Millennium Post

Russia may set 20-24 nuke energy units in India: Envoy

Russia may set up a total of 20-24 nuclear energy units in India against previously agreed 14-16 plants as both countries are likely to come out with a roadmap for cooperation in the crucial energy sector during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Delhi for annual summit talks on Thursday.

Russian ambassador Alexander Kadakin on Monday said both countries are likely to start negotiations for setting up of unit five and six at the Kudankulam nuclear power complex soon and may sign a technical pact for unit 3 and 4 during Putin’s visit.

“We have big plans on nuclear energy cooperation,” he said, addressing a press conference ahead of the Russian leader’s visit.

Kadakin said trial run for unit 2 of Kudankulam nuclear power should start in March and that technical glitches in unit one are being resolved.

“Russia had agreed to help India build 14-16 nuclear units. Now it seems that the demand of India is much bigger and this may rise to 20-24 units,” he said.

Asked about escalation of cost in setting up of nuclear power plants, he chose not to link it to clauses in India’s nuclear liability laws and only said prices have gone up everywhere.

“Cooperation between the two countries in peaceful uses of nuclear energy will prominently figure at the Summit level talks. More than that a very serious and important document is on the anvil which relates to our common vision of joint work in our efforts to satisfy India’s requirement in energy through building a series of nuclear plants,” the envoy said.

He said Russia was also expecting from the Indian side the name of the new site for another “cascade of nuclear power units”.

Kadakin also took potshots at the western powers, saying the summit is taking place “against the background of a burdened international milieu, when we face increasing pressure of the US and their allies, trying to force our country to succumb its state sovereignty and act against our own national interests”.

“This will never happen, and these daydreaming minions should better get rid of illusions that Russia would ever act under anybody’s diktat or pressure. Who are they to dictate to us?,” he asked.

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