New Delhi: India is in discussions with Russia on the costing for construction of Units 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) to be built by Russia`s atomic power corporation Rosatom, parliament was told on Thursday.
"Regarding the cost of Units 5 and 6, discussions are in progress on the techno-commercial offer submitted by the Russian side. The cost will emerge on conclusion of the discussions," Minister of State for Atomic Energy Jitendra Singh said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
"Discussions on the draft general framework agreement for setting up KNPP Units 5 and 6 are currently in progress," he said.
The Indian government gave in-principle approval for setting up Units 5 and 6 at Kudankulam in October 2009. An inter-governmental agreement between India and Russia was signed in December 2008 for setting up Units 3 to 6.
The ground-breaking ceremony for construction of Units 3 and 4 was performed in mid-February.
The new director general of Rosatom (South Asia) based in Mumbai, Evgeni Griva, told IANS during a visit here recently that the contract for delivering equipment for Units 3 and 4 had been signed and initial permits obtained.
"On September 7, 2015, Atomenergomash Holding, the power plant division of Rosatom, signed the comprehensive delivery contract for reactor equipment for power Units 3 and 4," Griva said.
"The permit for excavation works and foundation pit preparation has now been obtained from the Indian regulatory body," he said.
"The first and most important contract has also been signed -- the delivery contract of long-lead equipment and priority delivery equipment from the Russian Federation. Besides, the top priority design is practically completed," he added.
Start of work on Units 3 and 4 was delayed due to concerns among foreign nuclear plant suppliers about India`s nuclear damage liability law. They were reluctant to sell to India, citing the provisions of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLND) 2010, that provides the right of recourse by Indian operator NPCIL against the vendors for compensation in case of an accident.
The Indian government last year launched an insurance pool of Rs.1,500 crore ($220 million) to be managed by national reinsurer GIC Re.