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Carrying forward their cooperation in civil nuclear energy, India and Russia today gave the go ahead for construction of two more nuclear reactors in Kudankulam project even as Moscow strongly backed New Delhi's bid for NSG membership. However, the two countries could not finalise a general framework agreement and the credit protocol for Kudankulam Units 5 and 6 which they decided to do so by the end of this year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin today also dedicated to the nation the second unit of Kudankulam nuclear plant at a function here after the two leaders held extensive bilateral talks. The second unit generates 1,000 MW of power and the new units will each have the same capacity. A joint statement issued after the talks said Russia strongly supported India's early entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and welcomed India's accession to the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation and the Missile Technology Control Regime. It also said there has been progress in discussions on the General Framework Agreement and the Credit Protocol for Kudankulam Units 5 and 6 with a view to finalise these documents before the end of 2016. Unit two was dedicated and foundation of two more units of the Kudankulum plant was laid which was witnessed by Modi and Putin through video conferening. "Russia is convinced that India's participation will strengthen the international export control regimes and in this regard welcomed India's application for membership in the NSG, reiterating its strong support for India's early entry into the NSG," said the statement. In his media statement in presence of Putin, Modi said dedication of Kudankulum 2 and laying of foundation of unit 3 and 4 reflected "tangible results" of India-Russia cooperation in the Civil Nuclear Energy sector. "And, with proposed construction of another eight reactors, our wide ranging cooperation in nuclear energy is set to bring rich dividends for both of us.
It also fits in with our needs of energy security, access to high technology and greater localisation and manufacturing in India," he said. On August 10, the first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear plant was dedicated to the nation jointly by Modi and Putin who had participated at the ceremony from Moscow via video-conferencing. The joint statement said both sides affirmed that their successful nuclear energy cooperation is one of the most tangible and substantive aspects of their strategic partnership. It said the two sides reaffirm their intention to further expand cooperation under the 'Strategic Vision to Strengthen Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy' signed on December 11, 2014. "In this context they noted with satisfaction a series of positive developments marked in their civil nuclear cooperation this year, including attainment of full power capacity of Kudankulam Unit 1, integration with electricity grid of Kudankulam Unit 2, commencement of the site work for Kudankulam Units 3 and 4," it said. The joint statement said the Indian side stated that it was working towards early allocation of the second site for the construction of the Russian-designed nuclear power plant.
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