NEW DELHI, INDIA—On the heels of a celebrated state visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Washington, D.C., the Nuclear Energy Institute—in partnership with the U.S.-India Business Council, the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service and the Confederation of Indian Industry—today began a major commercial nuclear trade mission to India. 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 representing more than 25 of America’s leading commercial nuclear suppliers.
“It is appropriate to bring the historic U.S.-India civilian nuclear accord into commercial reality,” said Ron Somers, president of USIBC.
The Nov. 24 joint statement by Prime Minister Singh and President Obama declared the countries would “realize the full potential of the India-U.S. Agreement for Cooperation concerning the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy” by expediting commercial implementation of the agreement.
“The robust presence here of the U.S. commercial nuclear industry speaks to our optimism that critical implementation steps will soon be completed, and that U.S.-India commercial nuclear trade is close at hand,” said Ted Jones, USIBC director for policy advocacy.
“The Nuclear Energy Institute is pleased to be partnering again with the U.S.-India Business Council and other interests on this trade mission,” said Tony Pietrangelo, NEI’s senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. “The U.S. nuclear industry has the knowledge, experience and expanding infrastructure to support the global construction, operation and maintenance of nuclear energy facilities.”
The U.S. executive delegation brings together America’s top companies across the wide spectrum of the commercial nuclear industry. Represented are leading reactor companies, the largest uranium producer, the largest enricher of uranium, the leading civil nuclear engineering and construction firms, and many other companies at the forefront of the global commercial nuclear industry.
The U.S. 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. It will also convene with Indian industry counterparts via the CII-USIBC Joint Task Force on Commercial Nuclear Cooperation, an industry forum which has met regularly since 2006 to identify and remove obstacles to U.S.-Indian commercial nuclear trade.
“As nations convene in Copenhagen to address global climate change, U.S. companies are eager to participate in one of India’s most impressive, and least discussed, national plans to mitigate growth in its carbon emissions,” Jones said.
India plans to expand its generating capacity for clean nuclear power to 60,000 megawatts by 2030, which would avoid each year the equivalent of today’s annual carbon emissions of Spain. Because nuclear power is a baseload electricity source, scaling up nuclear energy capacity will enable India to provide large quantities of reliable power to continue its economic development in a sustainable manner.
“U.S. firms are planning to partner with Indian companies in India, in the U.S. and around the world,” Jones said. “Already, several U.S. companies, including GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Westinghouse Electric Company and Lightbridge, have signed MOUs with Indian firms, and this collaboration will continue to progress as final implementation steps are taken.”
Today, the U.S. commercial nuclear industry leads the world in size, performance, innovation and engineering. The United States is by a wide margin the largest generator of nuclear electric power in the world, with 27 percent of the world’s total installed capacity and nearly double the number of reactors as France. The United States also produces nuclear energy at roughly one-half to one-third of the cost in other major countries. In recent decades, U.S. reactor companies and civil nuclear engineering companies have remained at the forefront of innovation and engineering worldwide.