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Harmful to give up n-power option: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday asserted that it would be harmful for the country to give up the option of nuclear power as an additional source of energy and said the government was committed to foolproof security of nuclear power plants.

'I think the policy that we have now is that we must do everything in our power to ensure foolproof safety of the nuclear plants. That we will never compromise with,' the prime minister told the Lok Sabha during the question hour.

'But at the same time, I would respectfully submit it would be harmful for the country's interest to pass an ordinance in the self-denial that we shall give up the option of having nuclear power as an additional source,' the prime minister added.

Responding to a query raised by Anant Geete of the Shiv Sena about the opposition by residents to nuclear plant in Jaitapur in Maharashtra and Japan changing its policy of nuclear power production in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant accident, the prime minister said the country had revisited safety of its reactors.

'We have 19 functional reactors and there has never been any incident. And even after Fukushima, I ordered a complete revisit to all the reactors. Those findings of the NPCIL (Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited) are on the websites for everyone to see.'

He said India must keep the option of nuclear power as an additional source of power.

'I think, we are not in a situation in which Japan is there. Japan has a much larger proportion of its power coming from the nuclear plants. In Germany also, question marks have been raised about the nuclear power, but Germany relies on France... France has a large number of nuclear power plants,' the prime minister said.

He said India's 'safety measures are an open book'.

'As far as the present policies with regard to the nuclear power are concerned, our view is that when it comes to questions of safety, there should be no compromise whatsoever. And we will never do anything which creates doubts about the safety of these plants,' the prime minister said.
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