Russian envoy downplays Haripur nuke reactor plant reservations

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New Delhi, Dec. 17 (ANI): Russia's Ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin, on Friday downplayed reservations about setting up nuclear reactors in Haripur, West Bengal.

Ambassador Kadakin appeared to rubbish reports of Moscow asking New Delhi to grant the former a new site in Orissa for these plants, as there was too much local resistance and ecological-related protests in West Bengal.

"It is upto the Indian side. If there is a problem, there is ecological movement, this is not our problem. We will build reactors, even in Haripur. We are not choosing the site," Ambassador Kadakin said.

Earlier, he said that Russia does not see India's nuclear liability law as an obstacle, but added that Moscow would like to have more information on it.

Unlike France and United States, Russia is not taking a strong position on an issue that mandates liability on nuclear energy suppliers.

"So far, we don"t think it"s an impediment and a hurdle, but there is a difference between international agreement and India"s internal law. We are expecting more information. We are not scandalising. We know if Indian friends need it, we will do," Kadakin said.

Ambassador Kadakin said: "We have received some explanation, but we have not received precise and specific information on the future contracts with Russia and other hypothetic partners."

"It is wrong to say that we are disappointed by the (nuclear) liability bill. It is decided by the Indian Parliament. What we have, we perceive that international laws have supremacy over national laws. We are not criticizing. We are waiting for more information," he said. ussia is looking forward to building 14-16 nuclear reactors in India, and is expected to build six more units in site two.

Russia"s state-owned nuclear company earlier this year said six of the reactors would be built by 2017.

Russia is already building two reactors in Koondakulam in Tamil Nadu.

Russia is competing with French and US firms for contracts to build nuclear power plants in Asia"s third-largest economy which is looking to increase its energy supply to sustain rapid economic growth.

The increased competition began after India"s landmark civilian nuclear deal with the US in 2005 which ended the isolation India had experienced since it tested an atom bomb in 1974.

Coal still accounts for over 50 percent of India"s energy use, but a substantial expansion of nuclear power reactors is proposed over the next few decades. (ANI)

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