US delegation goes to India as Indo-Russian agreement is signed

10 December 2009

A US trade delegation of representing more than 25 US commercial nuclear suppliers has visited India this week after November pledges by president Barack Obama and Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh to expedite the commercial implementation of the nuclear cooperation agreement signed in 2008. Meanwhile, Russia has signed a nuclear cooperation accord with India.

The US trade mission has been organized by the US-India Business Council, the US Foreign Commercial Service, the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Nuclear Energy Institute. .Co-led by Daniel Roderick of GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Meena Mutyala of Westinghouse Electric Co., the mission assembles more than 50 senior executives, providing a forum for discussions on next steps in supplying India with next-generation nuclear reactor technology.

The US delegation will meet with key officials of the Indian government the top executives of the Nuclear Power Corp., the National Thermal Power Corp. and other leading public-sector undertakings.

India plans to expand its generating capacity for clean nuclear power to around 60GW by 2030. Of that total, an estimated 30-40 GW would come from imported reactor technologies. The country has set aside two sites for potential 10GW nuclear power stations featuring reactor designs from US-based providers. One of the two sites is in the western state of Gujarat and the other is in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh

Both GEH and Westinghouse have signed memoranda of understanding with Indian firms. In February, Areva too signed a MoU to supply up to six EPRs for Nuclear Power Corporation of India’s Jaitapur site in Maharashta State.

This week, Russia signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with India. Chief of Russia’s atomic power corporation, Sergei Kiriyenko explained that Russia would build India twelve to sixteen reactors, according to reports by the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS. Alongside the nuclear power plant at Kudankulam, in southern India, more nuclear reactors will be built in the state of West Bengal. Kiriyenko did not rule out that with time there might be a third NPP site.

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