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“All nine nuclear plants in the country are fully safe”

Special Correspondent


Country will never face Japan-like situation, says top officer of Nuclear Energy Corporation of India

“Nuclear power plants to come up at Gorakhpur in Fatehabad district of Haryana”


CHANDIGARH: “All the nine nuclear plants in India are fully safe and working properly,'' said K. B. Dixit, Executive Director of the Nuclear Energy Corporation of India, at Panchkula near here on Monday. Making a presentation on ‘Safety Measures at Nuclear Plants' at Urja Bhawan, he asserted, “India will never face a Japan-like situation after an earthquake and tsunami as there is a lot of geographical difference between the two countries.''

Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone countries as it falls in the high Zone Five of the earthquake-prone region. The recent earthquake in Japan was of nine magnitude in Richter scale.

Stating that India falls under Zone Three, Mr. Dixit said that the main earthquake belt comprised the North-East region and the upper areas of the Himalayas.

“Since most of the nuclear plants are about 900 to 1,300 km away from this earthquake belt, these are fully safe,” he said.

He added that the first nuclear plant was set up in India in 1969 and since then it had been working smoothly. Now the Corporation had adopted the policy to set up nuclear plants of 700 MW.

In Haryana also, four nuclear plants each of 700 MW would be set up at Gorakhpur in Fatehabad district.

The Centre has constituted a high-powered committee to review the safety of nuclear plants in the country. The Corporation had also constituted a work force at its own level. And the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) were also reviewing the plants, he added.

Sanjeev Kaushal, Managing Director of Haryana Power Generation Corporation, said the sanction for the nuclear plants at Gorakhpur in Fatehabad had been granted in 1984 by the then Haryana Government, and thereafter, successive governments had approved it. “There is no political dispute about the location of the plant,'' he claimed while stating that surveys were carried out in 2000-01, 2004 and 2007, and notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act was issued on July 29, 2010.

He further disclosed that notification under Section 6 would probably be issued on July 28, 2011.

Farmers of Gorakhpur have been sitting on dharna outside the Mini-Secretariat in Fatehabad for more than 200 days now protesting against the acquisition of their fertile land for the nuclear plants. Concern has also been voiced over the safety aspects.

However, Mr. Kaushal said, “In all, 1,503.4 acres of land would be acquired for this purpose out of which 1,313.46 acres was in Gorakhpur and Kajadhedi. About 38 acres was panchayati and shamalat land which was under government control. No forest or residential land formed part of it. The people of Fatehabad have given letters of oath for 900 acres to the Deputy Commissioner and they have welcomed the decision to set up the nuclear plants.'' He further said that 191 objections had been received which would be given a hearing.

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