The much-delayed first unit of Kudankulam nuclear power plant in southern India, being built with Russian collaboration, will be operational by December, setting in motion the roadmap that the two countries are working on in the field of atomic energy cooperation.
The two countries will discuss the next steps in the roadmap besides other issues when Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao travels to Moscow on August 2 for Foreign Office Consultations.
Under the roadmap, a number of nuclear reactors would be set up by Russia in India, sources said here.
Four of the reactors are envisaged to be established in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu and one in Haripur in West Bengal state in east India, with scope for more in future.
The 1000 MW Kudankulam-I will be commissioned by December, nearly three years after work began on it, the sources said.
The plant will be made operational irrespective of whether the proposed nuclear liability legislation is enacted.
The liability bill, which provides for compensation in the event of an accident, has got caught into a controversy with several political parties demanding its redrafting.
Russia, whose nuclear industry is state-controlled, is not too hung up on passage of the liability bill unlike the US which has insisted on such a law before its companies could start business in India.
The second unit of Kudankulam power plant will be made operational within six months of commissioning of the Unit-I.
The proposal to set up a Russian nuclear plant in Haripur is facing resistance from local people but the government is hopeful of convincing them about its utility and allay their
During her visit, Rao will also discuss issues related to defence cooperation under which Russia is upgrading Sukhoi fighters. The two countries are also working to develop 5th
generation stealth fighters.
The two sides will also exchange views on Afghanistan and the situation in rest of the region during the Foreign Office Consultations.
The agenda for the India-Russia Summit to be held here in December will also be firmed up.