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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Centre's clearance for nuke reactors awaited

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 12, 2011
First Published: 02:07 IST(12/4/2011) | Last Updated: 02:08 IST(12/4/2011)

The aftershocks of the nuclear emergency in Japan are being felt in India, leading to a delay in getting clearance for constructing the first two reactors at the proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant in Ratnagiri district.

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The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) that builds and operates nuclear plants is yet to get the Jaitapur project sanctioned by the Central government.

"Normally, it takes about 18 months for the proposal to go to the government. We will now submit the proposal once we are clear on the safety reviews and emergency preparedness in all plants," said JK Ghai, director, finance, NPCIL, on Monday.

Till date, 12 foreign banks have expressed their interest to finance the Jaitapur project.

"Everyone is watching the situation in Japan. The techno-commercial discussions with the French company are in advanced stages.

But for Fukushima incident, we would have submitted our proposal in the next few months."

Meanwhile, the taskforce that was formed last month to review the safety of the country's 20 nuclear reactors in the wake of the nuclear crisis at the Japan's Fukushima plant has submitted its report to the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

"The reports were submitted last Friday and will be now be discussed. Based on the safety review reports, the government will take a call on what more safety measures are needed in our plants," said Ghai.

Following instructions of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, NPCIL had set up four separate teams to review safety of the nuclear reactors.

The teams reviewed the boiling water reactors at Tarapur, nuclear plant in Rajasthan, reactors at Kalpakkam and all remaining pressurized heavy water reactors.

Ghai also said the NPCIL was treading slowly on the work to set up two more domestic plants in Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. "The sensitivities of the people as well as human psychology will be taken into consideration," said Ghai. "All these projects will therefore take some more time than we had thought."

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