Citing deficiencies in pre-feasibility reports, the Environment Ministry has refused to prescribe terms of reference for four atomic power projects proposed by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd.
ToRs are the mandatory conditions granted to any project for undertaking detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the purpose of obtaining a ‘green’ clearance.
The projects which have been rejected are from Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. The plants were to be built by NPCIL, a public sector unit, with an objective to help the states overcome the acute power shortage.
An expert appraisal committee (EAC) of the Ministry, in its meeting held a fortnight ago, had asked the NPCIL to revise the project documents and submit the same afresh for further consideration by it.
In Gujarat, a nuclear power park (6x1000 MWe) was to be set up in Chhaya Mithi Virdi village in Bhavnagar district in three stages of 2x1000 MWe each with a gap of about three years, said a senior Environment Ministry official.
However, noting that the information submitted by the project proponent was incomplete, the panel refused to prescribe ToRs for undertaking detailed EIA study for the purpose of obtaining environmental clearance in accordance with the provisions of the EIA Notification, 2006.
It pointed out that the pre-feasibility report is “found to be lacking in the requisite details” and asked for land use details and land use map, environmental setting of the site and details of the township component.
Attributing similar reasons, the panel has refused to prescribe ToRs for two power plants each in MP atomic power project (2x700 MWe) in Madhya Pradesh, a 4x700 MWe nuclear power plant in Fatehabad in Haryana and a nuclear power park (6x1000 MWe) in village Kowada in Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh.
The nuclear power parks (6x1000 MWe) in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh are proposed to be implemented in three stages of 2x1000 MWe each with a gap of about three years.
With each project, a residential township is also proposed to be constructed for which water requirement will be met through establishment of a desalination plant.
After India signed a civil nuclear deal with the US, states have been in a spree of setting up atomic power plants with analysts pointing out that such projects will help meet future energy needs and reduce emissions of pollutants.
NPCIL is following a schedule of developing nuclear power plants in a period of 50 to 60 months, said to be among the fastest plant erection schedules in the world.