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Lok Sabha passes Atomic Energy Bill-2015
The Lok Sabha passed The Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, 2015, which seeks to allow state-run Nuclear Power Corporation to have collaboration with other PSUs in the nuclear field. The government allayed the fears that it will facilitate FDI into the sector or allow participation of a private company in atomic power production.
The Bill proposes to amend the 1962 Atomic Energy Act to change the definition of “government company” with a view to expand its scope by including such joint venture companies as may be formed between NPCIL and other PSUs. Currently, only two PSUs NPCIL and Bhartiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited, which are under the administrative control of department of atomic energy, operate nuclear power plants in the country. While replying to the discussion on the Bill, Union minister of state for Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh, who holds the portfolio of atomic energy, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given a lot of importance to atomic energy and whenever he has been on an overseas visit he has inked nuclear energy pacts with foreign countries. He also stated that two units of the Koodankulam nuclear power in Tamil Nadu would become operational by March next year. He also allayed fears that the proposed Jaitapur nuclear plant in Maharashtra is “risky” and sought the cooperation of the MPs to spread awareness about the nuclear power.
In response to questions on Civil Liability Nuclear Damage Act 2010, the minister said there has been “absolutely no compromise” on the safety of the people and a National Nuclear Insurance Pool has been created to deal with any sort of exigency, which includes seeking property damage upto 10 years and personal damage up to 20 years.