Mithivirdi project: Charges fly, MoEF seeks NPCIL reply


Indian Express, 21 April 2013

Ahmedabad In a fresh twist in the row over the proposed 6000-MW Mithivirdi nuclear power project, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has sought a reply from the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) following allegations that the project’s Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report was prepared by a non-accredited consultant and norms for environmental public hearings were flouted.

Dr P B Rastogi, scientific director in charge of nuclear power at the MoEF, has asked the NPCIL to respond to these allegations so the ministry could take “further action”.

The project, to be located near Alang Ship-Breaking Yard in Bhavnagar district, is slated to be India’s first nuclear power plant to be built with American technology, a direct result of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

It has, however, been dogged by protests by locals and environment groups. In fact, a large number of people had walked out of the environmental public hearing held for the project last month.

Rastogi’s communication to NPCIL mentioned that Vadodara-based Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti and others had made representations concerning various issues.

Earlier, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board had asked NPCIL to clarify if the consultant, Engineers India Limited (EIL), it had hired for the project’s Environment Impact Assessment was accredited as demanded by law.

Interestingly, no consultant has been accredited to assess nuclear plants in India.

Later, others alleged discrepancies in the EIA report itself, including the absence of a rehabilitation policy, necessary clearances for diversion of forest land and radiological impact studies, all of which were required as per terms of reference issued by the MoEF.

Subsequent to the public hearing, people had also sent complaints saying procedures were not followed.

 

Gujarat – Mega Nuclear Power Plant Raises Fear of Fukushima Type Disaster


‘We are staring at the possibility of a man-made disaster in the shape of a nuclear power park’

by Ranjit Devraj, Inter Press Service

 

Bhagwat Singh Gohil frets for the future of his bountiful orchards in Mithi Virdi village in western Gujarat state’s coastal district Bhavnagar. “After contending with droughts, rough seas and earthquakes we are staring at the possibility of a man-made disaster in the shape of a nuclear power park.”

[]

Women protesting against a proposed nuclear plant at Mithi Virdi in the Indian state Gujarat. Credit: Krishnakant/IPS. Speaking with IPS over telephone from Mithi Virdi, Gohil said he and other villagers are unconvinced by official declarations guaranteeing the safety of the Gujarat Nuclear Power Park (GNPP) which, when complete, is due to generate 6,000 megawatts of electricity.

“They could not have chosen a worse site for a mega nuclear power plant – we have a history of earthquakes and fear a Fukushima type disaster in the Gulf of Khambat where the GNPP is coming up,” said Gohil. “Also, Gujarat borders Pakistan, a hostile neighbour. What if this nuclear facility is bombed in a future war?”

On Mar. 5  Gohil and some 5,000 villagers silently walked out of a public hearing  held by the local administration seeking approval for construction for the GNPP which is due to be equipped with six Westinghouse-Toshiba nuclear reactors, each with a 1,000 megawatt capacity.

“We did not want to be party to an illegal public hearing that was seeking endorsement for an environment impact assessment (EIA) report that was flawed and ignored many safety aspects which we are soon going to publish in a parallel document,” Rohit Prajpati, leader of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (Environment Protection Group), a voluntary agency active in Gujarat told IPS.

“To begin with, the EIA was drawn up by Engineers India Limited (EIL), a public sector consultancy that does not have the required accreditation – a fact which is apparent on the government’s own website,” Prajapti said. “An attempt was made to hoodwink the villagers, but they did not buy it.”

According to the terms of reference, EIL was supposed to carry out a detailed risk assessment and provide a disaster management plan, but the final document avoids that responsibility. “We have made written protests about this flawed EIA to the environment ministry,” Prajapati said.

According to V. T. Padmanabhan, independent researcher and member of the Brussels-based European Commission on Radiation Risk, basic safety aspects are being glossed over in the EIAs in the rush to set up a string of nuclear parks along India’s vast coastline.

“The EIA drawn up for the Mithi Virdi project, for instance, ignores the fact that there has been no study conducted on maximum flood levels – and that in an area that is seriously prone to tidal floods,” Padmanabhan told IPS.

On Mar. 6, answering questions in parliament concerning the new nuclear parks, V. Narayanswamy, minister in the prime minister’s office, said coastal nuclear power parks are designed with consideration given to possible earthquakes, tsunamis, storm surges and tidal flooding.

