India, US step up efforts to implement nuclear deal

India, US step up efforts to implement nuclear deal

With just about five weeks to go before US President Barack Obama visits India, New Delhi and Washington DC renewed efforts to clear roadblocks for implementation of the landmark nuclear deal, which the two countries inked six years ago.

The India-US contact group had a meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday and Wednesday to end the impasse over implementation of the 2008 agreement for civil nuclear cooperation.

Senior officials of the two countries discussed ways to address concerns of US nuclear power companies over Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act of India.

The officials of Nuclear Power Corporation of India and US atomic power companies Westinghouse and GE-Hitachi also attended the two-day meeting in New Delhi.  “The discussions were positive and forward-looking,” the Ministry of External Affairs said. “The two sides agreed to reconvene in early January, 2015, to take the discussions forward,” it added.

New Delhi and Washington are understood to be keen to clear the hindrances in implementation of the bilateral civil nuclear cooperation agreement before the US president arrives here to attend the Republic Day ceremony on January 26.

Sources told Deccan Herald that both the US and India were keen to showcase some forward movement in implementation of the 2008 deal as an outcome of Obama’s second meeting with Modi in New Delhi next month.

The contact group on civil nuclear cooperation was set up when Modi visited Washington and met Obama in White House on September 30. It was mandated to advance “implementation of civil nuclear energy cooperation” in order to “realise early” the “shared goal of delivering electricity from US-built nuclear power plants in India”. It was also assigned to discuss issues related to licensing to facilitate establishment of nuclear parks, including power plants, with Westinghouse and GE-Hitachi technology.
DH News Service

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