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‘Giving up nuclear power will be harmful'

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh: “We must keep the option of having nuclear power as an additional source of energy open". File photo  

There will be no compromise on the safety of atomic plants and it will be harmful to close the additional source of energy. It will be harmful for the country to pass ordinance on denial of nuclear power, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asserted in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Dr. Singh was replying to supplementaries during question hour.

After the Fukushima accident in Japan in March 2011, the Prime Minister said, he ordered a complete review of the 20 operating nuclear reactors across the country and none of them reported any incident.

“Our view is that when it comes to safety, there will be no compromise.”

Dr. Singh said India was not in a situation like Japan, where a large amount of power came from nuclear plants. He pointed out that Germany, which had announced that it would close down all its all nuclear plants by 2022, bought electricity from France, a country that relied heavily on atomic energy.

“Radiation levels minuscule”

Earlier, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy said the radiation levels in the areas surrounding the nuclear plants in the country were minuscule, compared to the upper limits prescribed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) had taken steps to create awareness about atomic energy by issuing booklets and publicising such matters through television and radio.

Requests had been received for acquiring land in the sterilised zone of the Kaiga nuclear power plant and the rehabilitation and resettlement of the people residing therein.

“The lands already acquired are in line with the stipulations of the relevant AERB Code and there is no need for acquiring additional land in the existing sterilised zone or extending the limits of the sterilised zone,” Mr. Narayanasamy said.

After Fukushima, the Prime Minister held a review meeting with atomic energy officials and ordered, especially the NPCIL, to review the safety measures adopted in nuclear power plants. Twenty nuclear reactors were functional in the country and all of them were very safe. Not even one incident had happened. Nineteen were in operation and one was under maintenance, he said.


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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 10:33:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/giving-up-nuclear-power-will-be-harmful/article3424900.ece

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