Mumbai: India should move on to make nuclear energy as safe as possible by taking lessons from the recent Fukushima accident but its imperative to replace the old-era Land Acquisition Act with a more balanced one, to address the country's present huge infrastructure and energy needs, former Atomic Energy Commission Chairman M R Srinivasan said here.
    
Stating that the resettlement was equally significant in any infrastructure project, he said India's record of resettling project-affected people has been "pathetic".
    
Srinivasan, currently a member of AEC, was delivering the first Homi Sethna Memorial lecture on 'Future of Nuclear Power after Fukushima,' at the Nehru Centre here on Wednesday evening.
    
He said non-pursuance of nuclear energy option by India would only increase its fossil fuel burning and carbon emissions and continuing dependence on hydro-carbon imports in a market of dwindling supply and rising prices.    

"All lessons must be learnt from the Fukushima accident and we must move on to make nuclear energy as safe as humanly possible and to give up the nuclear power option now will make the task of growing our economy to be able to overcome poverty and under development, even more difficult," Srinivasan said.
    
On the proposed nuclear plant at Jaitapur, he said Maharashtra needs new generation capacity to meet its increasing demands from industry, agriculture and domestic sectors. He assured that would be no effluents which could affect the mango orchards or the fishing activity nearby.
    
"We have actual experience at Tarapur and Kalpakkam and at neither of these places has there been an adverse impact on marine life. Similarly Kakrapar and Kaiga, both in the Western Ghats have shown that the ecology of the area is unaffected. The question of compensation for lands that are acquired is a matter that has to be decided by state government," he said.
    
But replacement of Land Acquisition Act of the British period is important, with a more balanced one that takes note of present conditions, if the Centre is serious about India's huge infrastructure projects which requires a lot of power, he added.

(Agencies)