US trade team eyeing $150 bn nuclear pie back on track

December 9th, 2008 - 11:06 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 9 (IANS) The largest ever US commercial nuclear mission to India with an eye on a major share in its projected $150 billion nuclear business is back on track, after being postponed following the Mumbai terror attacks.Recheduled for January, the mission blessed by the US Department of Commerce will have more than 50 senior executives representing more than 30 of the world’s leading commercial nuclear companies under the banner of US-India Business Council (USIBC) and the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).

The mission was earlier scheduled to visit India Dec 2-9.

The USIBC-NEI Mission caps a remarkable year for the US -India relationship,featuring consummation of the US -India nuclear deal, said the premier business advocacy organisation, seeking deeper US-India commercial ties.

USIBC has projected a $150 billion business for civilian nuclear technologies in India’s growing nuclear power sector over the next 30 years because of the India-US civil nuclear deal.

Formed in 1975 under the aegis of the US Chamber of Commerce, USIBC represents 300 of the largest US companies investing in India, joined by global Indian companies.

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) is the policy organisation of the nuclear energy and technologies industry that seeks to ensure the formation of policies promoting the beneficial uses of nuclear energy and technologies in the US and around the world.

“India’s emergence from 34 years of nuclear isolation is an exemplary achievement,” said USIBC president, Ron Somers. “But the resilience and bravery and remarkable restraint demonstrated across the country after the recent terrorist strikes in Mumbai are what make us so proud to be associated with India.”

“US companies look forward, more than ever, to forming linkages with Indian counterparts to share technologies that will benefit all humanity as we strengthen our economic bonds for the 21st century,” he said.

“US industry is a reliable partner for India, and we are proud to demonstrate again our solidarity,” added USIBC Director Ted Jones. “We are eager to explore, at this more convenient time, how we can partner with India here and around the world.”

The US commercial nuclear industry leads the world in size, performance, innovation,and engineering worldwide, it said.

The US is the largest generator of electric power in the world - with 27 percent of the world’s total installed capacity and nearly double the number of reactors as France.

The US also produces at roughly half to one third of the cost in other major countries, USIBC claimed. In recent decades, US reactor companies and civil nuclear engineering companies have remained at the forefront of innovation and engineering worldwide.

“Courageous action by India’s government, backed by stalwart US support, culminated in conclusion of the historic nuclear deal barely two months ago,” USIBC said.

US industry, including many of the commercial nuclear suppliers on this mission, provided massive political support for the deal in Washington.

Through the USIBC-led Coalition for Partnership with India, US industry joined with Indian Americans and policy experts to win final approval by the US Congress for ending India’s nuclear isolation, it said.

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