BEFOJJI

This will bring the number of nuclear power plants built or to be built by Russia to twelve. India has also promised the US and France that its company will get a chance to set up six nuclear power plants in India. But negotiations are still going on with both the countries

India and Russia are expected to formally ink a contract for six additional nuclear power plants next month. A contract will be inked at the end of talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok. This will bring the number of nuclear power plants built or to be built by Russia to twelve. India’s consent to give Russia a contract to set up six more nuclear power plants are indicative of a special strategic partnership relationship with India and Russia, and is the only foreign company involved in the construction of nuclear power plants here.

Roman Babushkin, minister-counsellor, Deputy Chief of Mission, “The two countries are planning to ink a general contract for the construction of at least six extra power units of the Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) based on Russian design.”

Responding to a question about the identification of new sites for six additional reactors, Babushkin said: “New sites are under consideration and the announcement will be made by the government of India.” The Russian diplomat said that six new nuclear power stations will have the latest technology and better safety standards will be adopted.

Significantly, Russia is already constructing six nuclear power stations at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu. Construction of two of these has been completed while construction of third and fourth nuclear power plants is underway. Fifth and sixth nuclear power stations have also been agreed.

India has also promised the US and France that its company will get a chance to set up six nuclear power plants in India. But negotiations are still going on with both the countries.

According to the Russian diplomat, following the example of the construction of the Rooppur NPP in Bangladesh, “we are considering cooperation in building nuclear power facilities in third countries.”

The Rooppur project was the first initiative in 2018 under an Indo-Russian deal to undertake atomic energy projects in third countries.

As has been reported by the Financial Express Newspaper earlier, this was also the first time Indian companies were able to be part of a nuclear power project abroad. Since India is not a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), it cannot directly participate in the construction of atomic power reactors overseas.

JAY HIND