in deep trouble" financially
as it had sought USD four billion in a short-term bailout from
French taxpayers.

The report prepared by CNDP alleged the government was
promoting an "exorbitantly expensive, inappropriate and
extremely hazardous project" based on French company Areva`s
EPR, which is "untested anywhere and which has not been
cleared by the nuclear regulatory authority of any country,
including France".

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan,
addressing a rally at Jaitapur earlier, had dubbed as "100 per
cent false" the concerns voiced by those opposed to the
nuclear power project. Atomic Energy Commission Chairman
Srikumar Banerjee had said that the EPRs were safe reactors.