N-pact with Westinghouse to unleash Rs150 bn industry boom: Ficci

An agreement signed between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and US nuclear supplier Westinghouse to initiate preparatory work on six nuclear reactors in India is expected to unleash a $150 billion nuclear industry in India, thereby creating jobs and ensuring access to clean energy and ensuring our energy security, industry body Ficci said while welcoming the announcement.

The White House said on 7 June that NPCIL and Westinghouse have agreed to begin engineering and site design work immediately for six nuclear reactors in India and conclude contractual arrangements by June 2017.

This agreement, according to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, will further cement the strategic relationship between the two nations reaffirming the 'trusted partner' status that has been accorded to India in defence and aerospace.

Ficci feels these positive developments in civil nuclear energy sector will send the right signals for making re-operational the domestic nuclear programme, which has been stalled for last two years on the nuclear liability issue.

The finalisation of the Indian Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP) policy for the operator augers well in this positive environment, Ficci now hopes that INIP for the supplier gets IRDA approval at the earliest, so the domestic programme can be reinitiated.

Ficci said it has, through its civil nuclear energy working group, been working over the past few months in evolving a consensus amongst all major suppliers of NPCIL, including foreign technology players, to agree on a draft supplier's policy with the aim to put life into the domestic programme which was in coma.