Ramesh backs atomic energy generation, Jaitapur N-plant

Batting for the use of atomic energy, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Monday slammed environmentalists opposed to it saying the ongoing debate over the proposed Jaitapur nuclear power plant.

Last Updated: Jan 03, 2011, 22:57 PM IST

New Delhi: Batting for the use of atomic energy, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Monday slammed environmentalists opposed to it saying the ongoing debate over the proposed Jaitapur nuclear power plant was more political than technical in nature.

Amid concerns over nuclear waste management at Jaitapur,
Ramesh also said it was not an immediate problem for India.

Taking a dig at those opposing the Jaitapur power plant
in Maharashtra, he said "from an environmental point of view,
it is really tragic that nuclear energy is red rag to the
green bull.

"All the greens are anti-nuclear...it`s paradoxical
actually. All the greens want clean energy to control global
warming but when it comes to nuclear...the current debate on
Jaitapur, it is more political than technical."

He said nuclear energy was necessary to curb the
greenhouse gases emitted by India. "38 per cent of the green
house gases by India are produced due to electricity
generation," he said.

Referring to concerns over nuclear waste management,
he said "today, we don`t have a waste management problem. We
will have it by the year 2020-2030."

He said it would be "really wrong" to claim that India
faced the problem of nuclear waste management on Monday.

"Today, we don`t have waste management. The second stage
of the three stage cycle (of using nuclear fuel) enables us to
deal with much of the waste as is being generated today," he
said participating in a panel discussion on `Our nuclear
future: perspective and prospects`.

Ramesh pointed out that the nuclear waste generated at
5000 MW capacity is not the same at 10,000 MW generated in
countries like the United States.

"We must have a sense of balance, a sense of proportion,
which seems to be missing in so far as the environmental
approach to nuclear energy is concerned," he said.

The Union minister agreed that the issues being raised,
particularly in relation to waste management, need to be
addressed in a "much more credible fashion".

NGOs and green activists are up in arms against an
ambitious 10,000-mw nuclear power project being set up by the
Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) in Jaitapur amid
concerns over ecology, displacement of local populace and
nuclear waste management.

PTI