India is basing its nuclear programme on the most recent technologies available, which makes it failsafe, minister of state in the Prime Minister’s office, V. Narayanasamy, has said.
The government will not rethink its nuclear policy, much less shelve it, even as protests over a new plant in Tamil Nadu continued. Though there was some apprehension at “the highest level” immediately after the Japan incident, a government-ordered safety audit showed that Indian plants could withstand natural disasters similar to the one that devastated Japan’s plants, he said.
“India’s nuclear programme doesn’t compare with Japan’s situation. Japan is a seismic-zone-5 country; our plants are in seismic zone 2 or 3,” Narayanasamy said.
Additionally, a host of new security features are being added to the country’s 20 reactors, the minister said.
Narayanasamy said all Indian plants were designed to shut down following natural disasters. New features were being added to several reactors situated on the shorelines, which include physical barriers, power backup to prevent the kind of overheating that caused a Fukushima plant to explode, he said.
According to the minister, “EPR” reactors to be installed at the French-built Jaitapur plant are of the “evolutionary-design” type, one with several new safety features.