US-India deal helps pave way for new nuclear in India

08 June 2016

Westinghouse can start building six AP1000s in India following an agreement signed yesterday during talks at the White House between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama. It is the first such opportunity for a US company since the countries signed a civil nuclear deal in 2008.

Modi-Obama June 2016 - 460 (IPMO)
Modi and Obama at the White House yesterday (Image: Indian Prime Minister's Office)

According to a joint statement by the two leaders, Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Westinghouse Electric can now begin engineering and site-design work for the reactors. The final contract is to be completed in June 2017.

"Culminating a decade of partnership on civil nuclear issues, the leaders welcomed the start of preparatory work on-site in India for six AP 1000 reactors to be built by Westinghouse and noted the intention of India and the US Export-Import Bank to work together toward a competitive financing package for the project," the statement said.

Once completed, the project would be among the largest of its kind, it said, "fulfilling the promise of the US-India civil nuclear agreement and demonstrating a shared commitment to meet India's growing energy needs while reducing reliance on fossil fuels."

The US-India Contact Group has worked to address the issues presented by a 2010 Indian law on nuclear liability through India's ratification of the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, the statement noted.

The USA and India "share common climate and clean energy interests and are close partners in the fight against climate change", it continued. "Leadership from both countries helped galvanize global action to combat climate change and culminated in the historic Paris Agreement reached last December," it added.

The USA "reaffirms its commitment" to join this agreement as soon as possible this year, it said, and India "similarly has begun its processes to work toward this shared objective".

Obama welcomed India's application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and re-affirmed that India is "ready for membership", according to the joint statement. It added that the USA has called on NSG Participating Governments to support India's application when it comes up at the NSG Plenary later this month.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News