Work on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Russia for reactor units 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) is at the stage of internal approval, a senior official said on Friday.
Refuting a media report that suggested that India was holding back the MoU to make Russia use its influence over China to enable India's membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said: "The report is completely baseless, incorrect and mischievous. Discussions have been held on Kudankulam document. The process is at the stage of internal approval."
At the NSG plenary in Seoul in June 2016, China had blocked India's membership bid on the ground that for a country to be a member of the 48-nation bloc it has to be a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Given Baglay's statement, it is likely that the MoU for the reactor units 5 and 6 of KNPP, India's largest nuclear power plant, will be signed during the India-Russia bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg on June 1.
All six units of the plant are scheduled to be built in collaboration between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Russian state company Atomstroyexport.
While reactor units 1 and 2 are already connected to the southern power grid, the ground-breaking ceremony for construction of units 3 and 4 was done in February last year.