11:17 GMT +317 December 2017
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    US-India Deal For Nuclear Plant on Track to Be Finalized This Year

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    The US is on the way to gain financially from its nuclear deal with India with the establishment of a new nuclear plant in the South Asian state expected to be announced later this year.

    The Civil Nuclear Cooperation deal between India and the US, signed back in 2008 during the Bush Administration, is considered a game-changing moment in the countries' relations. The agreement greatly benefited India by, for instance, securing a waiver for the country from the international body that controls nuclear trade, enabling it to import nuclear fuel from multiple sources.

    In the years that followed both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the full and timely implementation of the agreement. Outgoing US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi resolved some lingering issues on the deal, among them issues of nuclear liability.

    Commercial negotiations between India's nuclear operator, Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), and the Pennsylvania company Westinghouse Electric Corporation have lasted for years. In June 2016 the sides agreed to jointly begin preparatory work on six AP1000 reactors. The US is hopeful that a deal acceptable to both governments will be finalized by July 2017.

    "What remains of the civil nuclear agreement is the actual commercial deal to be negotiated and the financing to be negotiated," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal told Press Trust of India (PTI) on Monday.

    "The two leaders when they last met said that they are hopeful that they would be at a point where a commercial deal and financing be announced by the summer of 2017. I am hopeful that that would continue to be the case."

    The deal, if it goes through, would mark the first financial agreement under the civil nuclear partnership between the two countries.    

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    Tags:
    nuclear plant, nuclear deal, Narendra Modi, Barack Obama, India, United States
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