Department of Atomic Energy29-April, 2011 18:00 IST
The facts about JNPP
Information to Stake holders about the Nuclear Power and the Project
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Backgrounder

 

The Jaitapur site was accorded “In Principle” approval by the Government, in October 2005 and expanded the area of this site to locate six reactors of 1650 MW. During the period 2005 to till date, NPCIL has organized several exhibitions, structured public awareness campaigns, held debates adn discussions on Nuclear Power and Jaitapur plant in and around the Jaitapur site, in addition to the several meetings on the issues between NPCIL and all the stake holders, including the project – affected people. To name a few of these, exhibitions-cum-discussions and public addresses on the nuclear power/JNPP were organized in December 2005 and February 2006 in Villagers and their representatives, press and media and state officials in these events. These campaigns were followed by an organized visit of project-affected people, state officials, press and media, to NPCIL’s KudanKulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) in Tamilnadu. Similarly, another visit was arranged to Tarapur Atomic Power Station at Tarapur in Maharastra. About 60 to 70 persons from the surrounding area visited these plants in each of these visits. Till now, about 30 meeting with various groups of stake holders, including the project-affected villagers, have been organized by NPCIL to provide factual information on the project and associated aspects. The public awareness campaigns on nuclear power and Jaitapur nuclear power project (JNPP) , around Jaitapur and Ratnagiri have been an ongoing feature through exhibitions, lectures, public addresses, meetings, press and media campaigns and personal interactions.

Clean Source of Energy

Contrary to general belief, nuclear power is a clean and environment-friendly source of energy. It does not emit any obnoxious gases like carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, etc., which damage the environment. In fact, as far as nuclear power is concerned, the surrounding environment of nuclear power plants is maintained in its pristine form. Besides, development and maintenance of greenbelts, which attract a lot of birds and other forms of life, is unique to nuclear power plants. The environments around all the nuclear power stations in the country testify this fact.

The radiation release to the environment is insignificantly low and actually a small fraction of the limit set by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). Nuclear power in India has an enviable track record. Nothing less than 326 reactor-years of safe operation have been clocked by the 20 operating nuclear power reactors operating in India, with an installed capacity 4780 MW. Such figures speak for themselves. As is abundantly evident, the track record of nuclear power in India has been excellent and comparable to the international benchmarks. It is pertinent to being out that there has not been any nuclear accident in any of the plants in over 326 reactor-years of operation in the country. Moreover, in  view of nuclear power being environmentally benign, it is being preferred globally, and actually, the world is currently experiencing a nuclear ‘renaissance’.

Size of Jaitapur

Nuclear power plant designs have evolved over the years. It employs diverse and redundant safety systems, double containment reactor building including several other advanced features, in line with the philosophy of defense-in-depth principle, thus assuring highest level of safety. The nuclear power reactors to be set up at Jaitapur , the EPRs (termed as Generation III+ nuclear power reactors) are state-of-the-art in terms of safety. The safety of each individual reactors and systems is ensured and there is no bearing of multiple units or unit size of safety. There are several sites in the world with multiple reactors in operation, with highest standards of safety.

It is pertinent to mention here that the nuclear power has registered over 14,000 reactors of safe and reliable operation so far.

Reactors at Jaitapur site

The European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs) to be set up at Jaitapur are commercial reactors and not the experimental reactors. EPRs in discussion are of an evolutionary design called as generation III +, employing several advanced safety features. These reactors essentially are the upgraded version of French N4 and German, Konvoy reactors which have demonstrated a safe and reliable operation over several years in these countries. French EPRs are currently under construction in Finland, France, and China.

Jaitapur in Seismic Zone  III

Firstly , the site at Jaitapur is located in seismic zone III as per the India Standard IS 1893 (2002), and not in seismic zone IV as believed by people. Seismicity is one of the key criteria in site selection (siting) for nuclear power plants and the Jaitapur site meets the requirements for sitting as stipulated in the Atomic Energy Regulatory Boards, code on safety in nuclear power plant siting, including absence of any capable faults within 5 km. The Jaitapur project site actually has much greater safety margins in this regard. Thus , the site is safe and engineerable from seismic criteria.

It is also brought out that the anchor of the programme , on December 28, 2010 mentioned regarding a catastrophic earthquake in the Jaitapur region in 1993, resulting in death toll of about 9000 persons and a bridge collapsed. It may please be noted that there was no such earthquake event in the Jaitapur region as per the available records. This information therefore is misleading and beyond facts.

Environment Impact Assessment

Reprocessing of spent fuel is typically done at a centralized reprocessing plant and it is not necessary that a reprocessing plant be collocated at each site. For instance, there are 20 reactors in operation in India at six locations but reprocessing facilities are located only at two sites. Similarly in France , where 55 reactors are in operation at 19 sites, there is one centralized reprocessing facility at La Hague.

Discharge of hot water from JNPP

The generation of electricity using steam (coal, gas , nuclear, biomass, etc.) involves condensing of steam , which requires cooling water, and this invariably increases the discharge water temperature over the ambient temperature. The effect of this increase on the marine life has been studied extensively.

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(Release ID :71875)