Russia ‘to build up to 16 nuclear reactors in India’

NEW DELHI, India (AFP)— Russia and India signed an agreement Friday for the construction of as many as 16 Russian nuclear reactors at three different sites in India, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said.

The agreement “foresees the construction of up to 16 nuclear energy units at three sites in the future,” Ivanov told reporters on the sidelines of talks between Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh.

Earlier, Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Russia’s state atomic agency, said six of the reactors would be built by 2017

Russia is already constructing two nuclear power units in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Earlier Friday, Putin described nuclear energy as one of the “most important and promising areas of cooperation” between Russia and India.

He also acknowledged growing competition after India sealed a landmark deal with the United States in 2008 that allowed India access to civilian nuclear energy despite its refusal to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty.