Washington: The United States has welcomed Indian government's move to ratify the Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) for Nuclear Damages, stating that the "important step" will facilitate participation by American companies in the construction of nuclear reactors in India.
"The United States welcomes the action by India to join the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, otherwise known as CSC," the State Department Spokesperson John Kirby yesterday told reporters.
Indian membership in the CSC marks another important step towards creating the global nuclear liability regime called for by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Nuclear Safety Action Plan, he said.
"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," Mr Kirby said.
When asked if it would help the implementation of Indo-US civil nuclear deal, Mr Kirby said, "We believe it's an important step toward creating a global nuclear liability regime, and it will facilitate international cooperation in expanding the use of nuclear power in India".
Meanwhile an eminent Indian American expert from the private sector, who has been closely involved in various aspects of Indo-US civil nuclear deal, described this as a milestone.
"This is a big accomplishment. This was the pledge that India made. This important step would facilitate the commercial suppliers to close their nuclear deals with India that would end up in generating at least 12,000 MW if both the US companies go ahead," said Vijay Sazawal, an expert on US India nuclear agreement.
Without specifically mentioning the name, Mr Sazawal said a leading American nuclear reactor vendor is planning to submit its proposal by the end of February to Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) with an objective of having some kind of agreement with that can be signed at the time of Nuclear Security Summit on April 1.
Currently, only one vendor - Westing House -- is fully engaged with NPCIL.
In a significant move aimed at putting an end to the contentious nuclear liability issue and assuage suppliers concerns, India on Thursday ratified the Convention of Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, marking an important step in addressing matters related to civil nuclear liabilities.
The move will help establish a worldwide liability regime of enhanced compensation for nuclear damages.
The expected April agreement would mostly likely touch on the fact that the two sides would have an understanding of various aspects of the offer that India is looking for, which would cover a sale of six reactors as against two that were originally being discussed with each American nuclear reactor supplier.
The six reactors will generate between 6000 to 6500 MW.