Russia has featured extensively in the news over the last several weeks, all for the right reasons. Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh visited Moscow twice within the last three months. External Affairs Minister went to Moscow once in the second week of September 2020. All these visits underscore the special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia. Russia supplies more than 60% of India’s total defence imports.
In addition to defence and strategic partnership, nuclear power is another critical sector in which cooperation between the two countries continues to grow rapidly.
The year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the Russian nuclear industry. Russia has often been a pioneer in the peaceful use of atomic energy. In 1954, Russian scientists launched the first nuclear power station, and today there are three units with the latest 3+ generation reactors in Russia. Many more are being built in other countries. Over the last three-quarters of a century, thanks to the Russian nuclear industry, nuclear units have appeared in many foreign countries, including India.
The Russian nuclear industry is an undisputed leader in advanced nuclear technologies, providing innovative engineering and construction solutions for nuclear reactors and the production of nuclear fuel. Over its 75-year history, Russia has amassed a wealth of experience and acquired extensive competencies in large-scale nuclear projects. Rosatom has the world’s only nuclear icebreaker fleet, the most powerful fast neutron reactor, the first in its kind floating Nuclear Power Plant (NPP); it contributes to digitalization as well as nuclear medicine.
The development of the nuclear industry is seen as a top national priority in Russia. It is perceived to be a key sector of the Russian economy, essential for national energy security.