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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KK NPP) - Apex court made some directions - Affidavits filed implementation of the directions - Apex court held that there is no laxity on the part of the Respondents in not carrying out various directions of this Court. For full implementation of directions, evidently, it may take some more time and we are sure that the Respondents would make earnest efforts to give effect to all the directions of this Court in letter and spirit. Shri Prashant Bhushan, learned senior counsel appearing for the Petitioner, submitted that a team headed by a former Chairman of the AERB be constituted to examine as to whether these directions are being properly implemented or not. We find it unnecessary to appoint any Committee at this stage since the status report and the affidavits indicate that the Respondents are taking necessary steps so as to give effect to various directions, even though some of the directions are yet to be fulfilled, which naturally would take some more time. At the moment, we find no reason to give any further directions. The Special Leave Petition is disposed of as above, so also the I.A.= G. Sundarrajan …. Petitioner Versus Union of India & Ors. …. Respondents= 2014(May.Part)http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41526

   Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KK NPP)  - Apex court made some directions - Affidavits filed implementation of the directions - Apex court held that there is no laxity on the part of the Respondents in not  carrying  out  various  directions   of   this   Court.     For   full
implementation of directions, evidently, it may take some more time and  we are sure that the Respondents would make earnest efforts to give effect  to all the directions of this Court in letter and spirit. Shri Prashant Bhushan,  learned  senior  counsel  appearing  for  the Petitioner, submitted that a team headed by a former Chairman of  the  AERB be constituted to examine as to whether these directions are being properly implemented or not. We find it unnecessary to appoint any Committee at this stage since  the  status  report  and  the  affidavits  indicate  that  the Respondents are taking necessary steps so as  to  give  effect  to  various directions, even though some of the directions are  yet  to  be  fulfilled, which naturally would take some more time.   At  the  moment,  we  find  no reason to give any further directions. The Special Leave Petition is disposed of as above, so also the I.A.=

This Court, while disposing of the case  titled  G.  Sundarrajan  vs.
Union of India  reported in (2013) 6 SCC 620, gave 15  directions  for  due
compliance by AERB, NPCIL, DAE, MoEF, TNPCB,  State  of  Tamil  Nadu,  etc.
Complaining  that  those  directions  had  not  been  complied  with,   the
Petitioner herein filed Writ Petition No.19286 of 2013  before  the  Madras
High Court praying for a declaration that the clearance granted by AERB for
‘First Approach to Criticality’ (FAC) of Unit 1 of Kudankulam Nuclear Power
Project (KK NPP) on July 11, 2013 be  declared  as  null  and  void. =

  After perusing the various affidavits filed by  the  Respondents,  we
notice that the directions given by this Court are being properly addressed
by the Respondents and there is no laxity on the part of the Respondents in
not  carrying  out  various  directions   of   this   Court.     For   full
implementation of directions, evidently, it may take some more time and  we
are sure that the Respondents would make earnest efforts to give effect  to
all the directions of this Court in letter and spirit.

9.    Shri Prashant Bhushan,  learned  senior  counsel  appearing  for  the
Petitioner, submitted that a team headed by a former Chairman of  the  AERB
be constituted to examine as to whether these directions are being properly
implemented or not. We find it unnecessary to appoint any Committee at this
stage since  the  status  report  and  the  affidavits  indicate  that  the
Respondents are taking necessary steps so as  to  give  effect  to  various
directions, even though some of the directions are  yet  to  be  fulfilled,
which naturally would take some more time.   At  the  moment,  we  find  no
reason to give any further directions.

10.   The Special Leave Petition is disposed of as above, so also the I.A.
2014(May.Part)http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41526
K.S. RADHAKRISHNAN, VIKRAMAJIT SEN
                                                          NON-REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

               SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO.36179 OF 2013

G. Sundarrajan                                       …. Petitioner


                             Versus


Union of India & Ors.                           …. Respondents

                                    WITH

                                  I.A. NO.3
                                     IN
                            C.A. NO.4440 OF 2013


                               J U D G M E N T


K.S. Radhakrishnan, J.

