Moscow, Oct 21: India’s civil nuclear liability clause is currently being discussed by Russian lawyers, especially India’s proposal for allowing an insurance package to address the concerns of Russia over the liability clause.
India has proposed the name of state-run General Insurance Corporation (GIC) as the insurance company with which Russia could work to quantify the risk amount for the Russian suppliers for units three and four of the Kudankulam civil nuclear power plant, an informed source told IANS.
The Russian side need not accept GIC as the company for providing the risk cover. It can seek any other company too, including a Russian one, the source added.
GIC would suggest insurance rates for different components of the Russian reactors. While this could in push up the cost, but if there is no insurance claim then the Russian suppliers would get the money after the insurance period is over, another source said.
India’s Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Russian company Rosatom are trying to finalise a commercial deal on the third and fourth nuclear reactors for the Kudamkulam plant. Lawyers from India and Russia are negotiating over the deal now. The Indian side has passed on the proposal to Russia, which still has to take a call, said the source.
Russia has set up two 1,000 MW nuclear reactors in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu of which the first is set to produce electricity in a few months and the second one is slated to attain criticality in six months’ time.
“We are very close to an agreement, we have settled most of the issues .. it is with the lawyers of both sides at present.. In any case it won’t be signed in Moscow during the Indian prime minister’s visit,” another source said. Manmohan Singh is in Moscow on an official visit.
The US had also voiced concerns over the liability clause, which held up firming up a commercial deal on the 2010 Indo-US civil nuclear deal. During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Washington last month, India and the US inked a “Pre Early Works Agreement” to initiate the project.
NPCIL and Westinghouse Electric inked the agreement during the visit, which has come as a big relief to the US which has voiced concern over not being able to take forward the big ticket deal.
(Ranjana Narayan can be contacted at email@example.com)
–Indo-Asian News service