Agreement Opens India To Canada’s Nuclear Industry

By David Dalton
7 November 2012

7 Nov (NucNet): An agreement between Canada and India will provide access for members of Canada's nuclear industry to India’s expanding nuclear market and facilitate the exploration of joint commercial ventures and research and development, Canada’s government has said.

The government said in a statement that the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA) will allow Canadian firms to export and import controlled nuclear materials, equipment and technology to and from India to facilities under safeguards applied by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Yesterday the governments of the two countries announced that a so-called ‘Appropriate Arrangement’ had been agreed which was “a final element” of the NCA, originally signed between Canada and India in June 2010.

NCAs provide international treaty-level assurances that nuclear material, equipment and technology originating in Canada will only be used only for civilian and peaceful applications, the government said.

Canada’s prime minister Stephen Harper said the conclusion of the administrative arrangement with India will “facilitate opportunities for Canadian companies to play a greater role in meeting India’s growing energy needs”.

He said: “It is expected to generate millions of dollars in new business contracts between our countries and to create high-quality new jobs here at home.”

Canada’s government said its nuclear non-proliferation policy establishes the conditions under which Canada can engage in nuclear cooperation with other countries. It said: “The government regulates the export of nuclear items to ensure they are exported only to countries that meet Canada’s stringent non-proliferation and security requirements.”

The chairman of Canada’s nuclear regulator said the agreement will ensure that “appropriate oversight” is exercised to make sure exports are used for peaceful purposes only.

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) chairman Michael Binder said the arrangement establishes a new joint committee between Canada and India to ensure “ongoing discussions and information sharing in a number of areas”.

The committee will allow both countries to share expertise in areas such as research and development, safety, and next generation nuclear facilities.

Now that the negotiations for the Appropriate Arrangement are complete, the CNSC and India’s Department of Atomic Energy will formally sign them and the governments of Canada and India will take the necessary steps to bring the NCA into force “in a timely manner”, a statement from Mr Harper’s office said.

In March 2012, India said it would be pushing ahead with plans to increase its nuclear energy generation capacity to 62,000 megawatts by 2032, up from 4,391 MW today.

India has 20 nuclear units in commercial operation and seven under construction. Those seven would add 4,824 MW to the country’s existing generation capacity bringing it to 9,125 MW.

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