India and Russia have signed a memorandum of understanding to construct two 1000 MW nuclear power plants in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu at an estimated cost of Rs 140 billion.

A joint statement issued after talks between prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Russian president Vladimir Putin said both sides would continue their cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy. The two sides also agreed to hold expert level discussions on the possible setting up of an institutional mechanism for cooperation in energy security. The construction of Kudankulum plant was initially agreed 13 years ago but abandoned following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The most recent talks were to determine how many reactors will be set up at the Kudankulam plant, with the first unit of 1000 MW expected to be completed by December 2007. The final contract for the project is to be signed by the end of this year.