The Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) is absolutely safe and no disaster or natural calamity such as a tsunami, can affect its functioning, the Department of Atomic Energy has claimed.
The claim was made in its counter-affidavit filed in the Madras High Court in response to a writ petition from G Sundararajan praying for a direction to the authorities concerned to undertake a fresh review of the project after letting the public to express their views. The petitioner also sought to restrain the authorities from commissioning the project until such review was completed.
The first bench comprising Chief Justice MY Eqbal and Justice TS Sivagnanam, before which the counter was filed, referred the matter to another bench, led by Justice P T Jyothimani, on Tuesday. The counter said that the petitioner could not assume things and indulge in wild imaginations as if every thing was going to be disastrous. All safety measures were place at the plant and the personnel had been trained to handle any type of emergency. The calculation for Koodankulam showed that even in case of severe accident, there was no need for evacuation of the people in the surrounding villages. The plant had been constructed at a minimum height of 7.65 metres. No tsunami of any sort could affect it. There was an imminent need for enhanced power generation in India for assuring a healthy and prosperous nation. The petitioner cannot oppose the project, being established at cost of `14,000 crore, that too after an enormous delay of 22 years, the counter added.
In its counter, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) submitted that there was no need for public hearings, as clearance had been granted on May 9,1989.