Stronger nuclear bonds for India and Russia

08 December 2009

Singh and Medvedev (Presidential Press and Information Office)
Singh and Medvedev (Image: Presidential Press and Information Office)
Further international cooperation was agreed yesterday towards another four Russian reactors at Kudankulam, India as well as more at a new site, Haripur in West Bengal.


Another nuclear cooperation deal was initialled in Moscow yesterday by the leaders of both countries: President Dmitry Medvedev and prime minister Manmohan Singh. It comes in addition to a similar text agreed by the two this time last year which allowed some trade in much-needed nuclear fuel to begin.


The upgrade in nuclear cooperation that the new agreement brings will allow the countries to cooperate in joint research as well as deals for power plants, technology and services.


Russian firms are already building two VVER-1000 pressurized water reactors at Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu under a special agreement that came before the opening of international trade. Negotiations on the next four reactors were completed in February 2008 and this latest text - finalized and initialled but still not signed off - brings further contracts closer still. Singh

US trade delegation
An effort to 'operationalize' agreements made under the US-India cooperation agreement is in progress in the form of a trade delegation.
Led by GE-Hitachi and Westinghouse,
some 50 US executives are meeting their Indian counterparts while pushing for legislative changes required to make commercial deals a reality. The mission is organised by the US-India Business Council and the Nuclear Energy Institute.


 confirmed the figure of four reactors for Kudankulam, adding that more would come at Haripur in West Bengal. "We welcome greater Russian participation in the expansion of our nuclear energy program," he said, calling Kudankulam "a symbol of expanding Indian-Russian cooperation in civil nuclear energy."


Medvedev recalled the "good experience" of Kudankulam 1 and 2, adding that "Given the size of the Indian market, the possibilities we can offer in the nuclear energy sector, our shared concern about climate issues and the need to develop alternative energy sources, nuclear cooperation between Russia and India has a very bright future in my opinion."
Nuclear power is just one of the strategic areas of cooperation between the two countries, which include energy as a whole, space and military technical cooperation such as the development of a joint transport aircraft.


The deal was initialled by both countries' atomic chiefs: Sergey Kiriyenko of Russia's Rosatom and Srikumar Banerjee of India's Department of Atomic Energy.