India can not abandon nuclear power

Hyderabad: Union Environment minister Jairam Ramesh has said that though country needs to learn appropriate lessons from crisis at nuclear plant in Japan, it could not give up on nuclear energy.

"What has happened in Japan is very serious. We will have to learn appropriate lessons and whatever additional safeguards, additional precautions are required we must take, but I don`t believe India can abandon nuclear energy (programme)," Ramesh told mediapersons here yesterday.

As to the Jaitapur nuclear power project in coastal Maharashtra, where local opposition to the plant has intensified after the earthquake in Japan, Ramesh said, "The country is divided into different levels of seismic zones. I don`t know at what level the Jaitapur plant is located.

A decision is taken based on the environmental studies that are conducted by NEERI. We gave clearance based on that report in the November and we imposed 35 conditions for that clearance," Ramesh said.

"As far as safety and radioactive waste management is concerned, it is the responsibility of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board," he said.