Russia is willing to help India build "more than" 20 new nuclear power units, Russian President Vladimir Putin said today following talks in Delhi with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
|Putin and Modi hold a press conference following talks in Delhi (Image: The Kremlin)
A package of intergovernmental and interdepartmental documents was signed on the sidelines of the visit, including on cooperation in the energy, medicine, investment and humanitarian areas.
"We have just signed a document of great significance – the strategic vision for strengthening Indian-Russian cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear power. It contains plans to build over 20 nuclear power units in India, as well as cooperation in building Russia-designed nuclear power stations in third countries, in the joint extraction of natural uranium, production of nuclear fuel and waste elimination. This will lay the foundation for our long-term mutually beneficial cooperation in the nuclear sector," Putin told reporters following the talks.
"I would like to stress that here we have reached a new level of cooperation. This is not merely trade in goods and services, or even technologies, but the creation of a new industry in India," Putin said.
Modi said that the two countries had set out an "ambitious vision" for nuclear energy during the talks and that the new reactors would be built over the next 20 years.
A transcript of the press conference was published on the Kremlin's website.
The Russian leader also referred to the Kudankulam nuclear power plant. "With Russia’s assistance, the construction of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Station is proceeding on schedule. The first unit has already been commissioned and soon we are planning to launch the construction of the second unit," he said.
In a statement, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom described the agreement as a "strategic vision to strengthen cooperation in the field of nuclear energy."
The corporation's director general Rosatom, Sergey Kirienko, said that vision is "roadmap for the continuation of construction by Russian specialists units in India". According to him, "the foundation had been laid for at least 12 units are to be put into operation within 20 years."
In a joint statement entitled Druzhba-Dosti: A Vision for Strengthening the Indian-Russian Partnership over the Next Decade, the two leaders said the two countries "view nuclear energy as a clean, reliable and viable source of energy".
"They have a joint vision for cooperation in nuclear energy, aimed at serial construction of nuclear power units, based on Russian design and existing and possible future bilateral agreements. India and Russia will expand their cooperation in science and technology, industry, localization of equipment and spares, uranium mining, fabrication and supply of nuclear fuel, management of spent fuel and in other aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle. Towards this objective, the Indian side agreed to expeditiously identify a second site, in addition to Kudankulam, for the construction of the Russian-designed nuclear power units in India," according to the statement.
"As two states possessing advanced technologies, India and Russia have converging interests in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This is reflected in their participation and positions in international fora such as the Conference on Disarmament, IAEA, Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and stringent national export control measures. The Russian side confirmed its support to India's intention to seek full membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and its readiness to facilitate positive decision of the Group on this matter," it said. Russia also supported India's interest in full membership in the MTCR and Wassenaar Arrangement.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News