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Green signal for Indo-Russian nuclear plant
May 6, 2013, 9:33 am

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh with Russian President Vladimir Putin (Image Courtesy Russian President's Office)

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh with Russian president Vladimir Putin [PPIO]

India’s top court has given the go-ahead to a nuclear plant, an Indo-Russian joint collaboration.

The Supreme Court of India on Monday disposed of a public suit seeking to halt work at the nuclear power plant in the southern Indian city of Kudankulam.

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh had said in February 2012 that the protests were organized by NGOs funded from the US and Scandinavian countries.

“There are NGOs, often funded from the United States and the Scandinavian countries, which are not fully appreciative of the development challenges that our country faces,” Singh had said.

Russian ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin also asserted the same in December last year saying protests against the Indo-Russian project is being fueled and financed by foreign NGOs.

India’s top court on Monday said that nuclear energy is extremely important for India’s growth and a balance has to be struck between the right to life and sustainable development.

The construction of the first two units was halted in September 2011 over protests by local residents who demanded the scrapping of the Indo-Russian project, citing the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

The protesters blocked all roads to the plant and would not allow the workers to enter.

India signed a contract to build the Kudankulam NPP with the USSR in 1988, but construction only started in 2002. In 2010, India and Russia agreed to build at least six power units.

The project involves 1,000 MW reactors of the VVER-1000 model being constructed by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Russia’s Atomstroyexport, a Rosatom subsidiary.

An apex court bench of Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra on Monday issued detailed directions to the government on the safety and the monitoring of the plant’s operations.

Justice Dipak Misra opined that the larger public interest should prevail over the minor inconveniences that may be caused to the people.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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