Russia worried over India reducing its foreign Nuclear reliance under PM Modi’s MAKE IN INDIA
Despite repeated pleas by Russia, the government is yet to clear the signing of the MoU, or the General Framework Agreement (GFA), for Kudankulam 5 and 6 reactor units, official sources confirmed on Wednesday.
While the agreement was approved by an inter-ministerial committee, it still awaits final clearance from the PMO. As reported by TOI on Wednesday, Russian deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin took up the issue with PM Narendra Modi last week but there was still no assurance if India was going to sign the GFA before or duing the upcoming summit meet of Modi with President Vladimir Putin. GFA is the final agreement before a project can commence. “After its evaluation by the inter-ministerial group, the proposal has now been sent to the PMO and is awaiting its green signal,” a top government source was quoted as saying by PTI.
Russia fears that without the agreement, the summit will have only symbolic value. It sees nuclear cooperation as the most significant element of its bilateral cooperation with India.
Moscow is also worried that the reluctance to ink the GFA comes on the back of a warning from Indian authorities that the government could stop all foreign collaboration in its nuclear energy programme and instead focus on manufacturing reactors locally. Seeking to give a fresh impetus to India’s domestic nuclear power production, the Union cabinet today cleared a proposal to indigenously build 10 atomic reactors, the largest ever approval granted for such facilities in one go.
Once completed, the 10 reactors of 700 MW each will give much needed fillip to the domestic nuclear industry.
India currently has installed nuclear power capacity of 6,780 MW from 22 operational plants. Another 6,700 MW of nuclear power is expected to be added by 2021-22 when currently under-construction projects go onstream in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.