India, US reach agreement on nuclear deal

Last Updated: Fri, Sep 27, 2013 22:33 hrs

Washington: India and US have reached agreement on the first commercial deal under their landmark civil nuclear accord amidst a controversy over India's 2010 nuclear liability law that had stalled it.

The agreement was announced by US President Barack Obama after his summit meeting Friday with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the White House oval office.

"We've made enormous progress on the issue of civilian nuclear power, and in fact, have been able to achieve just in the last few days an agreement on the first commercial agreement between a US company and India on civilian nuclear power," he said.

It was not yet clear when the "Pre Early Works Agreement" between India's only nuclear power operator, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and the US-based supplier, Westinghouse Electric Company would be signed.

India plans to buy six of the Westinghouse-manufactured AP 1000 nuclear reactors in a deal worth about $14 billion for its nuclear power project at Chayya-Mithivirdi in Gujarat, one of the two sites set aside for American suppliers under the nuclear deal.

Indian officials have repeatedly asserted that the agreement would be within the "four corners of Indian law" which gives the operator the right to recourse to sue the supplier too in the event of an accident.

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