NEW DELHI: India's civil nuclear liability law doesn't seem to stop haunting its atomic sector, with US major GE expressing concern over the absence of a "sustainable regulatory environment" and seeking more "clarity" before entering into a partnership with the Indian side.
While Indian officials do admit that there has been a "lukewarm" response by GE, they played down its concerns saying the company does not have a reference plant, a pre-requisite to go ahead with the project. GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, one of the two US companies, is supposed to build six reactors in India.
When contacted, Banmali Agrawala, President and CEO for GE South Asia, told PTI "GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy believes the path forward requires a sustainable regulatory environment, which would include a nuclear liability law that channels liability to plant operators consistent with global best practices.
"We continue to have a strong interest in providing our technology to India for the eventual construction of multiple ESBWRs (Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor)."
However, Agrawala asserted that though Indian government has taken several steps including establishing a Nuclear Insurance Pool to address the concerns of the foreign collaborators, the law required more "clarity".
"After all it is the law that prevails and not the clarification (referring to the FAQs)," he said.
The Civil Liability Nuclear Damage Act (CNLD) 2010 was passed by Parliament two years after the historic civil nuclear cooperation agreement between the US and India.
Foreign suppliers have raised concerns about the Right to Recourse under the Act which they feel is "ambiguous".