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SC refuses to stop fuel loading in Kudankulam plant

The Supreme Court today declined to stay the loading of fuel rods in one of the two reactors of Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu. it said said that it would now hear the plea seeking to restrain the central government on September 20.

Kudankulam protest
Police clash with protestors on a beach in Idinathakarai village near Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (Pic - AFP)

The apex court's decision came as hundreds of people from Tamil Nadu's Idinthakarai village, the epicentre of the protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP), stood in sea water to protest the loading of uranium fuel in one of the two reactors.

Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra declined to pass any immediate order on a petition seeking to restrain the government from going ahead with the loading of nuclear fuel rods in the reactor of the plant.

IT professional P Sundarrajan moved the apex court Tuesday contending that the government should not go ahead with the loading of the fuel rods till 17 safety steps recommended by the expert committee are implemented.

Mentioning the matter before the bench, counsel for petitioner Prashant Bhushan told the court that the expert committee was set up after Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in Japan to suggest safety steps to ward off any such incident.

Bhushan told the court that out of 17 safety steps recommended by the expert committee only six have been put in place and to implement the remaining 11, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) will require six months to two years.

Besides the central government, the petitioner had made the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, NPCIL, the power plant director and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board respondents.

The petitioner had said that the recommendations of the government's own expert task force on the critical safety features had not been implemented so far. 

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