The Indian rules and regulations regarding the compensation for nuclear damages will no longer discourage American companies to construct nuclear reactors in the South Asian country.
India recently announced that it would ratify the Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) for Nuclear Damages in an attempt to put an end to the contentious nuclear liability issue and assuage suppliers concerns. With this announcement, New Delhi hinted that it was ready to address issues related to civil nuclear liabilities.
The Barack Obama administration in Washington has welcomed the Narendra Modi government’s decision to ratify the CSC for Nuclear Damages, saying in a statement that the move will certainly encourage the US companies to construct nuclear reactors in India. Senior spokesperson of the US State Department John Kirby said over the weekend that India’s CSC membership is an important step towards creating the global nuclear liability regime.
Kirby congratulated India for showing respect to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which promotes the peaceful use of nuclear energy. “It will also facilitate participation by companies from the US in the construction of nuclear reactors in India, which will mean more reliable electricity for Indians, will reduce India’s reliance on carbon-intensive sources that will benefit the environment and will offer India greater energy security for its large and growing economy,” he told the press.
Kirby, who believes that India’s move will help implementation of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, stressed: “It’s an important step toward creating a global nuclear liability regime. It will facilitate international cooperation in expanding the use of nuclear power in India”.
Eminent Indian-American expert from the private sector Vijay Sazawal, too, welcomed India’s decision. Sazawal, who has been involved in various aspects of the bilateral civilian nuclear deal, described India’s decision as a milestone, saying that the Modi government’s step would allow the commercial suppliers to conclude their nuclear deals with India. He is of the opinion that it will ultimately help India in generating at least 12,000MW of power, if the US companies go ahead.
Without disclosing the name, Sazawal said that a leading US nuclear reactor vendor would soon submit its proposal to Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) for setting up a nuclear reactor. Earlier, the US companies had agreed to construct six nuclear reactors in India. However, they were taking time to make a final decision because of stringent Indian rules. With India planning to ratify the CSC for Nuclear Damages, the American nuclear reactor suppliers are expected to start implementing the project soon. It is also expected that the six reactors will generate around 6000-6500MW of electricity.