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'US firms keen on nuke trade with India'

Despite reservations in the US on the issue of nuclear liability, some American companies are keen to move ahead on atomic cooperation with India and have been in touch with Indian atomic energy authorities, outgoing Indian ambassador Meera Shankar has said.

world Updated: Aug 01, 2011 13:43 IST

Despite reservations in the US on the issue of nuclear liability, some American companies are keen to move ahead on atomic cooperation with India and have been in touch with Indian atomic energy authorities, outgoing Indian ambassador Meera Shankar has said.

In her last media interview before leaving the post after more than two and half years of serving as India's top envoy in the US, Shankar conceded that issues have emerged from both sides as far as nuclear trade is concerned, most notable being those on the issue of nuclear liability.

But, she exuded confidence that the two countries would be able to find a way forward on nuclear cooperation.

"US companies have expressed some concerns at the nuclear liability legislation that was adopted in India. And we have explained to them this law does not actually introduce unlimited liability," Shankar told PTI.

She pointed out that India has also signed the convention on supplementary compensation, which is an international convention and has publicly committed to ratify it this year. "The Department of Atomic Energy is currently engaged in drafting nuclear regulations under the liability law," she said.

"But some of the US companies are keen to explore the possibilities of moving ahead and they have been in touch with our Department of Atomic Energy," Shankar said.

Shankar, who retired on July 30, said these are "complex projects" but the two sides are persistent and hope to see their hard work yielding results.