‘Work on Jaitapur, Koodankulam might be delayed’



Mumbai: Amid public resistance to nuclear power projects at Jaitapur and Koodankulam, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has said the work on both plants will be completed but there could be delay.

"There is opposition to these projects. But we are confident that these would be completed though there would be a little delay," SK Malhotra, Head Public Awareness Division, DAE told reporters here ahead of India Nuclear Energy 2011 Summit beginning Thursday.

There have been mass protests by locals and activists against the 9900-MW Jaitapur plant and 2000-MW Koodankulam project in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu respectively due to land acquisition issues and safety concerns in the backdrop of the Fukushima disaster.

However, the DAE has disfavoured the scrapping of these projects in view of the mounting energy needs.

"Considering the huge demand for power, going for nuclear energy is inevitable. Barring a few incidents like the one in Fukushima, nuclear-based power is safe. It uses 20,000 times less fuel as compared to thermal power. In the long run, we will need thermal as well as nuclear (energy) for generating power," Malhotra said.

"All aspects of safety are being looked into by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board as well as NPCIL. Necessary recommendations have been made and changes are being made. The work on the Koodankulam project is in last stages and we expect it to reach the criticality level in the next two months," he added.

PTI