After Fukushima, Buddha non-committal on Haripur nuclear plant



Kolkata: With CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat demanding a stop on all new nuclear projects, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Sunday remained non-committal on whether the state government would allow the proposed coastal nuclear power plant at Haripur in East Midnapore district to be constructed.

"The disaster at the Fukushima power plant in Japan has generated a world-wide debate (about the safety of such plants). We will have to take a decision after studying various opinions," Bhattacharjee said at a 'Meet-the-Press' programme when asked whether the state government would allow the Haripur project in the wake of Karat's demand.

On Thursday, Karat demanded an immediate stop on all new nuclear projects, saying it was 'elementary' for the Centre to pay heed to public protests against such plants after the Fukushima disaster.

Bhattacharjee, who had earlier pitched for the Haripur project, said the protests there by locals and some NGOs were directed against setting up of any industry in the area.

"There was an agitation against setting up of a ship- building yard in the area. As a result, it could not be set up. The agitation at Haripur was targeted generally against setting up of industry in East Midnapore district," he said.

While a number of European countries have switched over to nuclear power, the Scandinavian countries have not, the Chief Minister said.

PTI