NEW DELHI, February 26 (Itar-Tass) — The launching of the main project of Russian-Indian cooperation in the nuclear power industry – the Kudankulam nuclear power station, located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, can take place already within six-eight weeks, reported on Sunday the Times of India newspaper, referring to the Indian Nuclear Power Corporation.
“Two power units are ready for 99 percent and 94 percent. The first power set can be put into operation within six-eight weeks,” the newspaper quotes a source at the corporation.
According to data of the source, the commissions of the central government and of the authorities of the state on assessing the project’s security completed their work, and the number of local residents, protesting the construction of the nuclear plant, also dropped down.
The question on Russian-Indian cooperation in the nuclear power industry was among the main at the bilateral consultations between the two foreign ministries, held here on Thursday.
“The Indian side expressed its interest in developing further cooperation with Russia in the nuclear energy in compliance with the road map, providing for serial construction of nuclear power sets up to 14-16 units,” said Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov by the results of consultations.
“The Indian side also promised to pinpoint another ground in the near future, where construction of a nuclear power station will be launched.”
Following actions by opponents of nuclear power industry last September, the commissioning of the Kudankulam power plant was put off by two months. Protests resumed in mid-October, and demonstrators sealed off the road leading to the station, blocking approaches to the project for engineers and builders.
The construction of the station is conducted with assistance from the Atomstroiexport Company and is based on the agreement between the former Soviet Union and the Indian Republic, signed in November 1988, on cooperation in peaceful development of the nuclear power industry.
The construction was launched in November 2001 after signing the General Agreement on construction of the Kudankulam nuclear power station and the Memorandum on the main principles of cooperation and mutual obligations. The Russian side took an obligation to ensure technical support for the project, deliveries of equipment and materials as well as training of the station’s Indian personnel.