Public hearing for Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Project announced

By our correspondent, Bhavnagar, 1 February 2013

Nuclear Corporation of India Limited will hold public hearing for setting up Mithivirdi nuclear power station in Bhavnagar district on 5 March at Ghogha taluka’s Navagam (nana). The public hearing programme will be held in connection with an Environment Impact Assessment prepared by Engineers India Limited(EIL). The report is about setting up of 1000 MW project that involves six reactors.

To give an opportunity of any representation in writing, the brief note of EIL report has been put in public at the district collector office, DDO office, District Udyog Kendra, Talaja TDO office, GPCB office Bhavnagar and Bhopal’s Forest and Enviornment ministry offices.

The project has been opposed by a group of villagers of Jaspara, Mandva and Khadarpar led by some NGOs. In the past the survey engineers were forced to leave the place by the villagers led by NGO operators.

The project is proposed over 770 ha land of Jasparam Mandva and Khadpar villages.

The public hearing will be held on 5 March at Ghogha taluka’s Chaniyala-Navagam(nana) PGVCL substation at 10.30 am in presence of Bhavnagar district collector and regional officers of Gujarat Pollution Control Board(GPCB).

The villages located in 10 km radius of proposed site of the plant are informed about the public hearing event. The names of the villages are; Jaspara, Mandva, Khadarpar, Mithi Virdi, Paniyali, Kantala, Chaaya, Sosia, Bhankhal, Goriyali, Aland, Manaar, Khadsaliya, Bhavanipara, Bhesvadi, Kukad, Thalsar, Garibpura, Chaniyala, Odarka, Morchand, Lakhanka, Navagam(nana), and Pithalpur.

The public hearing programme will be recorded in video. Heavy police bandobast is expected in view of some NGOs involved in the protest against the entry of nuclear power plant.

Jaspara village – 584.96 ha private land, 164.73 ha government land, thus total 749.67 ha land

Mandva village – 10.59 ha private land, 00.00 govt land, total 10.59 ha land

Khadpar village – 12.97 ha private land, 4.75 ha govt land, total 17.54 ha land.

The power plant project is expected to be completed in three stages, with the first two units pencilled in for completion in 2019-2020, the second two units in 2021-2022 and the final stage completed in 2023-24. The cost is still under negotiation.

Mithi Virdi is one of four sites for which NPCIL is currently involved in pre-project activities. The others are Gorakhpur (Haryana), earmarked for four Indian-designed 700 MWe pressurized heavy-water reactors (PHWRs); Kovvada (Andhra Pradesh), where six GE-Hitachi ESBWR units are planned; and Chutaka (Madhya Pradesh), earmarked for two indigenous 700 MWe PHWRs. A final EIA for the Gorakhpur plant has been submitted to India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests for appraisal, while preliminary EIAs are still in preparation for Kovvada and Chutaka.

Mithi Virdi received approval in principle from the Indian government as a site for up to six imported 1000 MWe light water reactors in 2009. In 2012 US reactor vendor Westinghouse signed a memorandum of understanding with NPCIL agreeing to negotiate an early works agreement for the construction of up to six AP1000 units at the site.

About the draft assessment report

A draft assessment on behalf of the proposing company suggests that the proposed plant at Mithi Virdi will be environmentally benign and sustainable, benefiting the region both economically and socially. The report says the plant would provide “much needed electricity with minimal environmental impact”. It noted that the project will benefit the region generally and contribute to improved social conditions, with NPCIL contributing towards “uplifting” of the surrounding areas and positive impacts including employment, better transport facilities, and improvements to basic education, health and infrastructure in the area.

According to the preliminary environmental impact assessment (EIA), the project is not anticipated to have any significant impact on local flora, fauna or human activities. The report details the planned systems to manage gaseous, liquid and solid radioactive wastes and keep discharges below the required limits in normal operation as well as the passive safety design and engineered safety features of the plant.

The study was carried out for Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) by Engineers India Ltd. (EIL), itself an Indian government-led organization evaluated potential impacts of the project and formulated environmental management plans for both the construction and operation phase. EIL collected data within a ten-kilometer radius of the site over three seasons (summer, post-monsoon and winter) from December 2010 to November 2011 to prepare its report.

Read from archive: GoI-GoG in process to work out an attractive R&R package for Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant
Villagers protest Mithi Virdi nuclear project(Slide-show)

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