New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) Against the backdrop of the Fukushima nuclear power plant tragedy in Japan due to an earthquake and tsunami, India has embarked upon a technical review of all safety systems of its nuclear plants, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Tuesday.
At a function to present the Department of Atomic Energy’s lifetime achievement award for 2009, Manmohan Singh said the tragedy at the Fukushima plant in Japan had raised worldwide concerns about the safety of nuclear energy as a source of power and it was vitally important to address these concerns.
“The government will take all the necessary measures to ensure the safety of our plants. I have already directed a technical review of all safety systems of our nuclear power plants using the best expertise available in our country,” he said.
Noting that the government would strengthen the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and make it a truly autonomous and independent regulatory authority of the highest and the best international standards, the prime minister said: “The future reactors that will be built in India will have to be certified by the Indian regulatory authority and meet its safety standards. This will apply equally to reactors and technologies that are imported from abroad.”
Calling for “accountability and transparency” in the functioning of nuclear plants, he said the people of India would have to be convinced about the safety and security of the plants.
“We should bring greater openness and transparency in the decision-making processes relating to our nuclear energy programme and improve our capacity to respond to the public desire to be kept informed about decisions and issues that are of concern to them,” he said.
The prime minister also congratulated the nuclear scientists N. Srinivasan, V.K. Iya, Obaid Siddiqi and V.K. Mehra for winning the lifetime achievement award.