Tahlka News Bureau
ST PETERSBURG: Indian and Russian today signed much-awaited pact for setting up the last two units of the Kundankulam nuclear power plant with Moscow's help in Tamil Nadu after overcoming initial hurdles to finalise the strategic deal.
The General Framework Agreement (GFA) and Credit protocol for Unit 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam nuclear plant are seen as a major outcome of the annual summit talks between Prime Minister Narengra Modi and Russian President Valdimir Putin.
"We welcome the conclusion of the General Framework Agreement and Credit for Unit 5 and 6 o the Kudankulam Nuclear Power plant," said a vision document issued after the Modi-Putin talks.
The reactors will be build by India's Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and Russia's Atomstroyexport company, subsidiary of Rosatom, the regulatory body of the Russian nuclear complex. Each of two units will have a capacity to produce 1,000 MW of power.
The document titled as "A vision on 21st Century" states that economies of India and Russia compliment each other in the energy and both countries will strive to build an "energy bridge".
The future of India-Russia cooperation holds great promises across a wide spectrum covering nuclear power, nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear science and technology." We will strive to build an 'energy bridge' between our states and expand bilateral relations in all areas of energy cooperation, including nuclear, hydrocarbon, Hydel and renewable energy sources and in improving energy efficiency."
The growing partnership between the two countries has opened doors for developing advanced nuclear manufacturing capabilities in India in line with Indias "Make In India" initiative, the declaration said.
India and Russia commit to firmly implement the "Programme of Action for Localisation in India" signed on December 24, 2015, and to encourage their nuclear industries to engage closely and foster concrete collaborations, it said.
The current capacity of the 22 Nuclear reactors is 6780 MW.
In October 2015, a joint statement was signed between Modi and Putin promising to sign the GFA on the nuclear units by December 2016. After an inter-ministerial group cleared the project, it was sent to the Prime Minister's Office for approval. But the Credit Protocol, or a line of credit that Russia was to provide, proved to be a hurdle.
Two countries also said that there has been a "steady and demonstrable" achievements in bilateral civil nuclear partnership, including advanced nuclear power projects at the Kudankulum site and transforming it into India's nuclear hub.
"Cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy has emerged as one of the hallmarks on the strategic partnership between the two countries, contributing to India's energy security and energising border scientific and technological cooperation," as per the document.