Even as protests in Tamil Nadu continue over the Kudankulam nuclear plant, the Supreme Court has refused to stay the loading of fuel for the nuclear power plant, but has agreed to examine the risk associated to the project, reports said.
The apex court said that the safety of people living in its vicinity was of prime concern.
The SC refused the stay after the Centre assured the court that commissioning of the plant would take at least two months. The court has said that it would go through the judgments of the Madras High Court and hear the matter.
The Madras High Court had cleared the loading of fuel last week.
On Thursday, India’s nuclear regulator, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, said it was yet to give final clearance for loading of enriched uranium fuel into the first 1,000 MW atomic plant built with Russian collaboration.
Meanwhile, taking their protest against plant to sea, hundreds of people held a ‘jal satyagraha’ by standing in sea water and forming a human chain, calling for the halting of preparations for fuel loading into the reactor.
A petition in the Supreme Court challenging the order of Madras High Court says that Court gave its clearance without safety features that the government's own agencies had recommended being in place. A task force had asked for 17 safety features, but the plant was declared safe to commission.
The petition also says that the government has indemnified the Russian makers of the reactors from any liability in case of an accident. This, the petition has said, goes against the Supreme Court's own ruling in the matter.
Villagers and fishermen have refused government assurances that the plant meets international safety standards and will be able to withstand natural disasters, reports said.