Report sounds warning on Jaitapur plant site

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20 years, 92 quakes: Ground trembles beneath Jaitapur’s feet

Seismic clean chit to Jaitapur fallacious, says geophysicist

A confidential 2002 report by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) says there is a lineament – a geological feature that can turn out to be a faultline, a crack or even a fissure – running across the Madban plateau in Ratnagiri where the Jaitapur nuclear power plant is to be built.

Neither the DAE nor the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Private Limited (NPCIL) has revealed the existence of such a geological feature on the site of the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project.

To a detailed questionnaire on the report’s findings, NPCIL said: “All lineaments need not be faults. After studying the past seismicity data and data on offshore faults, it has been established that there is no capable fault [one which has the ability to cause an earthquake] within 5km of the plant site.”

The NPCIL is a public sector undertaking under the DAE, which will build and operate the Jaitapur nuclear plant. The project, touted to be the biggest nuclear power park in the world, will house six European Pressurised Reactors of 1,650 megawatts each, provided by French nuclear giant Areva under the Indo-French civilian nuclear pact.

Courtesy: HT

Report on N-plant site must be taken seriously: experts

Courtesy: Hindustan Times

The findings of the Department of Atomic Energy report, which details 12 faults and lineaments in and around the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP), raise safety concerns about the project and must be taken seriously, said geologists.

A lineament is a geological feature that can turn out to be a faultline, a crack or even a fissure and shows the landscape’s vulnerability to tremors.

A lineament mentioned in the report cuts across the Madban plateau, the site of the project. Experts said the features of this beg serious consideration as it runs parallel to the west coast fault line. “If, according to the DAE report, the Madban plateau trends in the north northwest – south southeast direction, then its features are similar to the deep seated west coast fault line,” said Professor MK Prabhu, a former government geologist who investigated the 1993 Latur quake.

The 2002 DAE report also enlists 11 other locations where lineaments and fault lines exist around the plant site. The report says: “a lineament in east northeast – west southwest direction lies at a distance of 10 km and follows the course of the Vagothan River for some distance.”

With regard to this, Prabhu said: “The Vagothan lineament, said to be associated with the Rajapur hot springs, is also quite close to the project. Historically, the Madban plateau and surrounding areas have been home to faults and lineaments.”

In its official response to the report findings, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) said the lineaments had been studied and were not found to be capable faults. However, it did not specifically talk about the minor faults that exist on the Madban plateau, as mentioned in the report.

The Jaitapur nuclear project has met with opposition from locals and activists regarding the safety of the plant from tremors and earthquakes, particularly in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

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