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Russia agrees in-principle on India’s nuclear liability law

LiveMint logoLiveMint 10-06-2014 Prashant Rangnekar

Moscow: Russia has in-principle agreed on the Indian nuclear liability law, paving the way for signing a contract for unit 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in July, Russian officials said on Tuesday.

“The (liability) law enacted is certainly challenging. We are working with our colleagues (counterparts) in India and the issue has been resolved,” said Kirill Komarov, deputy director general on development and international business, Rosatom State Corporation.

India and Russia signed a general framework agreement on unit 3 and 4 in April this year after crossing the initial hurdles of the Civil Liability Nuclear Damage Act 2010. The agreement could not be signed in October last year when the then Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh visited Russia, as Moscow had raised objection over some clauses of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act.

On Monday, S. Kirienko, director general of Rosatom had said that Russia was waiting for a nod from India to go ahead before implementing the general framework agreement. “We have just signed the protocol. The approvals will take some time. We have are awaiting nod from the Indian side. The India’s over view authority (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board) is yet to give its nod. “They are also checking seismic activity in the area. So by July we should be ready with a roadmap after which we can start implementing the General Framework Agreement signed between the two countries, Kirienko told a press conference.

Unit 1 of the KKNPP has attained 100% capacity of 1000 MW while the second unit should start generating power from this year. Units 1 and 2 of Tamil Nadu-based Kudankulam power plant have been built with the help of Russian assistance at the cost of `17,200 crore.

Insuring nuclear power plants is a daunting task because of its high cost and there is no single governmental insurance entity in the country that can insure these installations whose insurance ran in crores. It is to be noted that the Department of Atomic Energy has asked the ministry of finance to form a nuclear insurance pool after the General Insurance Company was unable to insure nuclear power plants. PTI

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