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India-Russia Preparing to Ink Pacts for More Nuclear Plants

© AP Photo / Rafiq MaqboolA paramilitary soldier stands near the Russian-built Kudankulam Atomic Power Project, at Kudankulam, about 700 kilometers (440 miles) south of Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
A paramilitary soldier stands near the Russian-built Kudankulam Atomic Power Project, at Kudankulam, about 700 kilometers (440 miles) south of Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India - Sputnik International
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Even as US and French companies struggle to get their projects off the ground in India, Russia is readying the documents for the agreement on 5th and 6th units at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hand with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a photo opportunity ahead of India-Russia Annual Summit in Benaulim, in the western state of Goa, India, October 15, 2016 - Sputnik International
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New Delhi (Sputnik) India and Russia likely to ink the General Framework Agreement by the end of this month or early next year, according to top sources in the Indian Department of Atomic Energy.

This agreement further extends Russia’s head-start in civil nuclear cooperation with India. “We are sorting out the nitty-gritty of the agreement and hope it will be sorted out soon with our Russian partner,” top sources in the Department of Atomic Energy told Sputnik.

India’ Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Russian nuclear giant Rosatom will sign the agreement for the new units for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.  They have already commissioned the first two units and are working on the next two reactors. In contrast, the US and France are still engaged in preliminary documentation for setting up civil nuclear reactors.

The Kudankulam plant is South Asia’s most ambitious nuclear power project. India has also allocated land for nuclear power projects to two US companies besides the French company Areva. But their projects are yet to get off the ground. Russia is likely to establish more than a dozen nuclear power plants in India in the coming years.

“After India-Russia defense partnership, nuclear energy cooperation is another important pillar of strength between the two countries. Our nuclear energy cooperation is much more robust and reliable than any other country with which India has civil nuclear energy cooperation,” Russian envoy to India Alexander Kadakin told Sputnik.

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