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India-Russia Civil Nuclear Cooperation

Dr. Nivedita Das Kundu writes: India-Russia civil nuclear cooperation while long-standing has not been without its ups and downs, however, both the Nations decided to accelerate bilateral civil nuclear energy cooperation.

India-Russia civil nuclear cooperation reaffirmed that cooperation on peaceful use of nuclear energy and cooperation in nuclear sector is significant for Russia-India strategic partnership.  India-Russia civil nuclear cooperation while long-standing has not been without its ups and downs, however, both the Nations decided to accelerate bilateral civil nuclear energy cooperation. The cooperation in this sector depends much on the manner in which both the Nations conduct their bilateral diplomacy. The two sides welcomed progress in identifying the sites in India for additional nuclear reactor units to be set up in cooperation with Russia. Both the sides agreed to actively work towards localisation of manufacturing in India under the “Make in India”, mission and in continuation with the series of construction of nuclear power plants. It appears that potential sites have been offered in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. It is learnt that President Putin has plans to sell as many as 25 nuclear reactors to India through Russia’s state-owned energy giant, Rosatom. The pace of both the countries cooperation in nuclear energy is increasing. At present, both the countries are progressing on fulfilling the plans for 12 Russian nuclear reactors at two sites. The recent agreement will increase Indian manufacturing content in these reactors. Unit-II of the Kudankulam plant in Tamil Nadu will be commissioned soon and the negotiations are at an advanced staged for units III and IV.Both the sides welcomed the action for localization between RosAtom of Russia and the Department of Atomic Energy of India.

Overall India Russia-Nuclear cooperation agreement includes

a)      Transfer of nuclear power reactors

b)      Fuel supply agreement for both supplied reactors and other reactors operating in India, including both natural uranium and enriched uranium

c)      Right to process spent fuel

d)     Fuel supply assurance under all circumstances

e)      In principle, agreement to transfer reprocessing technology and enriched technology

Both India and Russia reaffirmed their intention to expand the scope of such collaboration and avail the opportunities for expanding mutual capabilities.

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