“Safety is a moving target in nuclear power plants and is continuously evolving based on the reviews by utilities and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB)  besides internationally evolving standards,” Narayanaswamy informed parliament.

But, it is not just the villagers and activists who are worried at the haste with which the public sector Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) is going about setting up coastal nuclear power projects – the courts have been lending a sympathetic ear to the protestors.

On Mar. 12, the high court of the southern Andhra Pradesh state halted plans for a 9,000 megawatt nuclear park at Kovvada in coastal Srikakulam district following a petition filed on behalf of local residents and fishermen by J. Rama Rao, a retired naval engineer.

The high court took notice of the petitoners’ plea that the government was going about attempting to acquire land for the 6,000 megawatt nuclear facility even though the project is yet to gain clearance from the AERB.

Kovvada villagers have been on a relay hunger strike since December 2012 against the proposed nuclear power plant. Their petition cited the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear meltdowns to say that in the event of an accident, future generations would be affected by radiation contamination.

But, in spite of the protests and intervention by the court the government appears determined to push ahead with plans to generate 40 gigawatts of nuclear energy by 2020, most of it from nuclear parks in various stages of completion along India’s peninsular coastline.

Narayanasamy stated in parliament that electricity will begin to flow from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in southern Tamil Nadu by April. The KNPP, which is designed to generate 9,200 megawatts, has been in the making since 1988 when a deal was signed for its construction between India and Russia.

KNPP is yet to have valid Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances. Last November, NPCIL also admitted in the Supreme Court that it had constructed a desalination plant without mandatory environmental clearance, showing how existing rules are being bypassed.

“CRZ clearance is not a technical formality, but an important procedure designed to protect India’s sensitive coastal region,” said Padmanabhan, adding that the haste in setting up coastal nuclear plants contrasts with the bureaucratic red tape that India is known for.

“What we are seeing is a repeat of the Fukushima experience where investigations by a parliamentary committee have shown that although triggered by a tsunami, the meltdown of the rectors was man-made and a result of collusion between the government, the regulators and the utility Tokyo Electric Power Company,” Padmanabhan said.

Poor governance and lack of independent regulatory oversight in the construction of nuclear plants have already been pointed out by the Comptroller and Auditor General, India’s powerful government watchdog.

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

Mithi Virdi Nuclear Plant: Experts pick holes in enviornment report


DNA, Ahmedabad, 8 March 2013

Ahmedabad: Experts are already questioning the environment impact assessment (EIA) of the proposed 6000-MW nuclear power plant at Mithi Virdi in Bhavnagar prepared by Engineers India Limited. Why has the report not mentioned the water bodies present in the area where the plant is coming up? Or elaborated on the hazardous industries in its vicinity?

Speaking at a press conference in the city, Dr V Pugazhendi, who has extensively studied the impact of radiation on health, made his dissent quite clear. “It is mentioned that the plant shouldn’t be close to any water body, yet the area where the plant is coming up has two water bodies,” he said.

He said the report also fails to mention the presence of hazardous industries near the nuclear project site. “The EIA report states that the Sosiya ship breaking yard is 4 km from the site while in reality it is only 700 metres from the site,” he said. He added that nuclear plants need 100% pure water and the project plans to use a desalination plant to make use of water from the sea. “But the presence of Sosiya ship breaking yard has already polluted the water and there is evidence to show the presence of heavy metal in the water. How will the plant clean such heavily polluted water?” he asked.

Pugazhendi also said that the report failed to mention the presence of lignite mining taking place in the area. “It is sitting on the Cambay basin fault line and mining only adds to the danger,” he explained.

Also voicing their points of protests were villagers who had staged a walk-out at the environmental public hearing held earlier this week at Navagaam in connection with the project.

“Government officials are allowed to seek the advice of experts, but we are not,” said Baluben of Neshwad village, 25 km away from the proposed nuclear plant. According to Baluben, she and other villagers chose to walk out after the collector refused to allow outsiders (experts) to speak at the meeting. Close to 5,000 people had walked out of the hearing after the collector allegedly refused to let the villagers speak first.

Rohit Prajapati of Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti said that the hearing did not follow the proper rules. “There were songs being played exalting the benefits of nuclear power. This is against the rules. You cannot do such things, yet the collector was a mute spectator to this,” said Prajapati.

