India, Russia agree to finalise deal for 2 more KNPP reactors

India, Russia agree to finalise deal for 2 more KNPP reactors

India and Russia today held wide- ranging talks on nuclear, space, energy and economic cooperation and agreed to finalise the long-pending deal for the third and fourth reactors of Kudankulam power plant soon.

Chairing the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission (IRIGC) meeting here, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin deliberated on a range of issues to further enhance cooperation in key areas.

Sources said the progress made in Kudankulam nuclear power plant (KNPP) was assessed by both sides. It was hoped that by April-May, the nuclear power plant will achieve full capacity.

They also reviewed the "rapid progress" being made on completion of Kudankulam unit two and hoped that it would be connected to the power grid before the end of the year.

The sources said there was a general agreement to build on the momentum underway and conclude at an early date the general framework agreement on Kudankulam 3 and 4.

Earlier Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh said India hoped the agreement on Kudankulam 3 and 4 will be signed very soon.

Russia, with whose collaboration KNPP has been set up, is opposed to the project coming under the ambit of the Nuclear Civil Liability Law of India and wants it to be covered under the inter-governmental agreement on the issue. The first unit of KNPP started generating power from last year.

India has tried to assuage Russian concerns by making proposals on the liability limiting it to suppliers default in cases of equipment failure in the event of an accident.

Discussions on space encompassed possibilities of cooperating on space applications including use of Glonass for tracking navigation of heavy trucks and other services. Glonass is an alternative to US-run Global Positioning System (GPS).

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