The two-member independent commission, which wrapped up its three-day hearing on nuclear power and the proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP) on Saturday, is likely to submit its final report in August.
The commission, headed by former chief justices AP Shah and SD Pandit, said it will send questionnaires to various authorities in the nuclear energy establishment for their views.
“There is a lot of material with the tribunal and we have asked experts to offer their comments on them. We would like to hear from the concerned authorities and department and then prepare a report,” said justice Shah. The former judges will visit the project-affected villages in July to record objections raised by the locals.
The final report will cover three aspects — if nuclear power is dangerous and must not be adopted, issues of JNPP with respect to environment, displacement and the fishing community and repression by the state government.
Wrapping up the three-day People’s Tribunal held at St Xavier’s College, justice Shah said, “It is unfair that there is no public debate in this country and everything is hush-hush.”
Earlier in the day, students from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences presented a report ‘Refugees of Development’ based on their two-day visit to Jaitapur in December. The report concluded that villagers did not want to part with their land, were worried about the hazards of the plant and did not believe the government’s false assurances of employment.
In his deposition, social scientist Vivek Monteiro said the environment assessment impact report made no mention of the storage and reprocessing of highly radioactive spent fuel. Environmentalist Debi Goenka said the plant design and its safety had to be cleared by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). “But since the AERB is not an independent agency, but a subsidiary of Department of Atomic Energy, there was no independent appraisal of the project,” he added.
Justice Shah said, “If the safety study has not been undertaken, it should be sent back to the EIA (stage).”