The European Union too Wants a Share of India’s Nuclear Power

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Sept. 10 – Even as France and the UK plot to get a share in India's estimated US$100 billion nuclear power market, the European Union (EU) announced that it is likely to take a collective decision on nuclear commerce with India. The plan is to tap the opportunity arising from the recent waiver by the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to India to carry out nuclear trade.

"European companies are very well placed in India in the field of nuclear energy," European Commission Director General for Energy and Transport, Matthias Ruete said here, hoping the process of inviting technology and machinery would be competitive.

"If it is open competition, the European companies will be able to compete well with other companies in the market," Ruete old the Economic Times.

India received a waiver from the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers' Group on September 6 to take up nuclear trade without signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

With the US helping New Delhi secure an exceptional treatment from NSG, the Indian business houses are bullish about working with overseas firms engaged in nuclear technology.

Videocon Group Head Venugopal Dhoot yesterday said about 40 companies, including his own, have initiated talks with overseas counterparts to set up nuclear power plants in the country, envisaging a total investment of about Rs 2 lakh crore.

Nuclear power accounts for a mere 3 per cent of India's installed capacity of 1,44,000 MW. But the country wants to take it to a significant level.

"Since India's objective is to increase its nuclear production up to 15 per cent, the market is quite big for European companies," Ruete said.