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Kudankulam: Activists fire salvo at pollution control board

TN pollution board had asked KNPP to increase green belt by 25%

Shine Jacob  |  New Delhi 

Environmental activists today alleged that the nuclear power project has got the clearance from the state pollution control board, even when the plant did not meet the criteria regarding outfall of sea water and green belt.

As per the criteria, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), in its report, had asked the Kundankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) to increase the green belt by 25%.

“At present, they only have 6% of green belt. Moreover, the outfall of hot water should be discharged at least 1.5-2 km away from the sea shore through a pipeline, which is not there. In this case, the entire sea shore would get hot because of the treated sea water,” said Chennai-based environmental activist G Sundararajan, who has filed a petition against the clearance by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) for the project.

The case is likely to be taken up before the Madras High Court tomorrow.

M Pushpanarayan of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which is in the forefront of the agitations, too echoed Sundararajan’s allegations.

The first unit of 2x1000 mega watt Koodankulam plant achieved criticality last week and is expected to start power production in a couple of weeks.

In its report, the pollution control board also asked for computerization of the temperature record system at the final outlet of condenser cooling and get it connected to CARE AIR Centre in Chennai. It also asked for a separate water meter for industrial cooling purpose among its suggestions.

When contacted, Jayakumar T C Ethiraju, Joint Chief Environmental Engineer of TNPCB said, “We are only looking into air and water quality aspects related to the project. As of now, the project has complied with all the facilities as per our criteria. They have an effluent treatment plant and also a storage waste water handling facility in place.”

Regarding the First Approach to Criticality (FAC) of Unit-1 of the project, AERB chairman S S Bajaj told Business Standard the plant meets all the criteria required as of now in the environmental and safety side.

First Published: Tue, July 16 2013. 18:52 IST