By: Richard Meyer ~Copy Editor~
President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached an agreement that would allow U.S. firms to cooperate on civilian nuclear power plants in India.
The deal also established an insurance pool in the case of an accident. The agreement comes after five years of struggling relations, which stemmed from a liability disagreement in nuclear arms. Disagreements between two of the world’s largest democracies began in 2010 when the United States and India discussed a deal that would have allowed the United States to build nuclear
power plants in India, but required the United States to have liability if an accident occurred.
Previously, the discussion had centered on India being forced to remove the “liability law” in order for the deal to go through. “It opens the door for U.S. and other companies to come forward and actually help India towards developing nuclear power and support its non carbon-based energy production,” U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma said.
The use of nuclear power in India attempts to compensate for India’s major dependence on coal, a known agent in contributing to climate change.
“India is still an energy-scarce society that is not able to keep the lights on in many parts of the country and still needs to build up much of its infrastructure. Given the energy needs, it is likely coal will grow — for how long and how much, it’s hard to say,” senior fellow at the Center for Policy
Research in New Delhi Navroz K. Dubash said.
The country is expected to rely on coal as the main source of energy until at least the year 2030 but make immense progress in the area of renewable “clean” energy, such as wind and solar power.