Even the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, being built by Russia, is using the heavy water reactor valves and motors manufactured at the city plant of Peekay Steel Castings Pvt Ltd. | Express Photo Service

CHENNAI: Anti-nuclear activists are gearing up for yet another legal battle with the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) granting ‘first pour of concrete’ (FPC) to units three and four in the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP).

A writ petition is likely to be filed in the Madras High Court in a week.

The activists claim the regulatory body has overlooked its own guidelines and the clearance is illegal. The AERB has given the FPC order at the 121st meeting held on June 19. The activists said the order is in violation of AERB code that defines the “Criteria for regulation of health and safety of nuclear power plant personnel, the public and the environment, 2001.” Para 2.4 (b) of the Criteria reads: The total population in the sterilised area should be small, preferably less than 20,000.

In the case of Kudankulam, within a distance of five km from the site for KKNPP units 3 to 6 (sterilised zone) there are three villages having a population of 23,060 (as per 2001 census). Since the sterilised zone has more population than specified in the Criteria, the AERB ought not to have granted the FPC clearance to the units in question, said Sundar Rajan of city-based NGO Poovulagin Nanbargal.

The NGO has been fighting the case against the clearance. Not just the FPC, the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance granted to units 3 to 6 of Kudankulam is based on an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) done by Engineers India Ltd, a non-accredited agency to do EIA for nuclear power plants and it is under the Supreme Court review.