In an interview to the PTI news agency ahead of his visit to India on December 11, Putin said that the Russian-Indian project to build two units of the Kudankulam NPP, the world’s only nuclear power plant meeting all “post-Fukushima” safety requirements, goes according to schedule.
“Apart from building new energy units of the NPP "Kudankulam", we await the decision of the Indian government to allot a site for construction of a new Russian-designed nuclear power plant,” he said.
“Our resources enable us to build up to 25 energy units in India,” the Russian president went on, adding that “even these units may not meet the needs of dynamically developing economy of India.”
Putin is due to travel to New Delhi on December 10-11 to attend the 15th Annual India-Russia Summit. While in India, he is expected to oversee the signing of up to 20 major deals during his talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Nuclear energy cooperation will be high on the Putin-Modi agenda. Moscow has a $4-5 billion stake in the nuclear sector of the energy-hungry Indian economy, which is the fourth biggest energy consumer after China, the United States and Russia.
In 2012, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom launched a much-delayed joint project to build the Kudankulam NPP at the very southern tip of the Hindustan peninsula. Unit 1 of the plant reached full capacity in July, and Unit 2 is stated to be nearing completion.
The two agencies are expected to seal agreements for construction of Units 3 and 4 this week, although they have not yet reached an agreement on the total number of units, estimated to be between 16 and 22. Russia faces competition from other countries for a share in the project.