Chennai: Russia should fulfill its part of nuclear and defence deals promptly it if feels India should be strong and not comment on protests, an anti-nuclear activist said here Saturday.
“People’s protest against nuclear power plants is an internal affair of India and Russia should not interfere. Even a top official of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has agreed that the delay in commissioning Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) is due to non-sequential supply of components by Russia,” S.P. Udayakumar, coordinator of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, told IANS.
He was reacting to Russian Ambassador Alexander M. Kadakin’s remarks Friday night that the anti-KNPP protests were “gimmicks” and “games” played by people who did not want to see India become strong.
According to Udayakumar, Russia has not fulfilled its part on time in different contracts with India.
He said Russia had delivered only three MIG-29 planes out of 63 it contracted with India for upgradation.
The delivery should have started in 2010, he said.
Similarly, Russia has delayed the delivery of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov to India, he said.
“India has been suffering from Russian delays. People who are protesting against the Kudankulam project are worried about their safety. We condemn the interference of the Russian envoy in our internal affairs. India is an independent republic and not a part of Russia,” Udayakumar said.
Citing NPCIL shifting the date of commissioning the first unit at KNPP to January from December, he said the atomic plant operator had said the physical progress of the first unit was 99.65 percent complete.
“What is the remaining 0.35 percent that is holding back the commissioning of the power plant?” he said.
NPCIL is setting up the project in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from here, with two Russian-made VVER 1,000-MW reactors.
The project is an outcome of an Inter-Governmental Agreement between India and the erstwhile Soviet Union in 1988.
However, the construction began only in 2001.