Nuclear catastrophe in Japan a wake up call for all: Jairam Ramesh

March 15th, 2011 - 5:49 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Mar 15 (ANI): Terming the recent happenings in Japan to be a humanitarian tragedy, Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, on Tuesday said the nuclear catastrophe in Japan is a wake up call for India and all other nations.

“What has happened is horrendous. Japan, which is best prepared to deal with earthquakes to lose so much life and property and particularly the nuclear catastrophe is a matter of great concern for all of us,” Ramesh told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

“I think what happened in Japan is a humanitarian tragedy and our Prime Minister has already extended our support, understanding the situation in Japan. But it is also a wake up call for all,” 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.

In the wake of the nuclear crisis in Japan, India is planning urgent steps to review safety norms and measures of its nuclear power plants in case of any eventuality and to withstand natural disasters of the magnitude as witnessed in Japan.

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.

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)

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