​Was Jaitapur site given clearance without conclusive studies, asks Greenpeace

New Delhi, 22 January 2016 | Greenpeace India

There are close to 16 fault lines near the Jaitapur nuclear project site, according to a 2006 Geological Survey of India. While the project has been given an ‘in-principle’ site approval, and the preliminary construction has already started at the site, the report commissioned by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) in 2002 has been under review for 10 years now.

Greenpeace was allowed to examine the report in March 2014 under the  Right to Information Act, but was not allowed to make copies stating that the Report is under review, thus copy of the same has not been provided” [1]. “The report states there are six fault lines within the 5km radius of the project site, if the report is still under review, then on what basis was site clearance granted?” asks Hozefa Merchant, Greenpeace campaigner.

Jaitapur nuclear site is part of Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra which is classified under Zone 4 (high damage risk zone). There have been close to 93 major tremors recorded within the area in the last 20 years[2]. The reactors for the plant will be supplied by the French company AREVA.

“While we were not allowed to take copies of the report, we did take down notes” said Merchant. “The report in question appears to be a preliminary report on seismic activity in and around the proposed site for Jaitapur nuclear plant. According to the nuclear regulatory guideline [3], if there are any capable faults within 5km radius of the site, that site cannot be considered for a nuclear power plant. The GSI report states that there are 6 fault lines within the 5km radius of the site whose activity is unknown.”

He added, “If the report is still under review, then it can be inferred that it is inconclusive and if it is inconclusive, it means that more studies need to be done before a site approval is granted.”

In a rebuttal [4] to a peer reviewed paper written by Dr. Vinod Guar and Dr. Roger Bilham [5] on Jaitapur, NPCIL had referred to a GSI study that had been conducted before the site was accorded an ‘in principle’ approval however this report has not been made public.

NPCIL maintains that the site falls under earthquake Zone 3 despite a letter (dated March 4, 2011) by Meterological Department of India that states due consideration of Zone 4 needs to be given to the site for design and construction [6].

“We urge the Prime Minister to re-evaluate the ‘in-principle’ approval granted to the Jaitapur site, or for the least, direct NPCIL to finish its review of the GSI document and make the report public” concluded Merchant.


[1] Greenpeace team visits NPCIL – Letter scan attached with the mail

[2] 93 Earthquakes in 20yrs – news article – New Indian Express: http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Jaitapur-Site-Highly-Prone-to-Quakes/2015/05/01/article2791667.ece

[3] AERB Safety Guide no. AERB/SG/G-8 – Page 3 – http://www.aerb.gov.in/AERBPortal/pages/English/t/publications/CODESGUIDES/SG-G-08.PDF

[4] NPCIL – rebuttal: http://www.npcil.nic.in/pdf/Seismicity_Considerations_for_Jaitapur_NPP.pdf

[5] Dr. Vinod Gaur and Dr. Roger Bilham’s report on Jaitapur:


[6] Metrological Department of India letter – http://npcil.nic.in/main/Siesmic_Zone_of_JNPP.pdf


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