Free Press Journal

Kudankulam Nuclear Plant: SC rejects plea to appoint panel


New Delhi: The Supreme Court today rejected a plea of an anti-nuclear activist to appoint a committee to supervise safety measures in Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu, saying there is “no laxity” on the part of authorities which are taking necessary steps.

A bench headed by Justice K S Radhakrishnan expressed satisfaction on the steps taken by Centre and Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) to put in place safety measures for the nuclear plant.

“We find it unnecessary to appoint any Committee at this stage since the status report and the affidavits indicate that the respondents are taking necessary steps so as to give effect to various directions, even though some of the directions are yet to be fulfilled, which naturally would take some more time. At the moment, we find no reason to give any further directions,” the bench, also comprising Justice Vikramjit Sen, said.

After perusing the various affidavits filed by government authorities, the bench noted the directions given by this Court are being properly addressed by them and there is no laxity on the part of them in carrying out various directions of this Court.

“For full implementation of directions, evidently, it may take some more time and we are sure that the respondents would make earnest efforts to give effect to all the directions of this Court in letter and spirit,” it said.

The bench had on February 17 sought response from Centre and AERB on implementation of safety guidelines issued by it.

It passed the order on the plea of anti-nuclear activist G Sundarrajan, who had moved the apex court against the commissioning of the plant.

While giving a green signal to the nuclear power project in May last year, the apex court had, however, passed a slew of directions relating to environment protection, disaster management, safety of the people, and quality of systems and components in the plant and had said that they be complied with before its commissioning.

It had directed Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) and AERB to maintain constant vigil and make periodical inspection of the plant at least once in three months and if any defect is noticed, the same has to be rectified forthwith.

It also had said NPCIL should ensure that the radioactive discharges to the environmental aquatic atmosphere and terrestrial route shall not cross the limits prescribed and NPCIL, AERB and Tamil Nadu government should take adequate steps to implement the National Disaster Management Guidelines.