UK-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation

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.
Pat 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.”

Pat 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.

The minister 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.