India and the United States have begun looking at ways they can work
together following their unprecedented deal on civil nuclear
cooperation. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from New Delhi, a
month after the agreement was signed, officials from both countries are
in the Indian capital discussing how to move ahead.
after their historic deal on civil nuclear cooperation was finalized,
Indian and Americans officials and nuclear industry executives are
trying to figure out the next step.
That was the topic of
discussion here Friday at an industry session on cooperation between
India and the United States regarding nuclear energy. Participants
agreed that among the major challenges in building more atomic power
plants in India are overcoming the shortages of equipment suppliers and
The head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission, Dale Klein, says both countries will be working together to
overcome those hurdles.
"Both the U.S. industry and the
industry in India need to solve both of those aspects - both the
equipment and the people," he said. "I think the U.S. can certainly
help India in terms of sharing technologies that have worked well in
the academic arena. We can look at sharing joint curricula and we can
also learn from how India does its educational program, so it's a
The deal, which removed New Delhi from
decades on the international nuclear blacklist, allows the United
States to supply India with nuclear fuel, reactors and other components
to expand its civil atomic power industry.
India was ostracized
for carrying out nuclear weapons tests and not signing international
accords on limiting the spread of such weapons.
India only has
17 civil nuclear plants, supplying less than three percent of the
country's electrical power generation. Experts say India will need up
to 700,000 more megawatts of electricity by the year 2030 for its
The chairman of one of India's prominent
companies in the nuclear industry, Syamal Gupta of TCE Consulting
Engineers, says the nuclear deal will have high-tech "spinoff effects"
beyond atomic technology.
"India also stands to gain out of
this civil nuclear deal in terms of cooperation between the two
countries in advanced computing, weather forecasting, avionic systems
for civil aircraft, components for remote testing, commercial satellite
systems, medical and bio-tech."
U.S. and Indian government and
industry officials are cautioning that, despite the landmark deal,
American nuclear technology does not have an inherent advantage
penetrating India's nascent civil atomic market. French and Japanese
companies will also be competitors. And experts say China is likely to
become an exporter of reactor technology in a few years.