News / Asia

    US Wants India to Resolve Nuclear Civil Liability Law

    U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz (R) gestures to Deputy Chairman of India's Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia after their joint news conference in New Delhi, March 11, 2014. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz (R) gestures to Deputy Chairman of India's Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia after their joint news conference in New Delhi, March 11, 2014.
    x
    U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz (R) gestures to Deputy Chairman of India's Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia after their joint news conference in New Delhi, March 11, 2014.
    U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz (R) gestures to Deputy Chairman of India's Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia after their joint news conference in New Delhi, March 11, 2014.
    Anjana Pasricha
    On a visit to India, the U.S. energy secretary has said that India needs to resolve a contentious civil nuclear liability law which is hampering investment in the country’s fast-growing nuclear energy sector.  His visit is part of efforts to pick up a dialogue interrupted by a recent diplomatic dispute.

    After holding talks with Indian officials on energy issues in New Delhi on Tuesday, American Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said that India needs to align its nuclear liability law with an international convention on compensation which is due to come into force this year.

    “Resolving this convention is important for all companies, including Indian companies and resolving that is an enabler to reach the goal of nuclear power as a major part of the energy future,” he said.

    A landmark 2008 agreement with the U.S. led to the lifting of a decades-long ban on international nuclear trade with India. It was expected to help India ramp up nuclear power generation.
    However, a stringent liability clause adopted under pressure from activists and the opposition has hampered those efforts.

    Foreign companies are concerned that this law disproportionately burdens suppliers of nuclear equipment with payments in case of an accident. And American companies are disgruntled that more than five years after the U.S. facilitated the deal, they have not reaped the benefits they had hoped for.

    The only deal India has signed with an American company is a preliminary contract with Westinghouse Electric.

    The issue is clouding bilateral ties.

    But the Indian official who led the energy dialogue, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, is optimistic that a solution can be found.

    “It is true that it is not only the United States that has raised this issue. Other partners with whom we want to pursue nuclear cooperation have similar concerns. We are hopeful that within the existing framework of the civil nuclear liability act it should be possible to resolve these problems. And this would be relevant not just for U.S. suppliers, it would be relevant for Canadian suppliers, French suppliers, and also Indian suppliers,” said  Ahluwalia.

    Moniz will hold more talks in Mumbai on Wednesday on the nuclear energy issue.

    The energy dialogue is important as the U.S. seeks to expand its market for renewable energy technologies. India, with suffers from massive power shortages, has huge potential.

    However, nuclear energy is not the only area where the two countries have differences. They have also clashed over India’s expanding solar energy market. The U.S. complains that India is discriminating against American suppliers by mandating domestic content requirements for solar suppliers and has taken the dispute to the World Trade Organization.

    Moniz explained the U.S. position.

    “Our view fundamentally in the end is that to both grow the sector and to ultimately establish a strong and competitive manufacturing lies in building the market,” he said.

    Moniz told Indian industry that investment on clean energy is estimated at $36 trillion worldwide in the next four decades and is a huge opportunity for the private sector.

    Moniz is the second high-ranking American official to come to India since a spat over an Indian diplomat’s arrest in New York frayed their ties. He was earlier scheduled to come in January but the visit was postponed due to the dispute. The visits are part of efforts to put the bilateral relationship back on track.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora