India and Russia have agreed on a “roadmap” for construction of Russian-designed reactors in India. In addition to the two untis already under construction, it outlines plans for another six units.
The roadmap outlines the timelines for steps to be taken for the construction of Kudankulam units 3&4. It also provides for construction of two more reactors at Kudankulam (units 5&6) and two reactors at Haripur, West Bengal during 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17).
Construction of more reactors of Russian design will be considered during formulation of the 13th Five Year Plan (2017-2022), according to a DAE statement.
The roadmap also calls for “progressive indigenization” of supplies for the reactors to be constructed in collaboration with Russia beyond the level already envisaged for Kudankulam 3&4.
The agreement was signed on12 March by Rosatom chief Sergei Kiryenko and secretary of India’s Department of Atomic Energy, Kumar Banerjee.
Meanwhile, the Indian government has deferred the introduction of a bill on nuclear liability. The bill, which would have set limits on the amount of liability to be paid by nuclear operators in the event of a nuclear accident, was due to be introduced to the Indian parliament on 15 March. Press reports from Bloomberg suggest that if the legislation is not passed it will lock US firms out of the Indian nuclear market.
Nuclear trade between India and the USA became possible after agreements were signed in late 2008. However, no commercial contracts for reactors have been completed. One US vendor hoping to get into the Indian market is General Electric Hitachi. This time last year it signed memoranda of understanding with Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited to collaborate on building ABWRs in the country.
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