The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay loading of fuel at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant but agreed to examine the risk associated with the project.
"Public safety is of prime importance. There are poor people living in the vicinity of the plant and they should know that their life would be protected," a bench headed by Justice KS Radhakrishanan said.
The court was hearing an appeal by social activist G Sundarrajan against a Madras high court decision which refused to stay loading of fuel for the plant. The case will be heard again on September 20.
The bench refused to stay the fuel loading as the Centre had assured it that the commissioning of the plant would take at least two months.
As the Centre's legal team led by Attorney General GE Vahanvati opposed the plea for staying fuel loading, the court said: "We are neither against the plant nor the petitioner but we want to see that the recommendations of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) on safety measures have been implemented."
The Centre maintained the plant was "completely safe". But the petitioner's counsel, Prashant Bhushan, requested the bench to restrain the Centre from loading the fuel as it may be followed by steps to make the plant operational.
When he was making his submissions, the bench remarked, "As such you are not against the installation of the nuclear plant but you are concerned about the implementation of all safety measures. Your opposition is not for installation but for non-implementation of the 17 safety measures suggested by a committee."