SC notice on plea seeking halt to Kudankulam’s commissioning

New Delhi, Feb 17: The Supreme Court Monday asked the government and the atomic energy regulator to respond to a petition seeking to put on hold further steps for commissioning of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) till the court’s 15 directions were complied with.

A bench of Justice K.S.Radhakrishnan and Justice Vikramajit Sen asked the government and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) to file response as to how they have implemented 15 directions before the KKNPP was commissioned.

“What have you done about these directions? You had to make a storage facility for spent fuel, what is the progress in that?” the court asked Attorney General G.E.Vahanvati, appeared for the government and the AERB.

He said that it was an old thing and they would address them in their reply.

The government and the AERB were asked to respond on the plea by G. Sundarajan on whose petition the apex court had May 6, 2013, had issued 15 directions that were to be complied with as the government proceeded with the commissioning of the plant in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district.

The apex court by its May 6, 2013, order gave the directions with a specific mandate that the directions relating to environment protection, disaster management, safety of the people, and quality of systems and components in the plant should be complied with before the commissioning, said the petition.

Seeking direction for putting all further steps on the commission of KKNPP on hold as an interim prayer, Sundarrajan has challenged the July 29, 2013, order of the Madras High Court which had asked him to approach the apex court if its (apex court) directions have not been complied with.

Appearing for Sundrarrajan, counsel Prashant Bhushan said that they (the government) have not complied with the directions, used sub-standard equipment and are now facing problems in cabling and instrumentation.

Bhushan told the court that KKNPP have yet to take effective steps for protecting the environment and have not even decided the place where spent fuel permanent repository would be located.

The court was told that the cases against those opposed to the setting up of KKNPP have also not been withdrawn.

Thev court gave the government and AERB three weeks time to respond to the plea.