India and Russia agreed to expedite conclusion of negotiations for units 3 and 4 of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant, which has been held up due to disagreement over the implementation of the Indian Civil Nuclear Liability Law.
“Expressing satisfaction over signing of the protocol for the grant of State Credit from the Russian Federation to the Republic of India for works, supplies and services for construction of Units 3 & 4 at Koodankulam and related fuel supplies, both sides agreed to conclude expeditiously the negotiations on the techno-commercial offer for the construction of Units 3 & 4,” said a joint statement released after the 13th annual summit between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin here on Monday.
Russia has stated that if the new civil nuclear liability law which also penalises suppliers for any accident is implemented, then it will lead to rise in cost. Having reconciled to a price rise, the Indian side has remained firm that the Indian legal framework has to be respected.
“We are now at the stage of tough price negotiations, as it will also be the basis for similar negotiations with other countries,” said a senior government official.
The joint statement also further noted “with satisfaction the progress with regard to the commissioning of the first unit of the KKNPP and agreed to take necessary steps to expedite the completion and commissioning of the second unit.”
The two countries also reiterated commitment to incorporating the “best technology” in the nuclear power plants to have the “highest safety standards”.