The government may consider tighter environment and safety norms for the Kudankulam nuclear plant, even as it insisted that all current conditions are being strictly complied with.
Asked if a safety relook was on the cards, given the Supreme Court’s statement on Thursday that the plant could be shut if the safety aspects were not satisfactorily ensured, Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said: “I am willing to consider [a relook] in terms of safety. Right now, there is full compliance of all the conditions we imposed… We are very confident all conditions are being scrupulously followed.”
One of the areas she is willing to consider stricter norms is in the maximum increase of sea temperature when the plant’s effluents are released into it. There is concern that the warmer water impacts fishing in the area.
When the environmental clearance was granted to the Kudankulam plant in 2008, a maximum rise of seven degrees was allowed. However, the clearance for the Jaitapur nuclear plant in Maharashtra stipulates a maximum increase of only five degrees.
“If the need arises, we will consider making it five degrees, in accordance with Jaitapur,” said Ms. Natarajan.