New Delhi, Mar 15 (ANI): In the wake of a nuclear crisis in Japan, Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, on Tuesday promised that additional safeguards would be put in place before giving environmental clearance to the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP) in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.
Addressing the conclave on 'Business and Climate Change' here, Ramesh said the government would closely look into the safety systems and designing details of the project.
"Well, yesterday, the Prime Minister has made a detailed statement in the Parliament. I know the nuclear power corporation is re-looking on its safety systems, re-looking at design," said Ramesh.
"This appropriately is a subject that has to be dealt with by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and based on the technical reviews that the NPCIL (Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited) does, we will certainly be in touch with them, and if additional safeguards have to be built in as part of the environmental clearance, we will certainly look at it," he added.
Assuring the country that its atomic power generators were safe, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Monday said an immediate technical review of India's atomic plants has been ordered to check if they can withstand the impact of large natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes.
Making a statement in Parliament on the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Dr. Singh said: "The Department of Atomic Energy and its agencies, including the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) have been instructed to undertake an immediate technical review of all safety systems of our nuclear power plants, particularly with a view to ensuring that they would be able to withstand the impact of large natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes."
The Prime Minister further said Indian nuclear plants have, in the past, met safety standards during major natural calamities like the Gujarat earthquake in January 26, 2002 and the December 2004 tsunami.
Dr. Singh informed that India was in constant touch with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Japanese Atomic Industrial Forum and the World Association of Nuclear Operators.
The Jaitapur project would be built in collaboration with French firm Areva. The project has run into rough weather, as residents of the region argue that it would harm the local environment and put people at risk.
Japan's nuclear crisis has taken a turn for the worse with nuclear radiation being detected in Tokyo, which is 250 kilometres southwest of a Japanese quake-stricken atomic power plant.
Japan's Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant had exploded on Saturday, a day after a massive earthquake damaged the facility's cooling system. The plant's cooling system was damaged in Friday's quake. (ANI)