1.    This Court, while disposing of the case  titled  G.  Sundarrajan  vs.
Union of India  reported in (2013) 6 SCC 620, gave 15  directions  for  due
compliance by AERB, NPCIL, DAE, MoEF, TNPCB,  State  of  Tamil  Nadu,  etc.
Complaining  that  those  directions  had  not  been  complied  with,   the
Petitioner herein filed Writ Petition No.19286 of 2013  before  the  Madras
High Court praying for a declaration that the clearance granted by AERB for
‘First Approach to Criticality’ (FAC) of Unit 1 of Kudankulam Nuclear Power
Project (KK NPP) on July 11, 2013 be  declared  as  null  and  void.   Writ
Petition was heard along with few other writ petitions like WP No.15829  of
2013 and Writ Petition No.20161 of 2013 and the same were disposed of by  a
common judgment dated 29.7.2013,  against  which  the  Petitioner  in  Writ
Petition  No.19285 of 2013 has come up with this  Special  Leave  Petition.
The Petitioner has also moved I.A. No.3 of 2013 in Civil Appeal No.4440  of
2013 for a direction to the respondents not to  commission  the  Kudankulam
Nuclear Plant till each of the 15 directions given by  this  Court  in  the
aforementioned judgment has been complied with and till they  are  properly
verified by an independent expert committee appointed by this Court.

2.    When SLP (C) No.36179 of 2013 came up for hearing, we passed an order
on 17.2.2014 directing the respondents to file their response  with  regard
to steps they have taken to give effect to the fifteen directions given  by
this Court.   In compliance, the Respondents have  filed  their  affidavits
and status report.

3.    We heard  Mr.  Prashant  Bhushan,  learned  senior  counsel  for  the
Petitioner, Mr. Mohan Parasaran, learned Solicitor General of  India,  Shri
Rakesh Dwivedi, learned senior counsel appearing for  the  State  of  Tamil
Nadu, Shri Subramonium Prasad, AAG and other learned counsel appearing  for
the contesting respondents.

4.    AERB in its affidavit dated 24.3.2014  explained  the  various  steps
they have taken so as to comply with the various directions issued by  this
Court. With regard to  the  concern  expressed  about  the  possibility  of
quality issues with equipment from specific source, it was also pointed out
that additional re-verification was carried out before FAC. While doing so,
it was stated that the quality aspects of the safety related  equipment  in
KK NPP from that source had not been compromised. AERB Observers  Team  re-
verified the implementation  of  QA  requirements  from  initial  stage  of
manufacturing  up  to  final  receipt  of  the  component/   equipment   at
Kudankulam.  It was pointed out,  no  non-conformance  of  significance  to
safety was observed.  With regard to direction no.5,  it  was  pointed  out
that SNF can be stored for a minimum period of  7  years  within  plant  in
Spent Fuel Pool (SFP) located in Reactor Building.   Design of the same, it
was pointed out, has been reviewed from the point of  adequacy  of  design,
surveillance requirements, monitoring provisions  to  ensure  safe  storage
considering plant and public safety.  For storage beyond 7 years, Away From
Reactor (AFR) facility is planned by NPCIL. NPCIL has submitted the roadmap
for design, construction and completion of AFR facility specifying that the
AFR facility would be operational by May, 2018  after  obtaining  clearance
from AERB.  With regard to direction no.7, it was pointed out that  DGR  is
to be set up based on  national  policy  and  regulatory  review  would  be
carried out as and when design for the same is evolved.  In  the  meantime,
as per the current regulatory practices, AERB would ensure safe storage  of
SNF  in  the  spent  fuel  pool  or  AFR  at  Site  and  ensure  that   the
transportation is in  accordance  with  the  AERB  requirements.   Detailed
response has been made to rest of the directions in the affidavit filed  by
AERB.

5.    NPCIL has also filed an affidavit along with  Annexure  A  furnishing
the status report with regard to the directions issued by this Court in the
above-mentioned judgment.   NPCIL with regard to  direction  no.1,  pointed
out that the quality of equipment supplied by M/s Zio-Pololsk such as steam
generator,  cation  and  anion  filters,   mechanical   filters,   moisture
separators and re-heaters etc. are fully accessible for any inspection, and
none of Zio-Pololsk supplied equipment to  KKNPP  are  subject  to  neutron
irradiation.   Further, it was submitted that to fulfil the  directions  in
para no.230 of the judgment,  report  has  been  filed.    With  regard  to
direction no.7, it was stated that as the present storage capacity of  each
Spent Nuclear Fuel Bay (SNF Bay) is adequate to accommodate discharged fuel
for a period of seven years starting from its first  refuelling  operation,
and hence as such the AFR facilities would only  be  required  eight  years
after the First Criticality of the KKNPP  Unit-1.    Further,  it  is  also
stated that a Task Force for finalisation of design, design basis report to
construct Away From Reactor (AFR) facility for KKNPP Unit 1 &  2  has  been
constituted by NPCIL vide office Order dated May 15, 2013 and that the Task
Force has prepared a roadmap for the design and construction  of  AFR.   It
was further pointed out  that  NPCIL  is  committed  to  complete  the  AFR
facility within five years.   Reply has also been given to the rest of  the
directions as well.

