Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that Moscow will soon sign an agreement with New Delhi to construct the third stage of India’s Kudankulam nuclear power plant.
Speaking at a media conference in the Russian capital, President Putin recently said: “We have big plans with our Indian friends in the area of nuclear energy. Construction work on the third and fourth blocks of the Indian nuclear power plant started in February. We expect to sign a general framework agreement and a credit line for the construction of a third stage by the end of this year.” He met the press after the handover of the plant’s first power unit to India. Earlier, President Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the first unit of the power plant to the South Asian nation via video-conferencing.
The power station, situated in the southern Indian province of Tamil Nadu, is being built by Rosatom nuclear corporation of Russia on the basis of a deal signed between Moscow and New Delhi in 1998. Putin thanked Rosatom officials for building the plant, saying that the first and second reactors of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant would enhance India’s energy supply and also strengthen its economic position.
For his part, Prime Minister Modi said that it was not possible for India to build the plant without Russia’s help, as 80% of the project’s financing was covered by a Russian loan. Revealing that India plans to build a number of 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plants jointly with Russia, the premier stressed: “I have always deeply valued our friendship with Russia and it is fitting that we jointly dedicate the first unit of Kudankulam nuclear power plant.” Modi added: “In the years ahead, we are determined to pursue an ambitious agenda of nuclear power generation. At Kudankulam alone, five more reactors of 1,000-megawatt each are planned. In terms of our co-operation with Russia, we plan to build a series of bigger nuclear power plants.”
Currently, Russia is the only country that is co-operating with India on nuclear energy. The first reactor at the Kudankulam plant is one of the most powerful reactors in India and it meets the latest safety requirements. The second generator will start operating in the coming months.