Friday, September 28, 2012
Kudankulam plant can be stopped if not found safe: Apex court
New Delhi, Sept 27:
The Supreme Court today made it clear that it can stop the commissioning of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant if it finds that the mandatory safety requirements for it have not been put in place.
A Bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishanan and Deepak Misra said the safety of the plant and the people living in its vicinity is its prime concern and issued notices to the Centre and Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board on a plea challenging the environmental clearance given to the controversial project.
“We will not hesitate to stop the plant if we find that the mandatory safety requirements have not been taken care of at the site,” said the Bench while posting the case for further hearing on October 4.
The court earlier had refused to stay loading of the fuel in the plant but had agreed to examine the risk associated with the project.
The court was hearing an appeal by social activist G. Sundarrajan against the Madras High Court’s decision of refusing to impose any restraint against the plant. The petitioner contended that after last year’s nuclear disaster in Fukushima in Japan, the Atomic Energy Regulation Board (AERB) had recommended 17 safety measures for the plant which have not been put in place.
The safety of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant and storage of nuclear waste is of prime concern that should be addressed by the Union government, the Supreme Court told the Centre on Thursday.
Hearing petitions relating to the plant, a Bench of Justices K. S. Radhakrishnan and Deepak Misra told Attorney-General G. E. Vahanvati, Solicitor-General Rohinton Nariman and Additional Solicitor-General Mohan Parasaran, “From the first day, we are saying that safety is the most important issue, people’s lives should be protected.”
‘Money not an issue’
When counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioners, said the government’s concern was that so much money had been spent on the plant, Justice Radhakrishnan said, “That is not the issue. If we are not satisfied with safety then we can stop it [from being commissioned].