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Russia has agreed to build four more nuclear reactors for India's Kudankulam nuclear power plant
Russia has agreed to build four more nuclear reactors for India's Kudankulam nuclear power plant and other plants in addition to the two units already under construction, a bilateral agreement said Thursday. Russian President Vladimir Putin, currently on a two-day visit to India, reached the agreement with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh following bilateral talks. Russia is currently building the first and second power units for the Kudankulam nuclear power plant (NPP) in southern India under the NPP-92 project. The project, which was developed by Russian nuclear scientists and leading nuclear energy enterprises, stipulates the construction of third generation water-cooled reactors with capacity of 1,000 MW each and upgraded security systems. Water-cooled power reactors are the most popular type of reactors used across the world. Some 250 water-cooled reactors operate in various countries, including 49 made in Russia. The NPP-92 project's main advantage lies in its use of advanced equipment, involving several consecutive protection barriers combined with passive and active security systems. The reactors also incorporate specialized equipment to track, cool and localize core meltdowns beneath the reactor shell, and have a protection system against earthquakes, hurricanes, and crashed planes. Two power units at Kudankulam have already withstood a tsunami thanks to specially designed wave barriers. Russia and India will be able to start implementing the agreement only after the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group, which controls nuclear exports and where Russia is a member, lifts its restrictions on India. India, a confirmed nuclear power, has never been party to the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and has been under U.S., Japanese and European sanctions since 1998 when it first tested nuclear weapons. However, President George Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reached an agreement in March 2006 to allow the sale of U.S. nuclear power technology to India, a deal that was approved by Congress in December.
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