US to send nuclear mission to India

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Washington, Oct 16: US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, announced that a largest-ever civil nuclear trade mission, led by USIBC, will visit India in December to explore possibilities of cooperation in the civilian nuclear field between the two countries.

He made this announcement at the launching of the new 'Green India Initiative,' sponsored by the US-India Business Council (USIBC) in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Wednesday, Oct 15. The two trade organisations appear keen on building the momentum of the recently signed US-India civil nuclear cooperation agreement, pledging extensive private sector cooperation across India's infrastructure sector.

The event attracted major 'star power' from a range of sectors, including Special Envoy to the Indian Prime Minister on Climate Change, Shyam Saran, former US Secretary of Defense William S Cohen and India's Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.

Experts like Dow Chemical, GE, and Weston Solutions, all 'blue-chip' US companies associated with clean technologies and renewable energy, including civil nuclear power, committed to extensive collaboration and technology transfer were also present.

The day-long 'Green India' Summit focused on the necessity of meeting India's infrastructure demands by implementing state-of-the-art, environmentally-sustainable technologies.

Speaking on the occasion, Shinde said enhancing energy supply and access was, a key component of India's national development strategy and it planned to increase per capita availability of electricity to 1000 units by the year 2012 by harnessing various sources of energy in the cleanest possible way.

He said nuclear energy, which currently accounts for less than 3 per cent of the domestic capacity, would constitute an important component of India's energy mix in the future.

''The historic India-US civil nuclear initiative, which has enabled India to resume nuclear commerce with the United States and other countries, will give a major boost to India's nuclear energy program,'' the Minister said.

Earlier Indian Ambassador Ronen Sen, in his inaugural address, said, ''the agreement should now usher in a new era of mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation, including for addressing our shared challenges of energy security and climate change.'' ''We will, for example, need to expand our power generation capacity from the current level of 160,000 MW to at least 800,000 MW by the beginning of 2030s. This will require a comprehensive response to minimise the impact on our natural resources and climate,'' he said.

UNI

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