US team coming next week to boost N-ties

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai | Updated: Dec 5 2009, 03:41am hrs
In a bid to strengthen the nuclear ties, a high level US delegation comprising nuclear companies will visit India to hold crucial deliberations with its Indian counterparts, senior officials of the government and key parliamentarians. The five-day visit, beginning December 7, comes in the wake of the US and India committing themselves to implement the civil nuclear deal.

The proposed visit is crucial at a time when India plans to increase its nuclear capacity to 63,000 mw by 2032 from the present level of 4,120 mw after the ratification of Indo-US civil nuclear deal has gathered a momentum. The visit is being organised by the US India Business Council (USIBC). GE Hitachi, Westinghouse, Babcock & Wilcox ane and couple of other US companies would be part of the delegation. The state-run Nuclear Power Corporation (NCP), the Department of Atomic Energy and several private sector companies including Tata Power, Reliance and GMR are expected to hold interaction with the members of the US delegation.

USIBC sources on Thursday told FE, The timing is quite appropriate when the US commercial nuclear industry has made significant strides recently toward realisation of the massive commercial potential in India, making this an opportune time for further progress. In July, the Indian government welcomed secretary of State Hillary Clinton to India with the designation of two reactor parks to host at least 10,000 mw of US commercial nuclear power. Ultimately, six to eight reactors will be constructed at each reactor park. Two key issues that have interfered with Indo-US commercial nuclear trade appear closer to favourable resolution. These include conclusion of Indo-US reprocessing agreement and India's adoption of a nuclear liability law consistent with the CSC -- both targeted for completion in 2009. According to USIBC sources, the ensuing visit by US delegation would enable companies to asess evolving market opportunities for reactors, fuel, components, and services, understand the latest status of essential legal and regulatory measures governing commercial nuclear trade, meet with potential partners in the Indian private sector and relevant public-sector undertakings and advocate for policy measures conducive to commercial nuclear trade and investment.