WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 16, 2009–A partnership of the Nuclear Energy Institute and the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) today concluded a historic five-day trade mission to New Delhi and Mumbai, India. With the additional participation of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the trade mission was led by Steve Hucik, senior vice president for nuclear plant projects with GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy.
With more than 60 senior executives representing more than 30 world-leading commercial nuclear companies, this was the first commercial nuclear trade mission to visit India since the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) approved India for global commercial nuclear trade. It was also the largest ever mission mounted by the USIBC.
“The trade mission provided an excellent venue to promote business opportunities for U.S. reactor manufacturers and suppliers to India’s expanding commercial nuclear sector, and the participation of all these companies was a demonstration of the vast potential both countries see in this interaction,” said Marvin Fertel, NEI’s acting president and chief executive officer.
“India has significant modern manufacturing facilities and can build nuclear power plant equipment based on U.S. technology. New India nuclear power plants also will benefit as the U.S. has been in the forefront in improvements in plant operations and, as a result, the U.S. nuclear fleet operates at record high levels of safety and reliability. The results have been outstanding and have been a template for other countries.”
The USIBC-NEI mission met with key government officials and the top executives of the Nuclear Power Corp., the National Thermal Power Corp. and other leading public-sector undertakings. They also met with their counterparts among India’s rising global companies via the CII-USIBC Joint Task Force on Commercial Nuclear Cooperation, a group which has met since 2006 to identify and clear away obstacles to U.S.-Indian commercial nuclear trade.
The CII-USIBC Joint Task Force identified policy issues on both sides requiring attention for India to move toward its ambitious goals for expanding its nuclear generating capacity to 30,000 megawatts by 2020 and 60,000 megawatts by 2030. To enable Indian and American private-sector companies alike to take part in the expansion, issues relating to nuclear liability and intellectual property protection, among others, need attention in India.
The USIBC-NEI mission arrived in India just months after the historic opening of India to civilian nuclear trade with the U.S. and the world. The U.S.-India 123 Agreement was signed on Oct. 9, 2008, by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee. The agreement also was approved by Congress, the International Atomic Energy Agency and Nuclear Suppliers Group.