Seismicity study was done before selecting Jaitapur: NPCIL

Mumbai, Jan 17 (IANS) The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) Tuesday asserted that it had conducted comprehensive seismicity study before selecting Jaitapur for a nuclear power plant.

Referring to some press reports based on a US seismologist’s paper that suggested a high intensity earthquake may occur at Jaitapur, NPCIL executive director N. Nagaich in a statenment said the seismo-tectonic studies of the Jaitapur site were taken up during the site selection stage itself from 2003 to 2005.
The studies were done much before the site was accorded ‘in principle’ approval by the government of India in 2005, the statement said.
The paper presented by US seismologist Roger Bilham was co-authored by V.K.Gaur. The media was briefed about it at a press conference organised by Greenpeace on Jan 12, 2012, the statement recalled.
The statement said that opinions of geological and seismological experts in the country like J.R. Kayal, former deputy director general of the Geological Survey of India, and B.K. Rastogi, director general of the Institute of Seismological Research (ISR), were also taken while arriving at the design-basis.
“The information from above studies and the process of providing design margins has also been discussed with V.K. Gaur (one of the authors),” the statement said.
The statement said the NPCIL had approached seismicity in a comprehensive way – from historical seismic data point-of-view to specifying and building reactors on conservative basis with ample design margins above what is considered possible risk.
“The conservative approach used by NPCIL to arrive at the ground motion at Jaitapur very well accommodates even higher-impact possible events with comfortable margins. Seismic aspects of site have adequately been addressed in Indian nuclear power plants, including at Jaitapur,” the statement said.