N-plant site shifted to Kovvada only to save Gujarat: CPI(M)

‘The reactors that are to be installed have not been tested’

Updated - December 04, 2021 10:46 pm IST

Published - June 07, 2016 12:00 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

: The CPI(M) feels that the Central government’s decision to shift the site for construction of a nuclear power plant from Mithi Virdhi in Gujarat to Kovvada in Srikakulam district in north coastal Andhra cannot be due to the opposition from farmers in Gujarat but to save that State from a possible disaster.

The decision to shift the plant from Gujarat to Kovvada was announced on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the U.S. to finalise the deal for sale of six nuclear reactors by the Toshiba-owned US firm Westinghouse to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).

“Shifting the n-plant from Gujarat to Kovvada is unbelievable because Gujarat is the top most State in the country as far as acquiring land and creating infrastructure for industries is concerned. The n-plant at Mithi Virdhi was okayed by the Centre in 2007, NPCIL made an application for the plant in 2009 and by 2013 the plant had received environmental, forest and CRZ clearances. But in the case of the Kovvada plant, NCPIL has not even made an application, and a query under the RTI Act has revealed that NCPIL has to start the enquiry again for selecting the site,” CPI (M) State secretariat member Ch. Narasinga Rao said at a press conference he addressed along with party’s Srikakulam committee secretary B. Krishna Murthy. Only after a site is selected, land must be acquired, he pointed out.

The AP1000-type reactors the Westinghouse has produced and are to be installed at the Kovvada plant have not been tested, even in Bulgaria where they are produced and that government in spite of approving the design of the reactors, has not allowed the company to start their operations in Bulgaria, Mr. Narasinga Rao said.

Dharna planned

To highlight people’s concerns, a massive dharna would be organised at Ranasthalam in Srikakulam district, Mr. Krishna Murthy said.

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