The proposed Jaitapur nuclear power plant in Ratnagiri district will have no impact on the ecology, says the environment impact assessment (EIA) report.
Prepared by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute in Nagpur to evaluate the potential impact on air, noise, water, land and radioactivity because of the plant, the report states that 938-hectare acquired for the plant is undeveloped and devoid of bio-sensitive zones.
The green go-ahead for the plant also rests on the premise that there is no national park or sanctuary within 25 kilometres from the project site.
“It is a rocky and barren land with no habitation and vegetation. There is no roosting or breeding sites and is not used for saltpans or drying of fish. Therefore, the conversion of this land will have no impact on the flora, fauna and human activities,” read the report.
Ahead of the public hearing to be held on May 16 at the plant site in Madban village, the EIA report is a mandatory requirement by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Both are essential for environment clearance for the power plant based on which the ministry will give its final decision.
A date for the actual ground break will then be decided upon.
The proposed plant across five villages — Madban, Niweli, Mithgawane, Varilvada and Karel — will house six imported European light water reactors poised to generate 10,000 megawatt of power.
In the first phase, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has got permission to build two reactors of 1,650 mega watt each.
The report states that while there will be no direct emissions from conventional pollutants, the initial stage of construction will see a rise in suspended particulate matter.
With 238 hectare comprising residential complexes and offices, the domestic sewage will be treated and reused for development of green zones.
Before construction work begins, an Environmental Survey Laboratory will be set up to collect baseline data over an area of 30 kilometres around the site.
To be functional through the plant's entire life, the laboratory will monitor radioactivity in water samples, vegetation and food products.
The nuclear power plant is an outcome of the September 2008 Indo-French agreement soon after the Nuclear Suppliers Group lifted international restrictions, allowing foreign countries to collaborate with India for civil nuclear cooperation.