The deal to allow India to begin its own nuclear ‘renaissance’ is unconventional. It also runs counter to international treaties – the country is to be given access to nuclear technology without having to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
But in other respects, the deal is everything you would expect:
The US private sector firms, which do not have their national government guarantee for accident claims, are lobbying hard with the Indian Government to lay down a policy framework on the issue of nuclear liability - or the cost of damages to be borne in case of an accident involving US-supplied nuclear power plants.
In other words, the US nuclear industry wants the Indian government to pay for the clean-up of any nuclear accident a US-built reactor might cause. How’s that for confidence?
Needless to say, if nuclear was as clean, safe and cheap and its cheerleaders like to insist, this kind of buck-passing wouldn’t be needed. Why don’t American nuclear companies make good on their promises of nuclear’s benefits and do without state-funded liability? Why? Because those promises are empty.