Russia eyeing 12-14 reactors in India, says envoy
Russia on Monday said it has no issues about transferring enrichment and reprocessing technologies (ENR) to India and set an ambitious target of setting 12-14 nuclear reactors in India, days after the two countries inked an accord on civil nuclear cooperation.world Updated: Dec 14, 2009 16:55 IST
Russia on Monday said it has no issues about transferring enrichment and reprocessing technologies (ENR) to India and set an ambitious target of setting 12-14 nuclear reactors in India, days after the two countries inked an accord on civil nuclear cooperation.
"We don't have domestic laws as strict as in some other countries. We don't see many problems in this field,” Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin told reporters here when asked about Moscow's stand on the transfer of the sensitive ENR technologies to India.
Lauding India's record in non-proliferation as “flawless", the Russian envoy said Moscow will act according to international conventions, but these will not impede cooperation with India in the full nuclear cycle.
"Some modus operandi will be worked out so as not to prevent us from pursuing full nuclear cooperation with India,” the envoy replied when asked about the status of Russia's reprocessing pact with India.
Russia's readiness to finalise reprocessing arrangements with India comes at a time when India and the US are still quibbling over the language of the text of the draft agreement on reprocessing.
The stringent US laws on the transfer of ENR technologies led to India and the US in their 123 bilateral agreement to conclude a separate reprocessing pact under which New Delhi will set up a dedicated facility for reprocessing spent fuel under international safeguards.
Describing the India-Russia pact on peaceful uses of nuclear energy signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Moscow last week as a “pioneering agreement", Kadakin stressed on scaling up atomic cooperation with India.
Alluding to India's burgeoning energy requirements, the envoy said Moscow is looking to set up six to eight new nuclear reactors at a site allocated in West Bengal besides six reactors it is building at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu under two separate arrangements.
"Maybe there will also be a third site,” the Russian envoy said while pitching for the setting up of more atomic reactors by Russian companies in India. “It should be done not piece by piece but series by series,” he said.
The India-Russia atomic pact is widely seen as better than the 123 agreement in as much as it guarantees uninterrupted fuel supplies in case of termination of cooperation and gives reprocessing rights to India.