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Maharashtra to get two nuclear reactors

Dec 06, 2010 09:53 PM IST India India

Mumbai: The French President' Nicholas Sarkozy's visit has meant the two proposed nuclear reactors in Maharashtra's Jaitapur has been given the go-ahead. But land acquisition and environmental concerns remain, as protests continue in Jaitapur.

Sarkozy and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have signed an agreement to begin construction of two nuclear reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra. It would be one of the largest nuclear power stations in the world.

But what makes the Jaitapur nuclear power project so? It's claimed that ...

The plant will generate nearly 10,000 MW of power and will fill a critical gap in Maharashtra's power shortage. It will also be crucial for increasing India's share of nuclear power from about 3 per cent to 6 per cent by 2020 and 13 per cent by 2030.

The deal is strongly opposed by environmentalists and local farmers and fishermen who allege that the project will lead to acquisition of over 930 hectares of land putting over 2000 families at risk.

The plant will also use 5,200 crore liters of water everyday for steam generation and this high temperature water will be returned to the sea in turn damaging the marine ecology. Radioactive emissions may increase the risk of cancers and congenital disorders.

The protests have now turned political but the concerns are real with seven thermal power plants planned apart from this nuclear plant on a 120 km long stretch along the Konkan coast thereby making it necessary for a cumulative environmental impact assessment survey as promised by the environment ministry to be conducted.