Describing as untenable the proposed nuclear power project at Jaitapur, the National Committee in Solidarity with Jaitapur Struggle demanded a review of the plant.

Constituted last year to support the people of Jaitapur in their movement against the power plant, the National Committee has decided that the issues related with the project will be jointly raised in Parliament by Members of Parliament belonging to different political parties. For this purpose the Committee will prepare a scientific, technical and economic backgrounder which will explain why the project is untenable and must be reviewed.

But, to begin with, the National Committee – comprising a group of like-minded people opposed to the nuclear power plant – will write to the Prime Minister immediately raising these concerns. The Committee will also write to the Minister of Environment and Forests about the non-compliance with environmental clearance pre-conditions.

The National Committee that met here on Wednesday said that the disaster at Fukushima in Japan had raised several fundamental issues in regard to the Jaitapur project. The location of six reactors in Jaitapur raises the risk of an accident substantially. Also, it is not clear how the issues of spent fuel storage are being addressed in Jaitapur considering the kind of risks that are now clear after Fukushima.

The Committee noted that there was not a single plant of this design that has yet been commissioned anywhere in the world. The plants in Okilkuoto and Flamanville were also running into serious problems, both in their construction and regulatory issues.

The reactors being purchased from Areva company in France are of untested technology and are exorbitantly expensive. So far the actual price and details of the agreement between Areva and the NPCIL have not been made public. The cost per unit of electricity of such a plant will be 3-4 times that of equivalent coal-fired plants, it was said.

The committee also noted that the time bound conditions imposed on NPCIL in the Environmental Clearance granted to the project in November 2010 are already being flouted.

A national seminar on issues of safety, environmental safety and techno economic viability relating to the Jaitapur project will also be organised by the committee.

The meeting was attended by: Prakash Karat, Communist Party of India (Marxist), A.B. Bardhan and D Raja, Communist Party of India, Ramvilas Paswan & Abdul Khaliq, Lok Janshakti Party, Dr. Venugopal Reddy, Telugu Desam Party, Danish Ali, Janata Dal (Secular), Vivek Monterio, Maharashtra, CITU, Prabir Purkayastha, Delhi Science Forum and others.

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