Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major Energy and Environmental News and Commentary affecting the Nuclear Industry.

Monday, August 2, 2010

US, India sign nuclear reprocessing pact

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The United States and India signed an agreement Friday enabling the Asian power to reprocess American nuclear material, a key requirement under their landmark atomic energy pact. So far, Washington has reprocessing deals only with European Union members and Japan.

The arrangement with India reflects President Barack Obama's "strong commitment to building successfully on the landmark US-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative and is a prerequisite for US nuclear fuel suppliers to conduct business with India," a statement from the State Department said.

India is to reprocess the US spent nuclear fuel at a new facility to be established under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, the statement said. Arrangements under the pact signed Friday "will facilitate participation by US firms in India's expanding civil nuclear energy sector," it said.

The civil nuclear agreement has opened significant new commercial opportunities for the United States across India's multi-billion-dollar nuclear energy market. They include the designation of two nuclear reactor park sites for US technology in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, the statement said.

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