Progress for Indian nuclear trade

30 September 2013

India and the USA have reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of bilateral nuclear trade agreements, alongside the signature of a preliminary contract for the construction of reactors in Gujarat. Meanwhile, a cooperation agreement between Canada and India has entered into force.

Singh-Obama (PM of India)_460
Manmohan Singh and Barack Obama meet in Washington DC (Image: Prime Minister of India)

The conclusion of a "preliminary contract to develop a power plant in Gujarat" by Westinghouse and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) was announced in a joint statement by Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and US president Barack Obama following a summit meeting in Washington DC. No further details of the contract were given, but the two leaders further urged NPCIL and US reactor vendors Westinghouse and GE-Hitachi to "expedite the necessary work" to establish nuclear plants in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

The two leaders both reaffirmed their commitment to the "full and timely" implementation of the India-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement, signed in 2008 after the international Nuclear Suppliers Group agreed to relax international nuclear trade restrictions against India and the two countries signed a civil nuclear agreement.

Pre-project activities are already under way at Mithi Virdi in Gujarat, where six Westinghouse AP1000 reactors are planned. In Andhra Pradesh, Kovvada has been earmarked for the construction of six GE-Hitachi ESBWR units.

Canada looks to new market

Canadian natural resources minister Joe Oliver has said that the newly announced entry into force of the Canada-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement will open up access to an "important new market" for Canada's uranium, nuclear technology, services and equipment.

The agreement, together with a supporting "appropriate arrangement" signed earlier this year, allows Canadian companies to export nuclear items to India for peaceful uses in facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.

With its ambitious plans for nuclear energy expansion but limited uranium resources, India represents a vast potential market for Canada's uranium. Minister for foreign affairs Lynne Yelich said the agreement was of particular importance for the province of Saskatchewan, home to Canada's uranium mining industry.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News