US affirms plan for 6 nuclear plants in India
New York: The slow-moving US plans to set up six nuclear power plants in India have received a boost as the two nations reiterated their commitment to strengthen security and civil nuclear cooperation during the 9th India-US Strategic Security Dialogue.
A joint statement issued on Wednesday after the dialogue, where the Indian side was headed by Foreign Secretary Vijay K Gokhale, said that Washington “reaffirmed its strong support of India’s early membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group”.
“They committed to strengthen bilateral security and civil nuclear cooperation, including the establishment of six US nuclear power plants in India,” it added.
The statement also said that both countries declared their “commitment to work together to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems and to deny access to such weapons by terrorists and non-state actors”.
The US delegation to the dialogue held in Washington was led by Andrea Thompson, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.
The statement seeks to breathe new life into expected results of the civil nuclear cooperation agreement between the two countries, which have failed to live up to the hopes since it was signed in 2008 during the Prime Ministership of Manmohan Singh and the Presidency of George W Bush.
The law limiting civil liability for nuclear damage from the plants passed in 2010 was meant to overcome a stumbling block for US companies to set up nuclear power plants in India.
However, financial problems of the US company Westinghouse that had agreed in 2016 to build six plants in Andhra Pradesh put the plans on hold when it went into bankruptcy the next year.