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           31 May, 2023

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Nuclear Suppliers Group Grants India Historic Waiver

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2008-09-06 23:31:37     
The U.S.-India Business Council

The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) applauds today's action by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to end India's nuclear isolation. The 45-nation body's decision to grant India a special waiver opens, for the first time in more than three decades, India's opportunity to access civil nuclear technology and much-needed nuclear fuel.

USIBC, the leading advocate for the U.S.-India nuclear accord, now turns its attention to the 110th U.S. Congress, which can clear the way for U.S. companies to participate in India's nuclear renaissance. It may be recalled that the U.S.-India civilian nuclear cooperation initiative was announced by both countries when Prime Minister Singh visited Washington, D.C. on July 18, 2005. Civilian nuclear cooperation between the U.S. and India was enacted into U.S. law on December 9, 2006 by the Henry J. Hyde Peaceful Atomic Energy Act.

Given the historic significance of this initiative and the positive implications this has on U.S.-India relations, and due to the overwhelming bipartisan majority by which the Hyde Act passed in 2006: 359-68 in the House of Representatives and 85-12 in the U.S. Senate, USIBC is hopeful the U.S. Congress will consummate today's international endorsement of India by the NSG. The NSG is comprised of the 45 nations of the world engaged in peaceful atomic energy development.

"NSG approval is an historic step forward for India and for the world," said Ron Somers, President of USIBC. "This landmark initiative will benefit global energy security, stem global warming, and it brings India into the global nonproliferation mainstream," said Somers. He added that while the U.S.-India relationship is stronger than ever, "It is vital for the overall bilateral relationship and for U.S. commercial interests that the 123 Agreement be ratified in this 110th U.S. Congress."

India faces major energy deficits, importing more than 75% of the hydrocarbons it uses. India's energy utilization is fractional compared to most countries, consuming only 600 kilowatt hours of electricity per person per year as compared to 14,000 kilowatt hours per person consumed in Europe and the West.

India's existing civilian nuclear power program generates only 3500 Megawatts (MW) of electricity due to lack of access to much-needed fuel. India plans to increase this capacity to 30,000 - 60,000 MW over the next twenty years by acquiring fuel from the Nuclear Suppliers Group countries for its civilian nuclear energy program -- at a cost exceeding $100 billion.

For U.S. companies to participate in this opportunity, the next step will be for the U.S. Congress to consider ratification of today's NSG outcome, together with the unanimous August 2008 approval of a safeguards agreement issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency. IAEA approval ensures that India's civil nuclear facilities will enjoy access to international best practices and be maintained by the highest standards of safety.

India has a total installed capacity of 135,000 Megawatts (MW), comprised mostly of thermal generation (coal and gas account for 64% of India's total generating capacity), which is carbon-emitting and contributes to global warming. Without a robust civil nuclear power program, India will be forced to meet its energy requirements by relying on costly and polluting fossil fuels, which will dampen India's 9% growth rate and keep untold millions trapped in poverty.

The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), formed in 1975 under the aegis of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is the premier business advocacy organization representing 300 of the largest U.S. companies investing in India, whose mandate is to deepen U.S.-India commercial ties. The U.S.-India Business Council celebrated its 33rd Anniversary on June 12, 2008, with its Chairman, Indra K. Nooyi, speaking out in favor of civilian nuclear cooperation with India.


Specialized in: Nuclear - Grants India - Historic Waiver
URL: http://www.usibc.com
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