US companies such as GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Westinghouse and Babcock & Wilcox have made a strong case for an early passage of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill by Parliament. The Union Cabinet has already cleared the Bill, which is expected to be tabled in Parliament during the ongoing winter session.
Representatives of these companies, that are part of a US commercial nuclear mission to India organised jointly by the Nuclear Energy Institute and the US India Business Council (USIBC), told Business Standard there are US companies, primarily fuel suppliers, who are willing to work on contracts in India right now and the completion of the liability legislation would help them take this forward. The companies held an interaction today in Mumbai with Nuclear Power Corporation, Tata Power, GMR, Jindal, NTPC, L&T to explore business potential.
USIBC director Ted Jones said liability legislation does not waive liability of companies, but rather holds them accountable in India. “Energy security — one of the main goals for India in the civil nuclear deal — is partly undermined if India cannot source technology and fuel from multiple countries, without nuclear liability. In such a situation, India would be limited to commerce with state-owned companies.”
He further noted that there are US companies, primarily fuel suppliers, who are willing to work on contracts in India right now and the completion of the liability legislation would help them take this forward.