 

Activists send notice to Union forest minister over public hearing


Indian Express, Ahmedabad, 5 March 2013

Activists have sent legal notices to various authorities, including Minister of Environment & Forests Jayanthi Natarajan, for proceeding with the public hearing for the Mithi Virdi nuclear power plant even as the consultant for the project is not properly accredited.

“If the Environment Public Hearing dated March 5 of proposed nuclear power plant at Mithi Virdi is not cancelled as well as the incomplete, illegal EIA prepared by a non-accredited consultant be rejected, we will be left with no choice but to take legal action against you as an individual and the concerned authorities,” the activists, under the umbrella of Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, said in the notice.

The Indian Express had reported earlier that the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) had asked project proponent Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) to clarify why it had hired a consultant not fully accredited to assess nuclear power plants to draw up the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the 6,000 MW project.

The consultants, Engineers India Limited (EIL), had clarified they have applied for accreditation with QCI-NABET, the accrediting agency. No change in schedule was considered after that.

Activists and protesters have not been convinced of the report’s reliability and have “picked holes” in the report. They have sent at least five different letters regarding this to the authorities, asking the public hearing be either cancelled or postponed and the draft EIA report withdrawn. They are yet to get a response, they said.

The GPCB maintains that the contested report is only a draft report and that the board’s role is merely to help the district collector conduct the public hearing, record the proceedings and forward it to the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

he plant at Mithi Virdi will be the country’s first nuclear power plant to use US technology and is a maiden project under the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement.

Local opposition against the project has mounted since the Fukushima disaster in Japan as well as by the site selection — almost four-fifths of the 777 hectares earmarked for the project site is fertile agricultural land producing both kharif and rabi crops.

 

GPCB did not verify envt impact of Mithi Virdi, say activists


DNA,  March 2013

Activists protesting the Environmental Public Hearing (EPH) to be conducted by Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in connection with the 6,000 MW nuclear power plant at Mithi Virdi in Bhavnagar district met GPCB officials on Saturday.

The officials have agreed to look into their grievances. Michael Madgaonkar of Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti said that as per the judgment of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjay Karol dated May 4, 2012, of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh, GPCB is yet to verify the claims made in the project report. “However, in this case it has not bothered to cross-check the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report prepared by Engineers India Limited,” said Madgaonkar.

But, in-charge member secretary of GPCB, KC Mistry when contacted said that they had checked all the necessary documents and found them to be in order. “Nonetheless, we have decided to check the reports once again, since several activists have approached us with concerns about the environment,” said Mistry. He said that as far as canceling the EPH was concerned, it was not in the hands of the GPCB. “The GPCB does not have the authority to cancel the hearing,” reported Mistry.

Madgaonkar, meanwhile, said that if the GPCB and the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) did not pay heed to the grave concerns raised in connection with the nuclear plant, they may be forced to go to court. “If nothing is done, we are mulling legal action against both the GPCB and MoEF,” he insisted.

It should be noted that the NGO has already written several letters to the MoEF and the prime minister in this connection. They have also highlighted the lack of a detailed risk assessment and disaster management plan in the EIA report. The activists have alleged that the EIA report only mentions the need to include such a plan but does not provide a blueprint of the plan, which they consider important

 

#Guajarat- Mithi Virdi N-plant environment impact assessment report ignores plight of project affect


