Is the India nuclear agreement really the ‘breakthrough’ Obama promised?
NEW DELHI — President Obama stood alongside India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, in India’s capital just days ago and announced a “breakthrough understanding” that the two countries hoped would pave the way for U.S. firms to sell nuclear reactors to India.
But analysts and experts familiar with the negotiations say that the legal issues remain so complex that private U.S. companies may continue to shy away from new deals in India, despite the developing country’s dire and fast-growing power needs.
So far, the details of the agreements have been sketchy at best, although the Indian government was expected to release more details Thursday. On Wednesday, however, officials in India said that the agreement includes three key parts: the establishment of an insurance pool that will cover nuclear operators and suppliers for up to $250 million in damages; a nonbinding legal memorandum asserting that Indian liability law is consistent with international norms; and a new system of reporting on the status of nuclear fuel and other materials supplied by the United States.