The SC had earlier, in 2013, given the Centre five years till May 2018 to construct the tank.

SC gives Koodankulam nuclear plant 4 more yrs to construct a waste storage tank PTI
news Environment Monday, July 02, 2018 - 15:18

The Supreme Court refused to direct the central government to shut down the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) on Monday.

Responding to a petition by the NGO Poovulagin Nanbargal, the Supreme Court passed an order stating that it cannot order for the shutdown of the plant and gave the central government an extension of four years, till 2022, for the construction of an Away From Reactor (AFR) facility to store the nuclear waste.

The Supreme Court, in 2013, had directed the central government to construct an AFR facility and ensure that all the safety precautions recommended by the Supreme Court is followed within five years. 

The time limit granted ended in May 2018, following which the NGO filed a petition in the Supreme Court urging it to issue orders to shut down the plant citing environmental concerns.

The petitioner has outlined the issues related to the storage of nuclear waste within the reactor premises and had used the example of Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan to show the damages caused to the environment because of not having a separate structure to store the waste.

The petitioner had hence requested the plant be closed permanently or at least till the central government construct the AFR as per the specifications so as to ensure the safety of the people who live around the plant.

The apex court also said that if any more petitions are submitted demanding the closure of the plant with the specific reasons, those petitions will be heard separately.

Speaking to TNM, G Sundarrajan, the petitioner from Poovulagin nanbargal said, “The order states that the plant will be shut down if the AFR is not constructed by 2022. This is just a time extension given to the government to adhere to the safety requirements prescribed by the court in its 2013 order.”

He also mentioned that further course of action will be decided after reading the complete court order.

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