February 28, 2013

Sreedhar

By Ashok Shrimali* 
In an authoritative move, top environmentalist-scientist R Sreedhari, managing trustee of the Environics Trust, Mines, Minerals and People (MM&P), has asked Union environment and forests minister Jayanthi Natarajan to urgently cancel the environmental public hearing due to be held on March 5 for the proposed nuclear power plant off Mithi Virdi in Gujarat. Sreedhar believes, the hearing is being held against the backdrop of “non-compliance of key aspects of the terms of reference (TOR) prepared by the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) meeting, held on February 14, 2011 for the proposed Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant.” The TOR was handed over to the Engineers India Limited (EIL), who have prepared by the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the proposed plant. Sreedhar says, the public hearing has been announced by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in direct contrast to the policies of your government and the TOR specified by your industry – that prime agricultural land should not be used for industrial purpose. “The location of the site with 78 per cent of double cropped land for the plant not only indicates the lack of sensitivity in the choice of area for acquisition but also that the state and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), which has undertaken the project”, he points out, adding, “This would put more people to risk, as settlements would be too close to the nuclear plant.”
The senior activist-scientist says, ”Your Government has repeatedly emphasized the need to identify non-agricultural lands for industrial development and this exercise is more like a fait-accompli. The EIA report does not talk about the impacts of taking away such a huge proportion of prime agricultural land, but on the contrary presents a denigrating attitude towards the farming activities and the farming communities.”
Sreedhar quotes the EIA report on the impact on land to prove his point: “The impact on land environment during construction phase shall be due to generation of debris/ construction material, which shall be properly collected and disposed of. There will be no accumulation of drainage on the higher elevation side as the site will be graded. A garland drain network is developed to collect and route the drain water towards sea. No impact is envisaged due to the same.” 
The EIA report goes on to add, “All wastes generated are segregated as solid and hazardous wastes and collected together for disposal. All such wastes will be transported to authorized disposal agency. Accordingly, there shall be no additional load on land environment during operation phase of the project.” 
Further: “For establishing soil characteristics within the study area, soil samples from 10 locations were collected and analysed for relevant parameters. The soil of the proposed site is silty loam type. At present, most of the land is under cultivated and sparse scrub vegetation also exists in the study area. However, with the introduction of the project, the land use pattern of the area will improve with neat and clean project buildings, lawns and gardens. The area in the exclusion zone around the project will be developed into a green belt as per the requirements of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and GPCB. This will further improve the aesthetic and land use environment at the proposed project site.” 
Pointing out that he does not go into “the gross inadequacies of the entire EIA report and such flimsy statements that are being made in the name of scientific and technical studies and defended by none other than NPCIL”, Sreedhar emphasizes, “If there were specific issues we would have offered it as our submission during the public hearing, but to conduct a public hearing without even adhering to the minimum TOR fixed by the government is a mockery of the process, and hence we seek your intervention to cancel this public hearing and issue strictures to the GPCB for its lack of oversight. The reality is the EIA has not even identified who will be impacted and what will be impacted and to what extent and is a generic document will some data which has neither any use to local understanding or implications.”
Sreedhar says, “One of the issues clearly pointed out in the TOR and is fundamental to any dialogue with public is to know the project affected people (PAP) and the resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) plan. The point number (xiv) in the TOR states,‘Application of R&R policy may be described. Project affected persons should be identified and rehabilitation and resettlement plan should be prepared.’ The section on R&R in the EIA report is totally hypothetical and does not even say how many households would be affected.”
Sreedhar further quotes from the EIA will to suggest how it is “very obvious” that “a fraud is being played on the public in the name of public hearing”.

The EIA report states: “Preparation of a detailed R&R plan is taken up for compensation to the PAP in line with the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy – 2007 and in consultation with Gujarat State Government for the PAP. Discussions are being held with district collector /commissioner of the concerned area for compensation for land and landed properties.
“The NPCIL policy envisages a special focus on the creation and up-gradation of skill sets of landless persons and other PAPs, who are dependent upon agricultural operations over the acquired land, and for the rural artisans e.g. blacksmiths, carpenters, potters, masons etc., who contribute to the society together, to improve their employability. With the help of district administration, the essential inputs containing lists of land losers and PAPs are being prepared. NPCIL is committed to establish requisite system for organizing vocational and formal training and education for all such identified persons and extend full assistance to them to become eligible for seeking employment with the project proponent or any other organized sector. NPCIL is committed to implement the R&R package as per the mutual agreement with the State Government.” 

