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Willing to look again into safety aspects of nuke plant: Centre

September 28, 2012 18:25 IST

The environment ministry was ready to take a re-look into the "safety" aspects of the Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu if such a need arises, Union Minister Jayanti Natarajan said on Friday.

The environment minister's statement came a day after the Supreme Court made it clear that it can stop commissioning of the controversial Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant if it finds that the mandatory safety requirements for it have not been put in place.

"I am willing to consider (a re-look) in terms of safety. Right now, all the conditions we imposed have been strictly complied to," Natarajan told reporters while replying to queries on the plant in Tamil Nadu, which is being opposed by locals and NGOs.

Natarajan said that the conditional green clearance for Kudankulam plant was given in 2008 and she was "very confident that those are being followed."

The environment ministry's stipulated Guidance Manual for nuclear plants is 7 degrees rise in temperature of cooling water when clearance for Kudankulam plant was given.

Later, when clearance for Jaitapur plant was given, the ministry restricted the temperature rise to 5 degrees.

"For Jaitapur, it was made 5 degrees (rise in temperature of cooling water). It is seven degree (in Kudankulam). I don't see any lack of compliance (in Kudankulam). But if the need arises, we will consider making it from seven (to five) in accordance with Jaitapur," she said.

A bench of Justices K S Radhakrishanan and Deepak Misra on Thursday said the safety of the plant and the people living in its vicinity is its prime concern and issued notices to the Centre and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board on a plea challenging the environmental clearance given to the project.

The court earlier had refused to stay loading of the fuel in the plant, but had agreed to examine the risk associated with the project

The government had told the apex court that the nuclear power plant is completely safe and designed to withstand all kinds of natural disaster and terror attacks.

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