Indian nuclear team heading to London next week

March 19th, 2009 - 9:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon Brown New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) More than six months after the Nuclear Suppliers Group signalled the resumption of global nuclear trade with India, New Delhi is set to explore business and technology opportunities with Britain when a group of scientists led by Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) chief Anil Kakodkar travels to London next week.
“The visit is significant as it follows the recent 123 agreement and will re-invigorate the UK-India bilateral relationship in this important area,” a British High Commission press release said, adding that the four-day visit would begin March 24.

The visit comes at a time when the two countries are engaged in a dialogue for finalizing an India-Britain nuclear cooperation declaration, a bilateral pact like the ones India has signed with the US, France and Russia. The declaration may be signed later this year, reliable sources said.

The Indian delegation includes Srikumar Banerjee, director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai; Bikash Sinha, director of the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, Kolkatta; Vinod Chandra Sahni, director of the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore and P. Mohanakrishnan, head of the Reactor Physics Division at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam.

B. Purniah, head of International Studies Division, Strategic Planning Group, DAE, will also be part of the delegation.

Kakodkar will give a lecture in London on “The Thorium Cycle and Clean Energy”.

The group will visit Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) for an overview of the HiPER Laser Fusion Project. It will meet executives from a host of British commercial nuclear companies like Antech, Centronic, CMS Cameron McKenna LLP, Corporate Risk Associates Ltd., Halcrow, Herbert Smith LLP, Lloyd’s Register Group, Simmons and Simmons, Thompson Valves, Urenco Enrichment Company Ltd. and the Nuclear Industry Association.

The delegation will also visit Imperial College, London, and meet the British government’s chief scientific advisor, John Beddington.

The Indian team’s visit comes two months after British Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Peter Mandelson came here with a team of nearly 100 business leaders, including top executives of companies associated with nuclear industry like Rolls-Royce, AMEC, ANTEC, Centronic and Lloyd Register Group.

During the visit, Mandeson made a vigorous pitch for expanding civil nuclear business with India and presented Britain as a hub of a new nuclear renaissance.

“The UK nuclear industry can provide 70-80 percent of a new nuclear reactors. The civil nuclear industry employs 80,000 people and the UK exports nuclear goods and equipment worth 700 million pounds,” he had said during the five-day visit.

Earlier this week, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown delivered a speech at the International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Conference in London in which he advocated wider use of nuclear power to address the challenges of climate change.

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