Jaitapur plant’s safety not my job: Jairam

March 16th, 2011 - 11:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh Wednesday said he was not sure if tsunamis were factored into the environment clearance process of the Jaitapur nuclear plant and that improving safety was not his ministry’s job.

“I don’t recall if tsunami was factored into the environment clearance process (of Jaitapur nuclear plant). But the safety and radioactive management was the responsibility of the AERB (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board),” Ramesh told reporters here.

Everything cannot be lumped as an environmental issue, said Ramesh, who also thwarted those protesting against the plant stating safety reasons.

“We should not hit the rewind button. We just need to be cautious as we cannot abandon it, as a growing country like India needs nuclear energy,” added Ramesh.

The minister had a day earlier said the government could take a relook at environment concerns at the Jaitapur nuclear power plant after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for a review of nuclear safety systems.

The government’s move came after a devastating earthquake and tsunami damaged three nuclear reactors in Japan, leading to fears of a nuclear meltdown.

However, the Atomic Energy Commission had allayed fears on the safety of the proposed 9,900 MW Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant project coming up in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, saying it was absolutely “safe” and could even withstand a tsunami of the magnitude experienced by Japan.

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