Madras High Court clears way for Kudankulam nuclear plant

Accepts new consent order by pollution board on heat tolerance limit for effluent discharge

By Ankur Paliwal
Published: Friday 31 August 2012

The Madras High Court has given the go ahead to operationalise the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP). In the final hearing of the case on August 31, the bench disposed of the petition filed by G Sundararajan, a Chennai-based software professional, challenging the consent given by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to operate the nuclear plant.

The court also accepted the fresh consent order submitted to the court by TNPCB on August 29. In the order, the pollution control board had revised the heat tolerance limit for the effluent discharge from the plant into the sea. The revised limit was as per the Environment Protection Rules of 1986, which states that power plants should limit the temperature at the effluent discharge point up to a maximum of 7°C above the ambient temperature.

Sundararajan had challenged the previous order of TNPCB in which it had given the consent to operate the plant at the heat tolerance limit for effluent discharge at 45°C. Following this, the court had asked the pollution control board to issue a fresh consent order. The court disposed of another petition filed by Sundararajan, challenging the permission given by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board to load fuel in the reactor without implementing all the safety recommendations made by the task force set up by the Central government after the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year. 

Sundararajan said the disposal of the petitions was unexpected and that he would appeal to the Supreme Court against the high court order.     


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