Russia signs deal to expand India's Kudankulam nuclear plant

Two superpowers meet Photograph:( Twitter )

Reuters St Petersburg, Saint Petersburg, Russia Jun 01, 2017, 06.24 PM (IST)

Russia signed an agreement with the Indian government on Thursday (June 1) to build two new reactors for the Kudankulam nuclear power station in Tamil Nadu and said it would loan India $4.2 billion to help fund construction.

President Vladimir Putin says Russia is ready to build a dozen nuclear reactors in India over the next 20 years to back Prime Minister Narendra Modi's growth strategy for Asia's third-largest economy, which continues to suffer chronic power shortages.

The agreement to build reactors 5 and 6 at Kudankulam was signed in St Petersburg during a meeting between Putin and Modi at an economic forum. It should help cement already close ties between the two countries.

"During our conversation with Mr. Prime Minister, we noted the successful cooperation in the field of peaceful atom, I would like to pay special attention to this. As is known, the first unit of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant was put into operation, the construction of which used the most modern and reliable Russian technologies. The second unit of the station began to generate electricity, and in October 2016, together with Mr. Modi, we gave (the go ahead for the) start to construction of the third and fourth units of the nuclear power plant. We once again confirmed joint plans to build at least 12 power units of Russian design in India, which will be a great contribution to the implementation of plans for the development of nuclear energy  in the country," President Putin said.

"Today we adopted the St Petersburg declaration. It is a declaration which must lay a path for our economic, political power. This declaration will also become a basis for stability in the international situation," PM Modi said.

Atomstroyexport, a unit of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, will carry out the work, Kremlin documents seen by Reuters showed.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters the Russian government was lending India $4.2 billion from next year for a 10-year period to help cover construction costs.

Separately, in a joint declaration, the two countries said they noted the "wider use of natural gas" which they hailed as an economically efficient and environmentally friendly fuel that would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help them fulfil the terms of the Paris climate change accord.

(Reuters)

Story highlights

President Vladimir Putin says Russia is ready to build a dozen nuclear reactors in India over the next 20 years to back Prime Minister Narendra Modi's growth strategy for Asia's third-largest economy ||Russia will loan India $4.2 billion to help fund construction of the nuclear plant

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