India, Russia to review nuke sites safety, don't want brakes on projects
Sanya (China), Apr. 14 (ANI): Alarmed over the recent nuclear catastrophe in Japan, India and Russia have decided to jointly review the safety of nuclear reactors installed in India, and also agreed not to impose brakes on ongoing projects.
"That continues and we are looking forward to continuing that work. Just to make it clear, we have certain agreements in place which are being implemented. We will look at all these together and see whether there is a need to add safety features or not," National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon told reporters here on Wednseday after a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Menon said: "We will do this exercise together. But nothing stops and it does not replace anything that we have already agreed in the long-term, the roadmap that we had agreed last year".
Both countries have decided that If necessary, additional features would be incorporated in the two Russian-origin nuclear plants under construction at Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu and the next two that would shortly come up at the same site.
India and Russia are also in the process of figuring out a new site for two additional reactors which were supposed to be built in Haripur,West Bengal, but the decision is seemingly reversed in the light of local resistance.
Singh during his meeting with Medvedev discussed the possible fallout of nuclear meltdown in Japan. They both deliberated on the need for international efforts to re-examine nuclear safety standards, and to see what could be done internationally, quite apart from the internal procedures which both countries have put into place.
According to Menon: "Both sides-India and Russia -- have committed to carry that relationship forward, and, both are convinced actually that nuclear energy still offers benefits, if safety and security is assured.
"Both leaders believe and emphasized that there is today no real economic alternative and environmentally sound alternative to nuclear energy; thate will go through this process together; we will work together on examining this," Menon said.
Singh and Medvedev also discussed the situation in West Asia and North Africa and the effects that developments there would have not only on the international system, but also in terms of energy security in the short and long term. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)
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