6.    Detailed affidavit has  been  filed  on  behalf  of  the  Tamil  Nadu
Pollution Control Board stating the steps they have taken  to  comply  with
the directions.  Following the directions of this  Court,  it  was  pointed
out, the officials of the Board inspected the plant on 18.5.2013 along with
the members of the Department of the Atomic Energy, NPCIL,  MoEF,  etc.  to
verify the status of compliance of conditions stipulated by the Tamil  Nadu
Pollution Control Board in  the  consent  order  granted  under  the  Water
(Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and  the  Air   (Prevention
and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.  It was  noticed  that  the  Unit  has
complied with the conditions and the consent  order  issued  to  the  Unit.
Further, it was  pointed  out  that  the  Unit  has  installed  temperature
measuring device both at the sea water intake and marine out fall facility,
and the difference between ambient temperature of the  sea  and  the  water
disposed into sea by the Unit is not exceeding 7ºC  as per  the  conditions
stipulated by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.

7.    The District Collector,  Tirunelveli  District,  submitted  a  status
report with specific reference to direction nos.11 to 15.  With  regard  to
direction no.11, it was pointed  out  that  the  first  off-site  emergency
exercise was conducted on 9.6.2012 at Unit at Nakkanery  village  with  the
support of the concerned Ministries of the Government of  India,  Officials
of the State Government and the local authorities, etc., and that the  next
exercise will  be  conducted  as  per  the  guidelines  shortly  after  the
Parliamentary Elections are over.  With regard to direction no.12,  it  was
pointed out that under the Neighbourhood Development Programme (NDP)  being
implemented by the Unit, a sum of Rs.200  crores  has  been  earmarked  for
various  projects.   It  was  pointed  out  that  the  projects  have  been
identified and that an Apex  Committee  has  been  constituted  to  oversee
implementation of the NDP.   Further, under NDP, a sum of Rs.45 crores  has
been sanctioned towards first instalment of  the  total  amount  of  Rs.200
crores and from the released funds, work  for  the  installation  of  Solar
Street Light (200 Nos.) and Solar Motor Pumps (32 Nos.) has been completed.
 Further, it was also stated that the upgradation  of  Koodankulam  Primary
Health Centre to Government Hospital and improvements  to  Chettikulam  Sub
Centre, construction of new PHC are nearing completion.   The  construction
of new PHC at Ovari is completed and the improvement and widening of  roads
(29 roads) around the Unit  has  been  completed.   Further,  it  was  also
pointed out that around the Kudankulam  surrounding  area,  the  Government
issued an order to construct 5000 houses at the estimate of  Rs.150  crores
during the year 2013-2014.  With regard to direction no.13, it was  pointed
out that training had  been  conducted  in  August,  2011,  for  the  State
Government officials of  various  departments  including  revenue,  police,
medical, fire, etc. and that a refresher  course  was  organised  in  June,
2012.  Further, it was stated,  schedule  for  refresher  course  is  being
planned in consultation  with  District  Administration.   With  regard  to
direction no.14 relating to the consent of  withdrawal  of  criminal  cases
filed against the agitators, it was pointed out that out of 349 cases,  248
cases had already been withdrawn since  in  those  cases  no  violence  was
noticed.  However, with regard to other  cases  i.e.  cases  of  lay  siege
through sea (6 cases), cases of violence against  private  individuals  (40
cases) and cases of violence against Government officials  (55  cases),  it
was stated, it is not possible to withdraw the cases as the violations  and
crimes committed are very serious in nature.    The  question  whether  the
rest of the cases be proceeded with or not is for the trial court to decide
on which we express no opinion.

8.    After perusing the various affidavits filed by  the  Respondents,  we
notice that the directions given by this Court are being properly addressed
by the Respondents and there is no laxity on the part of the Respondents in
not  carrying  out  various  directions   of   this   Court.     For   full
implementation of directions, evidently, it may take some more time and  we
are sure that the Respondents would make earnest efforts to give effect  to
all the directions of this Court in letter and spirit.

9.    Shri Prashant Bhushan,  learned  senior  counsel  appearing  for  the
Petitioner, submitted that a team headed by a former Chairman of  the  AERB
be constituted to examine as to whether these directions are being properly
implemented or not. We find it unnecessary to appoint any Committee at this
stage since  the  status  report  and  the  affidavits  indicate  that  the
Respondents are taking necessary steps so as  to  give  effect  to  various
directions, even though some of the directions are  yet  to  be  fulfilled,
which naturally would take some more time.   At  the  moment,  we  find  no
reason to give any further directions.

10.   The Special Leave Petition is disposed of as above, so also the I.A.




                                        ………………………….J.
                                        (K.S. Radhakrishnan)


                                        …………………………J.
                                        (Vikramajit Sen)
New Delhi,
May 08, 2014.

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