India, Russia power economic ties with Kudankulam nuclear units
The second unit of Kudankulam nuclear plant was on Saturday dedicated to the nation and foundation stone of two more units was laid after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin held comprehensive talks in which they resolved to further boost cooperation in the atomic sector. The second unit generates 1,000 MW of power and the new units will each have the same capacity. A joint statement issued after the talks said Russia strongly supported India’s early entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and welcomed India’s accession to the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation and the Missile Technology Control Regime.
It also said there has been progress in discussions on the General Framework Agreement and the Credit Protocol for Kudankulam Units 5 and 6 with a view to finalise these documents before the end of 2016. Unit two was dedicated and foundation of two more units of the Kudankulum plant was laid which was witnessed by Modi and Putin through video conferening. “Russia is convinced that India’s participation will strengthen the international export control regimes and in this regard welcomed India’s application for membership in the NSG, reiterating its strong support for India’s early entry into the NSG,” said the statement.
In his media statement in presence of Putin, Modi said dedication of Kudankulum 2 and laying of foundation of unit 3 and 4 reflected “tangible results” of India-Russia cooperation in the Civil Nuclear Energy sector. “And, with proposed construction of another eight reactors, our wide ranging cooperation in nuclear energy is set to bring rich dividends for both of us. It also fits in with our needs of energy security, access to high technology and greater localisation and manufacturing in India,” he said.
On August 10, the first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear plant was dedicated to the nation jointly by Modi and Putin who had participated at the ceremony from Moscow via video-conferencing. The joint statement said both sides affirmed that their successful nuclear energy cooperation is one of the most tangible and substantive aspects of their strategic partnership.
It said the two sides reaffirm their intention to further expand cooperation under the ‘Strategic Vision to Strengthen Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy’ signed on December 11, 2014. “In this context they noted with satisfaction a series of positive developments marked in their civil nuclear cooperation this year, including attainment of full power capacity of Kudankulam Unit 1, integration with electricity grid of Kudankulam Unit 2, commencement of the site work for Kudankulam Units 3 and 4,” it said.
The joint statement said theIndian side stated that it was working towards early allocation of the second site for the construction of the Russian-designed nuclear power plant. The statement said both sides appreciated the progress being made in the implementation of the “Programme of Action for Localisation” between Russia’s Rosatom and India’s Department of Atomic Energy.
The localisation programme will have active engagement of Indian nuclear manufacturing industry for local manufacturing of equipment and components for upcoming and future Russian-designed nuclear power projects. Both the sides also noted with satisfaction continued senior official level interactions between their atomic energy establishments, including under the framework of three Joint Working Groups on Nuclear Fuel, Science and Technology and Nuclear Power, and the Central Working Group on Localisation set up during the last two summits.
The two countries also reaffirmed that they have a common interest in preventing the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and in strengthening the multilateral export control regimes. “A responsible approach to disarmament and non-proliferation is demonstrated by India and Russia’s constructive participation in relevant international fora such as the Conference on Disarmament, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, etc.