NEW DELHI, May 6 (RAPSI) - India's Supreme Court has given the green light to the opening of a nuclear power plant built with Russia's assistance in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the Zee News channel reported on Monday.

The court decision cited by the TV channel says that the facility is safe and beneficial for Indian society and economic development.

The project's opponents have been staging regular protests outside the plant and have filed a series of petitions asking the authorities to prevent it from beginning operation because they do not believe it to be safe.

The first generation unit of the Kudankulam plant has been completed and is currently being tested, while the second unit is nearing completion. Preparatory works are underway for the third and fourth reactor units to be built as part of the second stage of the project.

Russia has fulfilled almost all of its design contract obligations for the second stage of construction. The sides are now preparing to sign contracts for the construction of the third and fourth units of the plant.

The Kudankulam plant is being constructed for India's Nuclear Power Corporation following an agreement signed on November 20, 1988 and a supplement signed on June 21, 1998. Construction started in 2002, managed by the head contractor, Russian construction firm Atomstroyexport.