New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) Describing American nuclear giant Westinghouse as the finest reactor makers in the world, US Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Tuesday said “some real progress” has been made in the company’s proposed reactor deal with India, talks on which have been underway for several years.
Westinghouse is proposing to build six reactors of 1,000 MW capacity each at Kovvada in coastal Andhra Pradesh. Japan’s Toshiba, which had acquired Westinghouse in 2006, filed for bankruptcy a year ago.
“Westinghouse makes the finest reactors in the world. They had some business challenges, but that’s in the past… they’re now lean, mean and ready to work,” Perry told the media here following the first meeting of the US-India Strategic Energy Partnership co-chaired by him and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
Perry said the talks on the deal, which started in 2008, after an agreement with the US allowed India to engage in nuclear commerce, had been stalled because of “troubles in the construction side”.
“Westinghouse is in the reactor business and I leave it to you to decide who the constructor is going to be,” he said.
“They are on the verge of having their business issues addressed and they make the best reactors in the world.”
Westinghouse has said that it can only supply the technology for the nuclear island and does not want to undertake any construction activity.
A joint statement issued after the strategic energy partnership meeting said: “The two sides reaffirm their strong commitment to early and full implementation of our civil nuclear partnership, including the Westinghouse civil nuclear project at Kovvada. Cooperation in this area is being pursued through relevant bilateral mechanisms.”