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Indian steps address key concerns of our nuclear industry: US Govt

Says it is now over to US firms to make the commercial determinations

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Indian steps address key concerns of our nuclear industry: US Govt

The steps taken by the Indian government, including the insurance pool, have largely addressed the key concerns of the US nuclear industry, the Administration has told its lawmakers.

"We believe that the steps that India has taken have addressed, by and large, key concerns of the US (nuclear) industry. It is now for the US companies to make the commercial determinations," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday.

"I believe that it is going to be different for each company. I believe there are companies that are moving aggressively forward on pursuing commercial deal and are quite close. And there are companies that perhaps have a different risk perception and are moving a little bit more cautiously in that space," Biswal said in response to a question

from Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Corker rued on lack of progress by India in issuing contracts to US firms to initiate a civil nuclear cooperation agreement now nearly eight-years old.

Biswal said it was now for individual companies to make that determination on moving forward about commercial nuclear deal with India.

"We (Administration) believes that the commitments are in place and have largely addressed the concerns that we have raised with them very consistently in the past decade," she said.

According to Vijay Sazawal, Atomic Energy Consulting, Westinghouse and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) are making good progress in reaching a final closure on the sale of AP-1000 reactors to India.

The agreement in this regard could be signed during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington DC in early next month.

Westinghouse and NPCIL will need to work hard to close the gap between what is expected and what is achievable in cost figures, he said.

"NPCIL will need to reassess conservatism in its business model to share risks with suppliers on a comparable basis," Sazawal said.

"By the same token, any foreign supplier counting on bringing political pressure on DAE / NPCIL to force a closure in its favor will learn the hard way that such an approach has not worked in the past and will not likely work in the future either," he said in a recent article.

First Published: Wed, May 25 2016. 08:45 IST