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(Update) Father of India's ballistic missile stumps for nuclear power

Says accidents are merely the spur for greater safety measures

Former President APJ Abdul Kalam -- who developed India's ballistic missile and played a key role in its 1998 nuclear tests -- said Wednesday that Fukushima should not deter India from going ahead with its plans for a massive expansion in nuclear power production, writes the Economic Times

"Nuclear plants should and would continue to operate. Accidents did happen but there were always solutions to problems and precautions to be taken," the paper quotes Kalam as saying at a university lecture.

Earlier, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh wrote to the prime minister questioning the wisdom of the controversial nuclear power "park" planned for Jaitapur, Maharashtra, according to the Indian Express.

While he didn't go so far as to question India's nuclear expansion plans in general, the minister suggested that the accident at Fukushima should prompt new questions about large facilities.

“While I agree that sites are limited, should we not relook at this concept of nuclear parks where we set up giant capacities in one location (like at Fukushima)? Jaitapur will have 10,000 MW of capacity. Is this wise?" the letter reads, according to the newspaper.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) plans a 9,900 MW nuclear plant near Jaitapur. It will be the largest nuclear power generating station in the world by net electrical power rating once completed. The project is slated to be built by France's state-owned Areva Group using the company's controversial Evolutionary Pressurized Reactors.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/bric-yard/india-jaitapur-nuclear-plant-earthquake-risk