US happy with India's move on N-liability bill

Posted By: Staff
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Washington, Mar 13: Calling it an important step towards implementation of the Indo-US nuclear deal, United States has expressed delight over the Indian government's decision to go ahead with Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill 2010 in the parliament.

In an interview with Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake said, "We were very gratified to learn ... (about) India's intention to introduce this bill in the current session of the Indian Parliament."

"...we are pleased with (the decision to introduce the bill in Parliament) that and we'll be following the progress of that legislation very closely. And, the ultimate goal of ours is, of course, to allow the export of nuclear reactors to India. As you know, the Indians have set aside two nuclear reactor park sites, in the states of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh," he is quoted as saying.

The bill, which proposes a maximum amount of liability of Rs 300 crore to be paid by the nuclear plant's operator in case of a nuclear accident, is expected to be introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday, Mar 15.

Blake also spoke on the Obama administration's committment to the Indo-US N-deal signed by former president George W Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"Then-Senator Obama was a supporter of that, as was Senator (Hillary) Clinton, and the Obama administration has reaffirmed its support for that agreement.

"So, we are now in the process of implementing that agreement... We have very important talks on reprocessing under way. Those are, I think, making good progress and the deadline for completing those is August of this year, and we expect to be done well before then," he said.

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