The Supreme Court on Monday gave the green signal to the controversial Kudankulam nuclear plant, saying the authorities concerned had taken enough safeguards before it became operational.
A two-judge bench said the project was in larger public interest and the apprehensions about public safety and environmental concerns have been allayed in view of the unanimous expert opinion. The plant, it added, was safe and necessary for country's economic growth.
"The AERB as the regulatory authority and the MoEF are obliged to perform their duty that safety measures are adequately taken before the plant commences its operation. That is the trust of the people in the authorities which they can ill afford to betray, and it shall not be an exaggeration to state that safety in a case of this nature in any one's hand has to be placed on the pedestal of "Constitutional Trust"," the bench said, dismissing a bunch of petitions challenging commissioning of the project.
It, however, laid down 15 guidelines on commission, safety, security and environmental issues concerning the plant.
The bench directed Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to oversee and monitor whether Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) was complying with the conditions laid down by the ministry while it granted permission to run the power plant.
The Atomic Energy Research Bureau (AERB) has been asked to periodically review the design-safety aspects.