Govt. assures transparency in country’s nuclear power programme

April 26th, 2011 - 9:26 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Apr 26 (ANI): Defending its decision to set up the Plant at Jaitapur, the government today announced that will bring a bill in the Parliament for setting up an independent and autonomous nuclear regulatory authority that will succeed the current Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.

The government further assured of a complete transparency in the country’s nuclear power programme, saying all efforts will be made to engage the local community in Jaitapur for whom a generous new compensation package will be announced soon.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh, and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) V. Narayanasamy met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh regarding the Jaitapur nuclear power plant issue this morning.

They assured Dr. Singh that all efforts will be made to engage local communities and address their fears and concerns in a credible manner. It was agreed that livelihoods of local fishermen and their families must continue to get the highest priority by the State Government and NPCIL.

Several aspects of the overall nuclear energy programme of the country in the light of the unfortunate developments in Japan were also discussed.

The Prime Minister underscored that safety of nuclear power plants is a matter of highest priority and that there is need for improving public communication and outreach on the part of the Department of Atomic Energy and NPCIL. Dr. Singh also emphasized that nuclear safety should be seen not as a static, but as a continuously evolving process.

“With the Prime Minister according the safety of nuclear plants the highest priority, the NPCIL and Maharashtra government have assured him that all efforts would be made to engage the locals population and address their “fears and concerns in a credible manner,” Narayanasamy told reporters at a press conference here.

“The government will bring a bill in Parliament for setting up an independent and autonomous nuclear regulatory authority that will succeed the current Atomic Energy Regulatory Board,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ramesh said that it has been decided that there will be standalone safety mechanisms in the designs of the reactors, which was a very major step-forward.

Today’s meeting reviewed the current status of the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project as well as safety concerns arising out of the nuclear accident at Fukushima in Japan and their impact on India’s overall nuclear energy programme.

The following decisions were taken during the meeting:

1. The Government will introduce a Bill in the next session of Parliament to create an independent and autonomous Nuclear Regulatory Authority of India that will subsume the existing Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).

2. The initial results of the six safety review committees set up by the Government of India after the Fukushima accident will be made public. Action taken on previous safety reviews will be put in the pubic domain.

3. The best available expertise will be used to ensure the highest levels of safety. The Government will invite the Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) of IAEA to assist in its own safety reviews and audit.

4. Each reactor in Jaitapur will have its own individual stand alone safety and operation systems.

5. All reactors and technologies, whether indigenous or imported, will without exception meet the safety standards that are stipulated by the regulatory authorities, and there will be complete transparency in the functioning of the nuclear power programme. (ANI)

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