New Delhi: Ignoring calls for thwarting the Jaitapur nuclear plant in the wake of nuclear threats after Japan’s Fukushima crisis, the Central government on Tuesday gave a go-ahead to the nuclear project and decided to set up an autonomous body, Nuclear Regulatory Authority of India (NRAI), to take all decisions pertaining to nuclear power in future.

A high-level meeting was called by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss ways to quell the mass protest against the setting up of the plant.

The recent mass protests also cropped up in the meeting and it was decided that adequate measures will be taken up to provide sufficient financial aid to the residents who are likely to get affected by the nuke plant.

The meeting was attended by Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Forest and Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V Narayanasamy, Chairman of the Nuclear Power Corporation, Secretary of The Department of Atomic Energy and the National Security Advisor.

Briefing mediapersons after the meeting, Chavan said Jaitapur’s first reactor is expected to commence work from 2019, which would be able to generate 2560 MW power. “The government would also ensure separate safety measures for all the six reactors which will not be linked with each other. This will make sure that if any one reactor accidentally gets damaged then this would not affect the others,” Chavan added.

For increasing the nuclear capacity of the country, Jairam Ramesh noted that the current share of nuke facility in the country's electricity supply stands at 3%, which has to be increased to 6% by 2020 and 13% by 2030.

Ramesh also emphasised that all reactors and technologies – whether indigenous or imported – will meet the safety standards of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and will be transparent for any kind of surveillance.

The meeting concluded that despite all the conflicts on nuclear energy, Jaitapur project is not going to suffer.

The government also looked keen to introduce a Bill in the monsoon session of Parliament to create Nuclear Regulatory Authority of India (NRAI), which will chart the future course of nuclear actions in the country.

The meet also decided to invite the operational safety review team of IAEA to assist in its own safety reviews and investigations. Even, help from Japanese government will be taken to improve the measures and prevent any calamity like that of Fukushima.

JPN/Bureau