Last week, India’s Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament passed a civilian nuclear liability bill that would pave the way for foreign companies to join a nuclear-reactor building spree. This bill caps foreign suppliers’ liability in case of an accident at $320 million.
The bill now goes to the upper house, the Rajya Sabha before being signed into law. The India Expert does not expect major battles at either of these levels.
Nuclear equipment suppliers from the United States, Japan, Canada, France, Russia and India, including Westinghouse Electric and General Electric, have salivated over this nation’s $150-billion nuclear market. While the French and Russian entities have sovereign ownership, the stockholder-owned American and Japanese entities have been skittish about market entry until the liability issue is settle.
The passage of nuclear liability legislation is one more step in the global commercialization of India’s nuclear energy market.