India’s Nuclear Future

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Jan. 4 – The largest trade mission of commercial nuclear executives from America are expected to visit India later this month to discuss business alliances to meet collective energy security demands. The 50-membered high-level delegation, representing more than 30 of the world's leading commercial nuclear companies will arrive in India to pitch for multi-billion dollar sales of reactors to India. India plans to set up new nuclear reactors after getting an NSG waiver on nuclear commerce in October this year.

New Delhi plans to import eight 1000 MW nuclear-powered reactors by 2012. The United States hopes to win at least two contracts, which it feels will significantly boost its atomic industry.

The time is ripe to develop business alliances that will chart a dramatic course for the future of both our countries in terms of meeting our collective energy security demands, enriching technology collaboration, and protecting the global environment" President of the United States India Business Council (USIBC)Ron Somers told the Financial Express.

In October this year, the United States signed the U.S.-India Nuclear deal – legislation that reversed three decades of U.S. policy and allows American businesses to enter India's multibillion-dollar nuclear market – permiting American businesses to sell nuclear fuel, technology and reactors to India in exchange for safeguards and U.N. inspections at India's civilian — but not military — nuclear plants.

Worth approximately US$27 billion (18-20 nuclear reactors), the United States, France, Japan and Russia are all vying for India's nuclear energy market. India's estimated nuclear market stands at 100 billion euros or US$142 billion over the next 15 years.