German bank pulls out of Jaitapur nuclear project: Greenpeace

"Commerzbank, the second largest bank in Germany, has pulled out from Jaitapur nuclear project. The decision was communicated to Greenpeace via e-mail and was made prior to the catastrophe in Japan," the environment NGO said in a statement.

"Commerzbank pulled out citing sustainability and reputational risk," it added.  The villagers in Jaitapur have been protesting against the project, saying radiation from the plant will affect them and the government had neither planned storage and disposal of the nuclear waste nor a draft on how to ecologically protect Ratnagiri district - a region of rich bio-diversity.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan last week declared that the state government would go ahead with the 9,900-MW Jaitapur nuclear power project being set up at a cost of Rs.60,000 crore ($13 billion) with French collaboration in Jaitapur village in the Konkan belt.

Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh Nov 28, 2010 announced the green signal for the project, being constructed by a French consortium led by nuclear reactor maker Areva.

On Tuesday, a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for a review of nuclear safety systems in the wake of the earthquake in Japan, Ramesh said the government could take a "relook" at environment concerns related to the Jaitapur plant.

"The prime minister made a detailed statement yesterday asking Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) to relook at safety systems. Based on the technical reviews by the NPCIL, we will certainly be in touch with them and if additional safeguards have to be built in as part of the environmental clearance, we will relook at it," Ramesh told reporters here.

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