India-IAEA accord to open doors for global nuclear trade: USIBC

February 4th, 2009 - 10:30 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 4 (IANS) The US-India Business Council (USIBC) has hailed the signing of the India-specific safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), saying it will pave the way for India’s global engagement in commercial nuclear trade.”Inking the safeguards agreement continues India’s rapid momentum toward global engagement in commercial nuclear trade,” said Ron Somers, president of the trade body representing 300 of the largest US companies investing in India and global Indian companies seeking to deepen US-India commercial ties.

The signing of the Safeguards Agreement comes on the heels of the largest trade mission of US commercial nuclear executives ever to visit India, it noted. USIBC has estimated the India-US civil nuclear deal generating an over $100 billion business for American companies.

Featuring more than 30 world-class companies represented by 60 senior executives, the USIBC mission, supported by CII, demonstrated the strong interest of US companies in joining with India in the coming nuclear renaissance, USIBC said.

The Safeguards Agreement is a crucial step to facilitate the swift consummation of the US-India nuclear deal. Such forward-leaning action by India’s Government has made for a remarkable year in the US-India relationship, it said.

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.

With this new beginning, Somers said: “US nuclear companies look forward to partnering with India’s public and private sector companies to achieve India’s domestic energy security imperative, as well as to develop safe nuclear power around the world.”

The US commercial nuclear industry leads the world in size, performance, innovation, and engineering worldwide, the trade body 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. In recent decades, US reactor companies and civil nuclear engineering companies have remained at the forefront of innovation and engineering worldwide.

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