MoEF okay for Jaitapur nuclear power project imminent

Last Updated: Sun, Nov 21, 2010 19:30 hrs

The Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has indicated to the Maharashtra government and the Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC) that it would grant its crucial clearance for the proposed 10,000-Mw nuclear power project at Jaitapur in Ratnagiri district, close to the Konkan coast.

State chief minister Prithviraj Chavan is to have a meeting with MoEF minister Jairam Ramesh tomorrow in this regard. Chavan, currently in New Delhi, confirmed his meeting and told Business Standard: "I expect the ministry to soon grant necessary clearance."

He said he would take into consideration various concerns raised by area farmers and residents on the project.

NPC chairman and managing director S K Jain said: "NPC has submitted the additional terms of reference and information sought by the experts’ appraisal committee. The information with regard to storage of nuclear waste and reprocessing and per-unit tariff (rate) of the power generated was submitted at length to the EAC which must have by now given its report. We expect the ministry to issue environment clearance this week."

Jain said NPC, in its presentation to the EAC, said the first unit of the project was expected to be commissioned in 2017-18. "Necessary steps with regard to storage and reprocessing would be done as per the practice at operating nuclear power plants in the country.

On the rate of power to be supplied, he said: "NPC has informed that it was currently engaged in the negotiations with Areva for the supply of two reactors of 1,650 Mw each. NPC is expected to enter into an early contract with Areva at any moment and it will not be possible to share information with regard to calculation of tariff and capital expenditure in view of the confidentiality clause."

He added that nuclear power projects do not now get any subsidy and the government has made it amply clear that such a subsidy would not be possible for those being planned. "Naturally, in such circumstances, the per-unit tariff will have to be competitive," he said.

The Union government had, in October 2009, given in-principle clearance for establishing six units of 1,650 Mw each at Jaitapur, over 15 to 18 years.

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