Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, by a notification dated July 23 this year, has granted its consent to the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), the Board submitted before a division bench comprising Justices P Jyothimani and M Duraiswamy on Wednesday. It had granted consent both under Sec 25 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act and under Sec 21 of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act with a set of general and specific conditions, valid till March 31, 2013, it added.
PCB counsel Rita Chandrasekar stated that the Board, after due inspection, had issued the consent to operate the project on July 23 last. Representing the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran told the bench that since Units I and II of the project were initiated as early as in 1989 itself, no useful purpose would be served if a public hearing was conducted. Adequate awareness was created and various experts committees had gone into various issues relating to the project.
The Office of the Prime Minister had clearly advised that the project be exempted from the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) regulations. The notification issued in 2001 clearly exempted the projects of the Department of Atomic Energy from obtaining the CRZ clearance, he said. As regards the issue of spent fuel, the same would be buried deep in the earth in accordance with the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board direction in consonance with the IAEA standards, Parasaran added.
State Special Government Pleader IS Inbadurai said a mock drill had been held at Nakkuneri on June 9 as prescribed by the law. AERB counsel said it would grant its consent for loading of fuel, only after all norms were complied with. The arguments will continue tomorrow.