UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: UK- India civil nuclear cooperation welcome step forward

Press Release   •   Feb 15, 2010 10:52 GMT

The UK and India have signed a Civil Nuclear Cooperation Declaration, a welcome step forward which will help both countries to achieve low carbon growth, British Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills, Pat McFadden, announced in India today.

Mr McFadden said:

"The declaration is an important boost for both countries and will help to mature our civil nuclear relationship.

"In March we will welcome two high level delegations to the UK, enabled by this new agreement, which will truly kick-start our partnership."

Mr McFadden is currently visiting India to strengthen UK-India science and innovation ties.

During a meeting in New Delhi, Mr McFadden discussed the next steps following this week's signing of the civil nuclear cooperation declaration.

The next steps include:

- In early March the UK will host a major Nuclear New Build Conference, focusing on new opportunities in India and the UAE.  We have invited senior representatives from the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) to set out India's plans for developing nuclear power projects and technologies in the coming years.  This event will be attended by nuclear leaders from 15 nations and will provide a platform for British Industry to forge new links and demonstrate their competitive edge.

- In late March the UK will host a senior academic delegation from India who will meet with their UK counterparts funded by a million pound grant of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to encourage and nurture post doctoral research in this field. This will be the initial meeting of a two-year project.

- Many British companies involved in the UK Nuclear Supply Chain will travel as part of a UKTI-led high level British delegation to India later this year.

Mr McFadden said:

" This is a major step forward in the UK/India nuclear relationship in line with our strong non-proliferation commitments. It opens doors to greater collaboration between companies in our two countries; more wide-ranging research collaboration; and new opportunities to address shared challenges such as nuclear waste management.

"As our economies continue to grow, demand for energy will increase and with it the need to produce sustainable, low-carbon solutions to address this challenge. Investment in new technologies in nuclear power generation will help meet it. This agreement will allow both countries to collaborate and jointly tackle the key 21st Century challenges of energy security and climate change."

Both the UK and India recognise the important role that nuclear energy will play in ensuring energy security.  Low carbon innovations are central to the UK growth strategy that Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Lord Mandelson launched last month.

Investment in new nuclear power generation technologies will be important to this strategy. The UK, home to world-leading advanced manufacturing companies for the energy sector, is well placed to partner India on this.

Notes for Editors

1. For UK media queries, please contact BIS press office, on 020 7217 3505.

2. For India media queries, please contact Deepti Soni on Deepti.Soni@fco.gov.uk or call on +91-9810312913.

3. The UK civil nuclear technology industry
* Fifty years after building the world's first commercially operated power station, the UK is still one of the market leaders in this sector.

- It's an industry that earns the UK £700m in overseas business every year and employs over 80,000 people across the nuclear supply chain.

- UK nuclear equipment and service companies have a long track record of design, construction and management. They are also particularly experienced in the life-extension and decommissioning of nuclear plants.

- The UK has set industry standards in areas such as radiation detection and monitoring.  It has a single-minded focus on safety and quality and world-class facilities for undertaking highly active experiments and trials.

4. Transfers of technology and equipment arising out of this cooperation will be subject to the UK's international non-proliferation commitments, including in the Nuclear Suppliers' Group, and to normal export controls.   Government policy on nuclear-related exports to India was announced by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in November 2008.

5.  The Civil Nuclear Cooperation Declaration was signed on Thursday 11 February by British High Commissioner His Excellency Sir Richard Stagg and Dr Srikumar Banerjee, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India and Secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy, in New Delhi. The text of the accord was agreed at a meeting in London earlier this month between Business Secretary Lord Mandelson and Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.

6. Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills Pat McFadden's visit to India (13-17)

- During his visit the Minister will address the second bilateral India-UK Science and Innovation Council (SIC) meeting with the Indian Minister for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan in New Delhi.

- The minister, along with the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor John Beddington, will lead the UK delegation at the meeting to discuss potential new multi-million pound research collaborations.

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.

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