Centre not to widen Kaiga nuke plant sterilised area

Centre not to widen Kaiga nuke plant sterilised area

The Centre has ruled out acquiring additional land outside Kaiga nuclear power plant in Karwar to expand the sterilised zone, arguing that the existing space is good enough for nuclear safety.

Responding to a question in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office V Narayansamy said though the government had received a request for acquiring additional land outside Kaiga and arranging for rehabilitation and resettlement of people living there, there was no need for such a move.

“The lands already acquired are in line with the stipulations of the relevant Atomic Energy Regulatory Board code and there is no need for acquiring additional lands in existing sterilised zone or extending the limit of sterilised zone,” he said.

A five km radius outside a nuclear power plant was the exclusion zone where every normal life activity was allowed, barring hazardous industries. While the radiation level was lower than the approved limit in all exclusion zones, in some cases, the radiation emanating from nuclear power plants was 100 times less than the approved limit.

Karnataka is included in the Centre’s plans to set up nuclear power plants. Intervening in the question hour, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said nuclear power was in the country’s interest. 

“It would be harmful for the country’s interest to pass an ordinance of self-denial that we shall give up the option of having nuclear power as an additional source,” Singh said, pointing out that India was not in a position to do away with nuclear power like Japan and Germany.

“Japan has a much larger proportion of its power coming from the nuclear plants. In Germany also, questions have been raised about the nuclear power but Germany relies on France (as a source of power) and France has a large number of nuclear plants,” he said.

Singh, however, accepted that there should be no compromise when it came to the question of nuclear safety.

“We will never do anything that creates doubts about the safety of these plants. Our safety measures are an open book and we must do everything in power to ensure foolproof safety of the nuclear plant,” he said.

Narayansamy said 4,514 people lost land due to Kudankulam I and II projects but all of them had received compensation and one member from every project affected families would be given a job at Kudankulam.

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