N-plant absolutely safe: Centre to SC

Refuting that safety standards were compromised with in order to rush into the commissioning of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu, the Centre on Tuesday sought to convince the Supreme Court that the plant was absolutely safe and the apprehensions raised against its safety were "misplaced and baseless".

Attorney General G E Vahanvati, who informed a Bench led by Justice K S Radhakrishanan that the fuel loading was complete in the plant, submitted that the plant was safe beyond all reasonable doubts and was made ready to withstand Fukushima-like tsunami.

"The plant is safe in all the respect and it has been ensured at each and every stage that every safety standard was adhered to. An alarmist argument has been put before the court that the Centre was rushing into the whole thing, but is baseless and misplaced. We have complied with each and every regulation and are committed to continue doing so in the future," said Vahanvati.

The AG also responded to the PIL petitioner's contention that the plant was sought to be commissioned even though 17 safety measures, as prescribed by an expert committee of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, were yet to be put in place. "These 17 safety measures sought to be placed were not the condition precedent for the operation and commissioning of the plant and other safety measures are good enough to ensure complete safety. We would not have proceeded otherwise. These measures are additional safety measures, evolved to be put in place in a phased and time-bound manner," said Vahanvati. He added that a wrong impression was sought to be created that these 17 measures had to be put in place immediately.

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