Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014

SC seeks Centre,AERB response on plea for stay on nuclear plant

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Posted: December 10, 2013 3:34 am

The Supreme Court sought responses from the Centre and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) Monday on a petition seeking a stay on commissioning of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu.

The court is hearing a petition by G Sundarrajan,on whose plea it had issued a slew of safety guidelines in May,contending that the authorities commissioned the plant without adhering to the guidelines.

A bench led by Justice K S Radhakrishnan issued notices to the Department of Atomic Energy,Ministry of Environment and Forests,AERB,Nuclear Power Corporation,the Tamil Nadu government and its pollution control board,and posted the matter for January.

Sundarrajan claimed the AERB green-signalled commissioning of the plant on July 4 without ascertaining if the SC directives had been complied with. He alleged that the AERB granted the clearance “hurriedly” and demanded an injunction against the commissioning.

The petition refers to a status report submitted by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to the apex court registry. “The report says conditions relating to online continuous monitoring of temperature and development of a green belt around the project imposed in the environmental clearance dated 23.9.2008 were not complied with.”

Sundarrajan claimed livelihood of around 10 lakh people in 100 villages was at stake and that the authorities were not heeding their needs.

While disposing his petition in May,the court had asserted that “India cannot afford to be a nuclear-isolated nation” in view of its ever-increasing electricity demand. It gave nod to a national policy for establishment of the Kudankulam plant after noting that safety standards had been put in place.

However,it said the plant should not be made operational unless all the authorities concerned grant a “final clearance” after “ensuring the quality of various components and systems” used. It laid down 15 guidelines for compliance by authorities.

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