Comments Sreedhar: “Given the fact that these have yet to be accomplished, why are the NPCIL and GPCB in such a hurry to conduct the public hearing without providing the necessary basic information for a meaningful public hearing? We sincerely hope that you will be seized of this, as you have done in issues of environmental importance and natural justice and order the cancellation of this public hearing and instruct the proponent to furnish at least the basic information relevant to the people.”
Sreedhar further quotes a judgment of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh, in CWP No 586 of 2010 along with CWPIL No. 15 of 2009, which pronounced certain guidelines, which should not be violated. These are:
“a) The HP State Pollution Control Board shall ensure that consent to establish is not granted just for the asking. Even at the time when consent to establish is granted the HP State Pollution Control Board, MoEF/EAC shall verify the facts stated in the project report and they shall also indicate to the project proponent what are the para-meters and the laws which the project proponent will have to comply with keeping in view the nature of the project.
“b) The statement made by the project proponent shall not be accepted without verification. It shall also be made clear that if any statement made by the project proponent is found to be false the permissions granted shall automatically stand cancelled.
“c) The Pollution Control Board shall ensure that whenever any public hearing is held, the people of the area are well informed about the public hearing and they are also informed about the benefits and the illeffects of the project. The Pollution Control Board must have its own machinery and own scientists who should give an independent opinion on the pros and cons of the project. These shall also be placed on the website of the PCB.
“d) In future whenever any studies are being carried out by any project proponent while preparing the EIA reports, the study shall be carried out only after notice to the State Pollution Control Board, MoEF/EAC in case the project requires clearance at the central level and also to the inhabitants of the area where such studies are to be carried out and project has to be established. Notice to the public shall be given in the same manner notice of public hearing is given.”

Based on this, Sreedhar, who has sent copies of the letter to all concerned officials of the Gujarat government and the Government of India, concludes, “The NPCIL and GPCB must go back to the drawing board and conduct authentic studies, inform people and then become eligible to conduct the public hearing, until which time no permission should be granted to them including the 21 ha of forest land being sought by the agency.”*Ashok Shrimali is Ahmedabad-based social activist working with NGOs Setu and Samata, and is executive member, Mines Minerals and People (MM&P)

 

Press Release- Letter to MoEF Immediately cancel the Environmental Public Hearing #mustshare


Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti

c/o 37 Patrakar Colony, Tandalja, Vadodara 390 020, Phone/Fax: 0265-2320399

Email: tokrishnakant@gmail.comrohit.prajapati@gmailc.om

BY Email & FAX

Most Urgent – Most Urgent – Most Urgent

27 February 2013

To,

Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan

Minister of State for Environment and Forests

Paryavaran Bhavan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110 003

 

The Secretary

Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India
Paryavaran Bhavan, CGO Complex,  Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110 003.

 

The Chairman

Central Pollution Control Board

Parivesh Bhawan, CBD-cum-Office Complex, East Arjun Nagar, DELHI – 110 032

 

The Member Secretary

Central Pollution Control Board

Parivesh Bhawan, CBD-cum-Office Complex, East Arjun Nagar, DELHI – 110 032

 

The Zonal Officer

Central Pollution Control Board

Parivesh Bhawan, Opp. VMC Ward Office No. 10, Subhanpura,

Vadodara – 390 023

 

The Chairman

Gujarat Pollution Control Board

“Paryavaran Bhavan” Sector 10-A, Gandhinagar – 382 010

 

The Member Secretary

Gujarat Pollution Control Board

“Paryavaran Bhavan” Sector 10-A, Gandhinagar – 382 010

 

The Regional Officer

Gujarat Pollution Control Board

Plot No. 1154/2, B, Ghogha Circle,

Pattani Road, Bhavnagar – 364 002

 

The Chairman / The Collector

Environment Public Hearing Committee of Bhavnagar

 

Subject: Following serious anomalies in the EIA report for the Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant prepared by Engineers India Limited, request to immediately cancel the Environmental Public Hearing.

 

Reference: Our letter dated 22 February 2013 – Demand to cancel the scheduled Environmental Public Hearing as well as rejection of the EIA report of the Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant prepared by ‘Engineers India Limited’ consultants for ‘Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited.’ Engineers India Limited do not have necessary accreditation.

Madam/ Sirs,

This follows our earlier representation dated February 22, 2013 pointing out how an un-accredited consultant, Engineers India Limited(EIL) was appointed by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited to prepare the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report for proposed 6000 MW Nuclear Power Plant at Mithi Virdi area of Bhavnagar district, Gujarat.  While we seek the cancellation of the public hearing for the plant, we bring to your notice serious anomalies which have come to fore.

First, the Terms of Reference for the MoEF at point no. 7 clearly mention that The study area should cover an area of 10 km radius around the proposed site for conventional pollutants and 30 km radius for radiological parameters.” Instead the EIA report categorically mentions that 30 Kms for radiological areas of the study will be undertaken in future, the radiological survey is yet to be carried out for 30 Kms area and have not been carried out as stipulated by MoEF in the Terms Of Reference (TOR).

