Kudankulam: India court allows operations at nuclear plant

Kudankulam plant, September 2012 Locals say the plant is located in an area which was badly affected by the 2004 Asian tsunami

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India's Supreme Court has ruled that the controversial Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu state can start operations.

The judges said the plant was "safe and secure" and "necessary for the welfare and economic growth of India".

Last year, villagers and fishermen from around the plant protested against the plant's fuelling.

Opponents of the plant say that it is located in an area which was badly affected by the 2004 Asian tsunami.

They say they fear a disaster similar to the one at Japan's Fukushima plant in 2011.

The government is keen on pushing ahead with the joint Indo-Russian project, which is seen as critical to India's energy needs.

It says that the plant is "completely safe" and could be operational two months after the loading of the fuel.

The plant is one of many that India hopes to build as part of its aim of generating 63,000 MW of nuclear power by 2032 - an almost 14-fold increase on current levels.

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