July 14, 2015
The Indo-U.S nuclear deal and its much-advertised energy, technological and strategic benefits for India still seem elusive. Given the heavy political investment in it, the returns seem to be little and one-sided.
Unveiled with great fanfare on July 18, 2005, the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal was touted as a major transformative initiative. But on its 10th anniversary this week, its much-advertised energy, technological and strategic benefits for India still seem elusive. Indeed, the deal has yet to be commercialised. The premise on which it was founded — that India could build energy “security” by importing high-priced, foreign fuel-dependent reactors — was, in any case, a pipe dream.
The deal, given the heavy political investment in it, will eventually be operationalised, however belatedly. It will take a minimum of 10 years thereafter for the first nuclear power reactor under the deal to come online. After all, the international plant construction time frame, with licensing approval, now averages at least a decade, with the vast majority of reactors currently under construction in the world plagued by serious delays and cost overruns.