Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin today jointly inaugurated the first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Plant in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Speaking from Moscow via video conference, President Putin highlighted that the plant was mostly about bringing advanced technology to India, adding that Russia has huge plans regarding this matter and that the deed for the third unit of the plant should be signed by the end of this year.
"Russia is a world leader in the nuclear market. Nuclear power plants build by Russians are of high standards and safe. 85 per cent fund comes from the Russia federation. I thank all who worked in implementing the project," Putin said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi, speaking from the national capital via video conference, asserted that the plant marks another step in Indo-Russian cooperation, and is a celebration of the collaboration between the two nations.
"The first unit is the single largest power plant in India and we have planned for five more. Today's event is a joyful occasion for the experts and scientists of Russia and India in the nuclear field. I'm grateful to President Putin and I deeply value our friendship. I looking forward to meeting you in G20 in China," he said.
Speaking at the inauguration from Chennai, chief minister of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalithaa, asserted that the Nuclear Plant is a monument of the long-standing relationship between India and Russia, adding this project is important to Tamil Nadu, which is trying to rise above in all sectors.
"As chief minister, I have always extended support of the Kudankulam projects and also allayed the fears of local people regarding the plant. This project has overcome many hurdles so far, politically, financially and technically. The successful commission is a testimony of how the fear of the people should be allayed," she said.
She further requested that the second unit of the plant also be commissioned at the earliest, considering their need for the growing industrial and farming sectors.The first unit of Kudankulam nuclear power plant attained criticality in July 2013.
Till now, more than 10,800 million units of power have been generated from the first unit according to site director R S Sundar. The 1,000 megawatt Kudankulam nuclear power plant was built with Russian expertise following a pact between the then Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in November 1988. The first unit was synchronised with southern power grid on October 22 in 2013 and commercial power generation started by the end of December 2014.