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India court rejects plea to block nuclear plant

Published on Sep 13, 2012 9:48 PM
A Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel stands guard on a beach near Kudankulam nuclear power project in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Sept 13, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's Supreme Court denied a request on Thursday to suspend the loading of uranium fuel rods at a contested nuclear plant in southern India, as local residents again gathered to protest.

Television pictures from near the under-construction Kundankulam Nuclear Power Plant in southern Tamil Nadu state showed hundreds of people forming a human chain while standing in the sea to protest the loading of the fuel.

In New Delhi, Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra declined to pass any immediate order on a petition seeking to prevent workers loading the rods in the first of two reactors, but said they would hear the plea on Sept 20.

The government told the court that the plant was "completely safe" and could be operational two months after the loading of the fuel.

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