India's latest nuclear power plant on the coast of Arabian Sea in Gujarat will be tested for tsunami-like disasters, following the radiation leakage at Fukushima in Japan in early March.
The expert appraisal committee (EAC) of the environment ministry gave in-principle approval to two new nuclear plants in Bhavnagar in Gujarat and Mandla in Madhya Pradesh in mid-February.
Now, the ministry wants that the environment impact assessment of the 6,000-MW plant in Jaspara village in Gujarat to cover tsunami-proof systems.
The ministry has constituted a group, headed by former department of ocean development secretary AM Muthunayagam, to propose additional safeguards against tsunami.
"We want to find out whether the nuclear plants in coastal areas will have enough safety systems to bear the impact," a ministry official said.
The Bhavnagar plant will have 877 hectares and will require about 47,760 million litres of water for cooling the nuclear towers. The water will be drawn from the Arabian Sea.
The 1,400-MW Mandla plant will have a 447-hectare complex, of which one-fourth is forest.
The biggest hitch will be relocating 195 families residing there.
Under the Forest Rights Act, residents' consent is a must.
Already, in-principle approval has been given to another nuclear power plant at Fatehabad in Haryana, while the ministry is considering Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh and Bhavnagar in Gujarat for two new plants.
The EAC on November 2010 gave final approval to world's biggest nuclear 9,600-MW plant at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, resulting in a wave of local and international protests. Similar protests are expected at other sites, too, once land acquisition begins.
Once all these plants become operational in five to seven years, India will get over 20,000 MW of power.