Somewhere in Moscow....

The Russian-built unit I of the Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu will be operationalized “in a couple of weeks”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in Moscow on Friday, expressing confidence that the Indian government will convince the locals protesting against the facility. He said that unit II of the plant will be operational “within six months” of unit I going critical, apart from announcing that India and Russia had finalised the text of the protocol for grant of Russian credit and that their negotiations on the techno-commercial offer on the construction of units III and IV were at an advanced stage. Manmohan Singh made the announcement at a joint press conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow soon after the 12th India-Russia summit even as Indian authorities are still struggling to convince local villagers that the nuclear plant is safe. Alluding to the villagers’ protests against the nuclear plant, he said there were “temporary problems” in view of “some agitations” due to their concerns over the safety of the plant and its impact on their livelihood.

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