Home > In the Media > Jaitapur nuclear project gets conditional eco clearance

Jaitapur nuclear project gets conditional eco clearance

November 28, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Hindu Businessline Bureau
10,000 MW unit to bring in investment of over Rs 1 lakh crore.

Mumbai, Nov. 28

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest on Sunday gave a conditional environmental clearance to the 10,000 MW Jaitapur nuclear plant in Maharashtra. The project will come up in phases over the next 15 years and will bring in an investment of more than Rs 1 lakh crore in the region.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) will have to abide by 35 environmental conditions in which top priority has been given to preserving the marine biodiversity of the sea near the plant.

Phase I

The first phase is expected to be completed within the next five years and the remaining phases by 2020. French nuclear giant, Areva, will provide six European pressurised reactors. These third generation reactors are designed with very advance safety features. An agreement between Areva and NPCIL is likely to be signed next month during the French President, Mr Nicholas Sarkozy’s state visit to India. The Union Minister for Environment and Forests, Mr Jairman Ramesh, addressing the media, said that the clearance to the project has been given considering major issues such as national economic growth, diversification of fuel mix for power generation in the country, strategic diplomacy and environmental concerns, he said.

Ecologically-sensitive

Jaitapur plant, located at Ratnagiri, is part of the ecologically-sensitive Western Ghats region, he said. The only forest cover in Maharashtra is in this region and in the Vidarbha. Therefore, the Ministry had to strike a balance between development and environment while sanctioning the project, he said. Mr Ramesh said his Ministry had given the environmental clearance to the Jaitapur project in 80 days from the day NPCIL submitted the final environment assessment report. The Navi Mumbai airport clearance took 115 days from the time City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra submitted its assessment report, he said.

“I am not anti-development; environment clearance is given to about 95 per cent of the projects which come to my Ministry while 85 per cent get forest clearance,” he said.

Mr Ramesh said although the project has got the environment clearance, if it (the project) undergoes some changes in terms of design and technology while getting approval from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and if those changes have a significant impact on the environment, then the project will have to be referred back to the Ministry for environment clearance, he said.

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