But this has been clearly violated. No villager/village panchayat in the 10-30 kms radius has been informed or served notice for the public hearing as the rules stipulate by the concerned authorities.

The EIA report clearly states that the study has been done only within 10 km radius and it is in future further studies will be conducted. The report itself mentions:

Page 283

“Areas Surveyed

Radiological survey will be done up to a radial distance of 30 km around the plant. Generally, samples from various environmental matrices will be collected from the survey area. The indicator organism like goat thyroid will be collected from selected area (as per the requirements of AERB). Different types of samples will be collected from the terrestrial and aquatic environs of the 30km study area covering, soil, cereals, pulses and vegetation samples. Typically around 1000 samples will be collected and analysed every year. List of sampling locations, frequency of sampling and different types of samples to be monitored during post project period in different area will be worked out as per the requirements of AERB.

Page 383

“11.1.3 MONITORING RADIOLOGICAL PARAMETERS AROUND MITHIVIRDI

Comprehensive radiological survey will be conducted by Health Physics Division (HPD) of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in the zone of radial distance of 30 km and the same will be continued till the life of Mithivirdi NPP for monitoring of radiation impacts and to establish that the radiation dose, in the public domain are within the prescribed limits of AERB.

Thirdly, the EIA report mentions that a detail of the de-commissioning of the plant is explained in the section 4.3.11 of Chapter 4, as stipulated.

But there is no section 4.3.11 in the Chapter 4 of the EIA report and the sections are only upto section 4.3.10. We understand that the said details have not been gathered and the study remains incomplete as there is no mention of that in the EIA report.

Sr. No. TOR of MoEF TOR Compliance Our contention
7 The study area should cover an area of 10 km radius around the proposed site for conventional pollutants and 30 km radius for radiological parameters Study on conventional pollutants  covered in  Section 3.4 of Chapter – 3 & Study on radiological parameters covered in  Section 3.5.11  of Chapter – 3 of EIA report The study is incomplete, villages in the area 10-30 kms not notified about public hearing.
35 Issues relating to de-commissioning of the plant and the related environmental issues should be discussed De-commissioning of the plant is explained in  Section 4.3.11 of Chapter – 4 The study is incomplete, section mentioned is not in the report.

 

We demand that:

  1. The concerned authority should immediately cancel the EPH as EIA is incomplete.
  2. The concerned authority should immediately reject the EIA of Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant of NPCIL prepared by EIL as EIA is incomplete.
  3. The concerned authority should apologise to the people of Gujarat for such a grave mistake allowing EPH on an illegal and incomplete EIA.
  4. The concerned authority should pass stricture against NPCIL and consultant EIL for such an illegal action on their part.

 

Expecting your positive and prompt response.

Krishnakant        Rohit Prajapati          Swati Desai
Activists
Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti

 

 

Have sought accreditation to assess Nuclear Power projects: EIL to GPCB


Nuclear Power Corporation of India

 

 

 

Adam Halliday: Ahmedabad, Indian Express, 23 February 2013

The consultants for the proposed Mithi Virdi nuclear power project have told the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) that they have applied to be registered as qualified assessors for nuclear power projects, said GPCB officials.

Officials said the public hearing for the project will therefore be held as scheduled on March 5, even as environmentalists have petitioned Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan to cancel the hearing because of the issue. They said they have not received any response from the ministry. “The public hearing will be held as scheduled on March 5,” said Bhavnagar District Collector V P Patel.

The GPCB had last week asked the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) to clarify why it had hired an unqualified consultant to assess its proposed 6000 MW project. The NPCIL had referred the matter to the Engineers India Limited (EIL), the consultants, to respond directly.

At the end of the draft environment impact assessment report for the project, EIL, a public-sector undertaking, has attached a copy of its QCI-NABET certification in which it shows it has been given conditional accreditation to assess category B thermal power plants.

Category B Thermal Power Plants are those with a capacity of 500 MW or less, which can be cleared by state authorities. Category A power plants, on the other hand, refers to plants of higher capacities, and need clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). All nuclear power plants fall in category A.

No consultant in the country has been accredited to assess nuclear power plants, although the NPCIL already runs six such units with a total capacity of 4,780 MW generated from 20 reactors.

The proposed plant at Mithi Virdi in Bhavnagar district will be the first such project built using American nuclear technology.

 

 

 

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