HC asks Centre to furnish copies of MOU on Kudankulam project



Chennai: The Madras High Court on Monday told the Centre to furnish it with copies of the 1982 Indo-Russian Memorandum of Understanding on the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in Tamil Nadu and also a copy of the expert committee's report on the project's nuclear plants.

A Division Bench, comprising Justices P Jyothimani and M Doraiswamy, sought the information when a batch of PILs seeking to stall the project going critical at least till necessary safety measures were put in place and all clearances for the project, including that from the state pollution control board (TNPCB), were obtained.

The Additional Solicitor General M Ravindran said the documents would be provided to the court 'in sealed covers.

Also directing the TNPCB to file a counter affidavit in response to the apprehensions of the people about the effect of the project on fishing activities, precautions in the event of a Tsunami or Fukushima type threat, the Bench posted the petitions for further hearing on June 21.

The Department of Atomic Energy and the Atomic Energy Commission in a joint counter earlier in response to the petitions had said the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board was empowered to enforce safety provisions under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, in all the DAE units. "..And since the AERB has been doing this in a very transparent and effective manner there is no need for fresh review of KKNPP," the counter said.

Besides, the counter, seeking to dispel fears, pointed out that a high level committee of the AERB, set up to review the safety of nuclear power plants in the light of 2011 Fukushima accident, had submitted its report and implementation of the recommendations were being pursued with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited.

PTI