Jaitapur nuclear plant to go ahead, insists Ramesh

Even as local villagers and activists prepare to step up their protests against the proposed Jaitapur nuclear power plant in Maharashtra in the wake of the Fukushima mess in Japan, union environment minister Jairam Ramesh asserted on Friday that there would be no rethink on the environmental clearance given to the project, though it would need to include additional safety measures.

The Fukushima incident in Japan in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami last month was a ''wake up call'' but the option of nuclear energy could not be ''abandoned'', the minister said after meeting Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.

''A deeper review of Jaitapur nuclear power park is needed. I did raise a concern that the six units in Jaitapur have a common safety plan. Fukushima has shown us that we need to think independently for each unit. There cannot be interlinked safety measures,'' said Ramesh.

He added that as of now, the environment impact assessment stands and additional safety measures need to be implemented.

''It is a continual process. There is a need to increase public confidence in areas like nuclear power. It is incumbent on the chief minister to have a more effective public outreach. We must take people into confidence,'' said Ramesh.

He said that in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, nuclear energy was one of the cleanest.