The safety of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant and storage of nuclear waste is of prime concern that should be addressed by the Union government, the Supreme Court told the Centre on Thursday.

Hearing petitions relating to the plant, a Bench of Justices K. S. Radhakrishnan and Deepak Misra told Attorney-General G. E. Vahanvati, Solicitor-General Rohinton Nariman and Additional Solicitor-General Mohan Parasaran, “From the first day, we are saying that safety is the most important issue, people’s lives should be protected.”

‘Money not an issue’

When counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioners, said the government’s concern was that so much money had been spent on the plant, Justice Radhakrishnan said, “That is not the issue. If we are not satisfied with safety then we can stop it [from being commissioned].”