India, Russia to sign pacts on Kudankulam III, IV reactors
New Delhi: India and Russia are involved in talks to sort out the nuclear liability issues before they sign an agreement for setting up units III and IV of the Kudankulam power plant in Tamil Nadu during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s annual summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next week.
During two-nation visit beginning Monday which will also take Singh to China, the likelihood of a Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) to avoid face-offs between the two armies, especially against the backdrop of the Depsang valley incident this summer.
“We are trying to do it. We hope we will do (the agreement on) three and four,” official sources said on the likelihood of signing an agreement in regard to the two new reactors being set up in the Russian-aided project during Singh’s visit.
Seeking to dismiss any major problems on the nuclear liability clause, an issue said to be nagging the Russians, the sources said the public-sector General Insurance Corp. of India (GIC) was working on issues relating to insurance and nuclear safety in view of the liability clause.
In view of the fact that a new area was being traversed, India itself was keen to sort out matters because of the nuclear liability act, government is the operator and it has to take a protective insurance cover that will cover the fault of suppliers, whether domestic or foreign, too.
“We have to see things mutually. We have told the Russians that we are the operators and they don’t have the liability. The operator has the right of recourse. The liability clause is circumscribed by various conditions,” the sources said.
Anyway, they said, what the Russians need is a clear sense of what is involved because of the fear that the liability is unlimited, which is not. PTI