The 6,000-MW Mithivirdi Nuclear Power Plant in Bhavnagar district has got coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) nod from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC).
The clearance for setting up of “intake and outfall facility” for the 6,000-MW plant at Mithivirdi, about 40 kms from Bhavnagar, is seen as a big boost for Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) that has been facing severe opposition from local farmers and social activists.
“We will be creating a structure for the intake of sea water for cooling purpose at the nuclear plant. We will create a deep-sea discharge facility of about 2.5 to 3.5 kms in the sea,” said a senior NPCIL official while talking to The Indian Express about the Mithivirdi project.
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The clearance has been granted for constructing an intake channel that will be 100 metre wide and 10 metre deep and a discharge facility comprising of Condenser Cooling Water Discharge tunnels of eight-metre diameter and six kms in length (for two units) and a total of 18 kms (for units).
It is also proposed to construct a small barge handling marine facility having a draft of 3-4 metres for receiving and handling over dimensional consignments (ODCs) during the construction stage. It will be in the form of a shore-based wharf type or an open-piled jetty system.
The project had been recommended by the Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authority on January 13 last year. “It shall be ensured that there is no displacement of the people, houses or fishing activity as a result of the project,” the ministry stated while laying down specific conditions granting the clearance.
The ministry has also asked the company to examine possibilities of deploying ultrasonic devices to divert the aquatic life from entering into the sea water intake in connection with National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT). It has also asked filters to be provided at intake to prevent entry of marine life along with the sea water.
However, NPCIL is yet to acquire land for the project. “We are yet to acquire the land,” said the official associated with the project that is expected to come up on 777 hectares of which majority is agricultural land.