Areva and NPCIL to meet 35 conditions imposed by MoEF
Geetanjali Minhas | November 29, 2010
Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) has got the environmental clearance for its 9900 MW Jaitapur nuclear power plant situated in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. The project, a joint venture with French nuclear reactor maker Areva, has been given the go-ahead with 35 conditions.
Announcing the clearance, subject to the project complying with 35 conditions, Jairam Ramesh, environment and forests minister said, “Nuclear power energy is a clean environment option with low carbon emissions compared to coal,” and added that he had to take the middle ground considering sustained nine percent economic growth, fuel mix diversification, global diplomacy and environmental concerns.
“Presently, nuclear energy accounts for around 2.9 percent of our electricity generating capacity .We are looking at increasing it to about six percent by 2020 and possibly 13 percent by 2030,” Ramesh said.
Asking for a balanced approach of thinking, Ramesh said that a nation of 1.2 billion people adding 10 million people every year is not going to meet its energy needs through biogas, solar energy and wind energy. “We must be realistic to realize that to grow and provide employment we need commercial energy like nuclear power, hydel power and coal-based power," he said.
The minister said that a large number of power plants, mining projects, port projects and other pollution-intensive industries are coming up in Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Raigarh districts of Maharashtra and called for a comprehensive environmental impact assessment of the entire region as against a project-wise study.
In addition to NPCIL’s power plants at Tarapur and Kaiga, Jaitapur is the third to come up in an ecologically sensitive region. The region is rich in bio diversity and is ecologically fragile. Its first unit of 1650 MW is expected to be operational by 2018.
The project will go into reconsideration to the ministry of environment and forests if during finalisation of the project design and approval by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), it undergoes design and technology changes as compared to the one proposed at the time of obtaining environmental clearance. These changes should have a significant impact on environmental components.
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