Westinghouse Electric, one of the world’s largest suppliers to nuclear utilities welcomed India’s ratification of a global convention on accident liability in this field late Thursday saying it would help unlock the market potential in the country. However, doubts persisted if more diversified firms like General Electric (GE) would be enthused by New Delhi’s latest move, given that it is still reluctant to change the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Act (CLND), 2010, that makes suppliers — and not just plant operators — potentially liable for mishaps.
India has always maintained that its liability law is consistent with the Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC), which seeks to establish a uniform global legal regime for the compensation of victims. According to independent strategic analyst Ajey Lele, “India had no problems to do business with Russia and France. Now with this rectification, the US route is also getting clear.” Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, senior fellow and head, nuclear and space policy initiative, Observer Research Foundation, said, “This means we are bound by the international regime. So even as there are differences between the Indian and the international liability regime, the effort is to convince the global suppliers that India is ready to do business without putting them in jeopardy on the liability front.”
“It is a step in the right direction towards unlocking the market potential,” Jeff Benjamin, senior VP of new plants and major projects at Westinghouse, told Bloomberg. FE