Russia offers to build fast neutron reactors if sanctions on India are lifted

Mumbai: Moscow is willing to build fast neutron reactors for Indian power plants provided international sanctions are lifted, reports quoting Russia''s Federal Agency for Nuclear Power said.

"Joint work to build nuclear power plants equipped with fast neutron reactors is one of our perspective projects. India is taking its first steps in this work, and Russia is the world leader in this field," Ria Novosti news agency quoted an official as saying.

He said Russia could cooperate with India in building fast neutron reactors for power plants if sanctions against New Delhi are lifted.

"Russia and India have wide prospects for atomic cooperation. India has long since started producing heavy-water reactors for nuclear power plants, and can build 600-MW power units of this kind. But the country is not yet building PWRs (pressurised water reactors), similar to Russian Vver (light water) reactors, so we have good opportunities for cooperation in this field," the official said.

Russia`s Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant, a fast neutron reactor, has been working flawlessly for more than 20 years.

India and Russia were expected to sign a nuclear cooperation agreement during prime minister Manmohan Singh`s visit to Moscow in November once the nuclear co-operation deal with the US was signed.

Moscow has made it clear that Russia will not bypass NSG rules and guidelines in its civilian nuclear cooperation with India.

Currently, Russia is helping India to build the Kudankulam NPP in line with a 1988 agreement with the erstwhile Soviet Union and an addendum signed ten years later.

Russia`s nuclear power equipment and service export monopoly Atomstroiexport has been building the 2,000 MW Kudankulam plant in Tamil Nadu since 2002.