Monday, January 20th, 2020

Environmental clearance to the 9900 MW Jaitapur Nuclear Power project

INVC,, Mumbai,,
Union Environment & Forests Ministry has given environmental clearance to the 9900 MW Jaitapur Nuclear Power project in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district. The approval has been given subject to 35 conditions and safeguards, of which 23 are specific in nature while 12 are general conditions. The certificate of the environmental clearance was handed over by the Union Environment & Forests Minister Shri Jairam Ramesh to the Maharashtra Chief Minister Shri Prithviraj Chavan at a function attended by several ministers from the Maharashtra government, French Ambassador to India and officials from French company Areva, which will be supplying the reactors. The project aims at installing 6 units of 1650 MW power capacity each at the Madban village in Ratnagiri district in western Maharashtra. The power from the project will be available from 2016 onwards in stages. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) would now enter into commercial negotiations with AREVA.
Addressing the gathering, Union Environment & Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh said that the decision to grant environmental clearance was taken after balancing the objectives of economic growth, fuel-mix objectives, strategic diplomacy especially after Civilian Nuclear Deal and the environmental concerns. Shri Ramesh said that the nuclear energy was the cleanest form of energy source from environment perspective. “Nuclear energy is a cleaner option of energy. It is also significantly less land-intensive and does not emit green house gases (GHG). If India is to implement its commitment to climate change and grow its energy production, I am sure that nuclear energy is the most suitable option,” he said. Acknowledging that the Western ghats, where the project was coming up, was a ecologically sensitive region, Shri Ramesh said his ministry would work with the Maharashtra government on conducting studies on carrying capacity of the region and cumulative environmental impact assessment studies in Raigarh, Sindudurg and Ratnagiri district. “Today, we do the environmental impact assessment on project to project basis but that is not the ideal way. In this region, a number of coal-based power projects and mining projects are coming up. Hence we need to look at the overall environment impact assessment,” the Union Minister said.
The Union Minister denied the allegations that he was against all development projects and said that his ministry cleared 95% projects were given environment clearance while 85% projects got forest approval. He said the project has been given a go ahead in 80 days after the National Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) submitted its environment impact assessment report. Presently, nuclear energy contributes to 2.9% of India’s electricity generating capacity and India is aiming at increasing it to about 6% by 2020 and to nearly 13% by 2030.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said that the project would require 938 hectare of land in five villages and would displace 2335 families in the area. He said though final award has been declared as per the current laws on rehabilitation and relief, the matter has been referred to a high powered Group of Ministers (GoM), which has recommended enhancement of compensation. He allayed fears on account of waste disposal from the nuclear plant saying that the waste fuel management would be under the supervision of IAEA and the waste would not escape the limits of the boundary of the plant. The chief minister asserted that the investment in the nuclear power plant would change the face of the area.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri S. Banerjee, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission said that though the country had an indigenous capability of establishing nuclear reactors for nuclear energy and had developed a full cycle technology to support that however the energy demand of the country were much higher. He said it is for this reason that India had decided to establish large size project with power plants of over 1000 MW. The government of India had decided to establish 5 coastal energy parks, which will have advantage of bringing in heavy equipment and would reduce the exclusion zone by half. The deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, who also hold the power portfolio said, that the project will take care of the power requirement of Maharashtra for the next 25 years. [caption id="attachment_20829" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The Minister of State for Environment and Forests (Independent Charge), Shri Jairam Ramesh and addressing a Press Conference on Environment clearance for the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project, Rajapur(Distt. Ratnagiri), in Mumbai on November 28, 2010. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Prithviraj Chavan is also seen."]The Minister of State for Environment and Forests (Independent Charge), Shri Jairam Ramesh  and addressing  a Press Conference on Environment clearance for the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project, Rajapur(Distt. Ratnagiri), in Mumbai on November 28, 2010. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Prithviraj Chavan is also seen.[/caption]

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