More liabilities will push up Kudankulam cost: Russia
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The visiting Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin on Sunday said the cost of the next phase of Kudankulam atomic project would go up if Russia has to foot the additional liabilities arising from a possible nuclear accident.
"If there are several points that require additional assurances, of course, it will require additional money to be paid by India," Rogozin said ahead of the Inter-Governmental Commission meeting to be held on Monday.
India had told the Russian side that the units III and IV of the Kundankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu will be covered under the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010.
While Moscow maintains that the Act should not apply to these units as the agreement on them predates the Act, and could be seen as "grandfathered" by the original 1988 agreement, India has said that making an exception for Russia will lead to dilution of its Nuclear Liability Act and will encourage the US and France to seek similar exemptions.
Rogozin, who will co-chair the Inter-Governmental Commission meeting on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC) with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, said the technology provided by Russia to India is "state of-the-art" and people should not have fears over it. "Having suffered the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, we are aware of the dangers. After that we created state-of-the-art and advanced technologies comparable with those available in the world. As for the nuclear project under construction in India, it will be the most reliable one in the world. As head of the committee (Rusatom) on nuclear cooperation with India, I am responsible for my words," he said.
He allayed rising fears of locals in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year. Rogozin said he would discuss the matter with Krishna on Monday.
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