U.S. Ambassador to India David Mulford says the U.S.-India Agreement for Cooperation Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy is "an historic accomplishment" with many advantages and much potential for India's future development.
At a Confederation of Indian Industry luncheon in New Delhi, November 14th, Ambassador Mulford also noted, "building a large, world class, civil nuclear industry in India will take time, capital, ingenuity, competitive technology, a sound regulatory architecture, private sector input, and a true political commitment to excellence."
India, he said, needs a public-private civilian nuclear strategy that establishes sound, transparent policies that lay the groundwork for large scale and competitive electricity production.
The U.S. experience with civilian nuclear power is extremely relevant to India as it charts a course for its own civilian nuclear industry. The United States is the largest generator of electric power in the world – with 19 percent of that power provided by nuclear energy. U.S. nuclear power generating capacity ranks number one in the world with 27 percent of the world's total.
The U.S. ranks number one in the world in terms of number of nuclear reactors, with 24 percent of the world's total. The U.S. produces nuclear energy at roughly one-half to one-third of the cost in other major countries.
And finally, contrary to popular misconception, U.S. civil nuclear engineering companies have remained at the forefront of international civil nuclear engineering. They have modernized and upgraded American nuclear energy, keeping it the most efficient and competitive in the world.
U.S. companies, said Ambassador Mulford, "are interested, under the right conditions, in participating in and trading with India in the commercial nuclear energy industry." The U.S. Department of Commerce, supported by the U.S. Mission in India, working with the U.S.-India Business Council, will be co-leading a trade mission to New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai from December 3rd to 9th. The objective of this trade mission is to promote U.S. technology expertise and know-how in nuclear energy.
Ambassador Mulford said, "the United States Government and U.S. private industry look forward to expanding cooperation with India in supporting the flourishing of India's power sector and especially its civil nuclear sector."