Jairam Ramesh distances himself from Jaitapur nuke project

March 20th, 2011 - 2:25 pm ICT by ANI  

Hyderabad, Mar. 20 (ANI): Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has claimed that the impact assessment for the controversial Jaitapur nuclear power project in western India has been done by another government agency and not by his ministry.

He said that the National Environment and Engineering Research Institute conducted the environment impact assessment for the Jaitapur plant proposed to be set up in Maharashtra, and after that, clearance was given subject to 35 conditions.

“As far safety is concerned, as far as radioactive waste management is concerned, that is not our responsibility, that is the responsibility Atomic Energy Regulatory Board,” Ramesh said in Hyderabad.

Ramesh admitted that India needed to review safety of its nuclear plants following the recent natural calamity in Japan. He said New Delhi cannot afford to abandon its nuclear energy program.

“What has happened in Japan is very serious. We will have to learn appropriate lessons and whatever additional safeguards, additional precautions are required we must take, but I don’t believe India can abandon nuclear energy (programme),” said Ramesh.

The nuclear project at Jaitapur, which would be built in collaboration with French firm Areva, has run into rough weather as protesters have argued that it would harm the local environment and put people at risk.

India has 20 nuclear reactors in operation in six power plants, generating over 4,000 megawatts of electricity while five other plants are under construction. (ANI)

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