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    Review of Indian N-plant safety ordered: PM

    New Delhi: With Japan facing the prospect of a nuclear catastrophe, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said an immediate technical review of India's atomic plants has been ordered to check if they can withstand the impact of large natural disasters such as Tsunamis and earthquakes.Making a statement in Parliament on the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, Singh said Indian nuclear plants have in the past met the safety standards during the major natural calamities like January 26, 2002 Gujarat earthquake and the December 2004 Tsunami.Singh informed both Houses of Parliament that India was in constant touch with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Japanese Atomic Industrial Forum and the World Association of Nuclear Operators.Singh said there are 25,000 Indians in Japan, most of whom do not live in the areas affected by the Tsunami and so far there are no reports of any casualties. About 70 Indians are in shelters established by the Japanese authorities in theTsunami-affected areas.Expressing deepest condolences to Japan on behalf of the government, Parliament and people of India, Singh said, “New Delhi would spare no effort to assist the tragedy-stricken country as our resources are at the disposal of that nation.”He said 25,000 blankets have already been airlifted as an immediate measure and search and rescue teams along with relief material were ready to be sent.Indian Navy is also on standby to send its ships to Japan as part of relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction."We can never forget that India has been the largest recipient of Japan's Overseas Development Assistance (ODA). We have the best of relations with Japan," Singh said.Noting that the disaster of March 11 had affected some of the atomic power plants in Japan, the Prime Minister said the government attaches the highest importance to nuclear safety."The Department of Atomic Energy and its agencies, including the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) have been instructed to undertake an immediate technical review of all safety systems of our nuclear power plants, particularly with a view to ensuring that they would be able to withstand the impact of large natural disasters such as Tsunamis and earthquakes," Singh added.