New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its order on a plea seeking a stay on commissioning of the Kudankulam nuclear plant till all safety measures are put in place. Following a marathon arguments spanning the last three months, a bench of justices KS Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra reserved its order on the plea that questioned the safety and security of people, the environmental impact and other issues linked to the controversial plant.
The court was hearing a bunch of petition filed by anti-nuclear activists challenging the project on the ground that safety measures recommended for the plant by an expert body has not been put in place. They also raised various questions pertaining to the disposal of nuclear waste and the plant's impact on environment.
The Centre, Tamil Nadu government and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd, which operates the plant, had refuted all the allegations on safety and security aspects. They submitted that the plant is completely safe and can withstand any kind of natural disaster and external terrorist attack.
The bench on the first date of hearing on September 13 had refused to stay the loading of fuel for the plant but had agreed to examine the risk associated with the project, saying the safety of people in its vicinity is its key concern. "Public safety is of prime importance. There are poor people living in the vicinity of the plant and they should know their lives would be protected," the apex court had said.
Maintaining that the plant is completely safe, the Centre had said all the recommendations made by the expert group cannot be put in place in one go and would be implemented in due course within six months to two years.
"The design includes provisions for withstanding external events like earthquake, tsunami/storm, tidal waves, cyclones, shock waves, aircraft impact on main buildings and fire," NPCIL had said in its affidavit.
"As regards to the vulnerability of the KKNPP to the terrorists attacks, sabotage, etc, it has elaborate physical security arrangements in place to ensure its security. The structural design of the facilities at KKNPP ensures that in the event of a physical attack, the structure would prevent the release of any radioactivity into the public domain," it had said.