India`s nuke plants safe, world-class: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh On Wednesday assured the Lok Sabha that nuclear facilities in the country were "world-class" and all efforts were being made to maintain the best safety standards.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
On Wednesday assured the Lok Sabha that nuclear facilities in the
country were "world-class" and all efforts were being made to
maintain the best safety standards for both on-shore and
off-shore nuclear power plants.
"Safety concerns are paramount...You have my assurance
that while expanding our nuclear facilities we will not
compromise on nuclear safety. This is an on-going process. Our
nuclear facilities are world-class," Singh, who also holds the
Atomic Energy portfolio, told the Lok Sabha during Question
Hour.

He said that after the recent tragedy in Fukushima, Japan
where a nuclear power plant was hit during a Tsunami, he had
ordered nuclear agencies like NPCIL, BARC and AERB to re-look
into the issue of safety of India`s nuclear installations.

The Prime Minister`s remarks came in response to a query
from Jaswant Singh (BJP) about the steps being taken for
ensuring safety of the nuclear power plants in Rajasthan.

The BJP leader said six nuclear plants were already active
in Rawatbhatta in Rajasthan and the seventh plant was coming
up. He insisted that the Fukushima tragedy was a lesson and
consequences of such disasters are phenomenal.
Earlier, in reply to a question, Minister of State in PMO
V Narayanasamy said that the Prime Minister has asked AERB to
review the safety measures and has held meetings with the
departments concerned and authorities to discuss the issue.

"Four committees have been formed to go into additional
security measures after the Fukushima tragedy. AERB has
constituted a committee," Narayanasamy said.

Narayanasamy said atomic power stations in coastal areas
have been designed taking into account technical parameters
related to earthquake, Tsunami, storm surges, wave run-up,
floods and tides.

"Plants are, therefore, equipped with facilities to handle
such eventualities. The shore protection measures also include
construction of civil structures to minimise the effect of
some of these natural events," he said.

He assured the House that the latest equipment was being
used to check radiation leakage from atomic plants.

"These include area radiation monitors located inside and
outside the reactor and auxiliary buildings. The radiation
monitoring is also done through Environmental Survey
Laboratories established to monitor various radiation related
parameters in air, water, soil, crops, fish and meat up to 30
KM around," Narayansamy said.

He claimed that of the nine recommendations made by a task
force appointed by NPCIL for nuclear safety, six are being
implemented while the other three require permission of the
regulatory authority.

Those not implemented include recommendation related to
automatic shutdown on sensing seismic activity and inerting of
TAPS-1 and 2 containment.

Emphasising that all efforts are being made to ensure
safety of the nuclear plants, Narayanasamy said even after the
Tsunami that hit India in 2004, the Kalapakkam plant was shut
down for only three days.

PTI

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