Published: Tuesday, Mar 12, 2013,
By Dilnaz Boga | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has, for a long time, assured the people of Jaitapur that there is “no earthquake activity around the [proposed nuclear power plant] site within a radius of 39km.” However, the central government’s Site Selection Committee states otherwise.

After Dr BG Waghdhare filed an RTI application, some pages of a report dated September 2002 on the assessment of sites for locating nuclear plants — which were kept confidential — were made available to the public.

An activist said that they had trouble extracting the report and that the activists had to approach the RTI Commissioner in Delhi to intervene. “Despite this, the government has only made a few pages of the report public. Why are they trying to hide this information?”

The information in the report states that in the past two decades, there have been 93 medium to high level tremors on the Richter scale at the Jaitapur site, proving that it is earthquake-prone.
The report stated that a fault line “lies at a distance of 10km and follows the Vagothan river for some distance.” Similarly, other fault lines have been found at a distance of 15km, 16km and 24km.

In addition to this, the report states that recently, earthquakes corresponding to Richter magnitude 3 to 5.7 have been reported along the Panvel flexure.

Residents say that in the last 12 years, the mountains in the area have developed massive cracks. “Each crack is three to four kilometres long, with a depth of 50 feet and a width of 70 feet,” said activist Girish Raut, who has been campaigning against the setting up of the nuclear power plant at Jaitapur.