As engineers race to commission the nuclear power plant at Kudankulam, the government has given its nod to build two more such units of 1,000 MW at the site in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.

The Cabinet Committee on Security, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday evening, approved the proposal to grant administrative and financial sanction for building units 3&4 at Kudankulam site, officials said.

The decision comes at a time when engineers of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) are working to commission the first 1,000 MW unit of the Kudankulam nuclear power project.

Sources said the estimated cost of building the two plants has been pegged at Rs. 20 crore per megawatt.

The CCS nod paves the way for signing of the general framework agreement (GFA) between NPCIL and Russian suppliers of nuclear equipment.

The GFA will spell out the terms and conditions for building the two 1,000 MW VVER-type reactors at Kudankulam.

As per the agreement between India and Russia, a total of six nuclear power plants can be built at Kudankulam.

Last year, Indian and Russia had signed a protocol for funding two new units at Kudankulam.

As per the protocol, Russia will extend an export credit of $3.400 billion to Russian organisations to help build the units at four per cent interest.

The Kudankulam project is part of a comprehensive Inter-governmental agreement (IGA) signed between India and the erstwhile USSR in 1988 for cooperation in areas of peaceful uses of atomic energy.

A fresh IGA was signed between India and the Russian Federation in December 2008 which provided for construction of four more nuclear power units at Kudankulam.

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