Social activists on Tuesday labelled the 35 conditions announced by environment minister Jairam Ramesh for the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant at Ratnagiri district as a “farce”.
Addressing a press conference, the green activists alleged that the environmental clearance was granted “in haste” before French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to India.
The green clearance had not addressed the important concerns regarding how radioactive spent fuel would be disposed and reprocessed. “The 35 conditions are side issues,” said social scientist Vivek Monteiro.
“The issue of spent fuel is the 36th issue which has not been addressed. Even the environment impact assessment report has not mentioned the issue of solid waste disposal and spent fuel which has the highest radioactivity.”
The activists, who have come together under the Konkan Bachao Samiti and the Janhit Seva Samiti, will seek the advice of legal experts to explore the option of moving court to challenge the project.
A protest has been organised on December 2 and will be followed by a scientific conference at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences on December 3.
Monteiro, who moved the court against the Dabhol Power Plant in 2000, said 350 tonnes of spent fuel accumulated per annum from the Jaitapur plant for reprocessing would be equivalent to 1,000 Hiroshima bombs.
“In case of a disaster, the plant of this scale will emit 10 times more radioactivity as compared to the Chernobyl disaster whose effects are still being seen in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia,” said Sanjay Singhvi, member of the Central Committee, CPI (ML). “It is clear that the project is about foreign policy and not energy.”
“The government spent Rs 10,000 crore to cover losses. The Dabhol plant is still not running.” Monteiro said.