Domestic liability laws and international issues may be putting limits on the country's ambitious plans to build new reactors
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is in India this week to pressure India to open its nuclear energy markets by changing its domestic supplier liability laws. If she is successful, it would give American vendors hunting licenses to bid for massive nuclear reactor contracts said to be worth $150 billion over the next several decades.
In a joint news conference July 26 with Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna, (right) Clinton said differences over trade and nuclear legislation must be resolved if the benefits of U.S. support for India's civilian nuclear program three years ago is to accrue to U.S. companies.
Reaping the rewards of U.S. support for India?
Under then President George Bush, the U.S. successfully pushed for India to be allowed to buy uranium for its civil nuclear program. In return, India pledged in return to open its markets to U.S. vendors.
However, political opposition forces in the Indian parliament saw an opportunity to give Prime Minister Monahan Singh a black eye and imposed a draconian supplier liability law on nuclear energy projects. It has locked out American firms, but not French and Russian state owned nuclear agencies who now have significant commitments for the bulk of foreign supplied reactors,
Clinton was characteristically straightforward in her remarks. She said,
"We need to resolve those issues that still remain so that we can reap the rewards of the extraordinary work that both of our governments have done," she said.
Read the full details about this issue exclusively at ANS Nuclear Cafe online now.
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