Civil nuclear deal is expected to figure with Modi and Trump talks

Vastavam web: The Indo-US civil nuclear deal is expected to figure during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump tomorrow, but a pact between the NPCIL and Westinghouse to build six power reactors in Andhra Pradesh is unlikely to be signed.A host of strategic issues are expected to be discussed during the parleys between the leaders of the world’s two largest democracies, including the progress on the 2008 civil nuclear deal, according to official sources here.According to a joint statement by Modi and the then US president Barack Obama in 2015, both the sides had resolved to work towards “finalising the contractual agreement by June 2017”.

Apprehending uncertainty, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the NPCIL are unwilling to go ahead with any agreement with the beleaguered company till it comes out of the financial turmoil.”It is unlikely that we will sign an agreement with Westinghouse when the prime minister visits the US. However, we are making good use of time to hold discussions on techno- commercial aspects,” a senior government official said. The Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement was signed in 2008, under which Westinghouse and GE Hitachi were to build six power reactors each in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. Initially, Westinghouse was allocated the Mithi Virdi site in Gujarat, but was later given the Kovvada site in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh. With a total capacity of 7,248 MW, the government had a plan to make it one of the largest nuclear parks in south Asia.The official said any foreign company need to demonstrate a functional nuclear plant using the same technology.