The Indian nuclear power equipment market is estimated (October 2010) at 175 Billion $ and both GE and Westinghouse are very interested in supplying nuclear power equipment. Worrying potential US suppliers, Indian lawmakers in August had passed a law that might have made equipment suppliers liable for 80 years in case there was an accident and faulty equipment was to blame. Obviously the memories of Bhopal don’t fade and a nuclear leak like Chernobyl would be catastrophic in densely populated India.
[Note: This post is from October 27, 2010 and was edited for formatting on May 22, 2021]
Luckily for US business, ahead of President Obama’s visit to India next week, India has signed the IAEA treaty and primary accident liability will be of the nuclear power plant operators. The Indian laws are likely to be adjusted to align them with the IAEA treaty.
Going forward both US and European nuclear power equipment suppliers would need to build in enough training, spares and service into their project bids so that maintenance and upkeep is as per equipment requirements.Cutting corners on service,spares and maintenance is naturally extremely dangerous in the nuclear power business. Perhaps the Indian bid terms should allow for fixed and ample funding for the operational support from suppliers of equipment and not make post-sale support and services an area of price negotiation at the overall project award stage.
As these projects get underway there will be employment in the US and huge benefit with clean power for electricity short India.