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India, Russia at internal approval stage of Kundankulam nuclear plant

MoU for the reactor unit 5&6 of KNPP will likely be signed on June 1, when Modi and Putin meet

Kundankulam Nuclear Power Plant

Work on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Russia for reactor units 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) is at the stage of internal approval, a senior official said on Friday.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay, refuted claims that India was holding back the MoU to make Russia use its influence over China in order to enable  India's membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). He also called the report "completely baseless, incorrect and mischievous".

At the NSG plenary in Seoul in June last year, China had blocked India's membership bid on the ground that for a country to be a member of the 48-nation bloc it has to be a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Given Baglay's statement, it is likely that the MoU for the reactor units 5 and 6 of KNPP, India's largest nuclear power plant, will be signed during the India-Russia bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg on June 1.

All six units of the plant are scheduled to be built in collaboration between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Russian state company Atomstroyexport.

While reactor units 1 and 2 are already connected to the southern power grid, the ground-breaking ceremony for construction of units 3 and 4 was done in February last year.