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Verdict on Kudankulam crucial to Tamil Nadu

Chennai, May 5 () : Kudankulam power plant functioning hinges on the Supreme Court decision on Monday. It will decide on a plea seeking scrapping and stay on commissioning of the controversial Kudankulam nuclear plant.

Adverse verdict will put the power situation of Tamil Nadu and to some extent the Southern states in a dilemma. It will also affect the further agreement to build nuclear energy plants with Russia.

Anti-nuclear organizations had filed a plea saying that no safety recommendations put forth by an expert body were implemented. Questions related to the disposal of nuclear waste, the impact on the environment and the safety of people living nearby in case of a mishap, were among other issues linked to the controversial plant.

Central Government agencies, nuclear power corporation and the Tamil Nadu Government had stated that safety precautions were in place and there was no reason for any fear. They had told the court that the plant can withstand any kind of natural disaster and external terrorist attack. After the earthquake in Japan, which affected a nuclear energy plant, activists in Kudankulam decided to block the functioning of the plant.

Activists supported by church and villagers laid siege to the plant. Fishermen too joined in. Relay fasts and protests continued till the State Government decided to back the plant. Tamil Nadu will get 900 MW power.

CBI has found that an NGO supporting the agitation was getting funds from the US. This was interpreted as an US lobby trying to scuttle the Russian project. Politically, only MDMK, DMDK and CPI seem to be supporting the agitation. Reason being that except for those in and around the plant, other districts are waiting for the start of power production, to save them from unemployment.

The SC refused to stall the loading of nuclear fuel in the plant but added that the safety of the people was the main criteria.