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N-windfall: Canadian team visits India

Ajit Jain in Toronto | November 14, 2008 19:52 IST

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A report in today's Globe and Mail reveals that officials of the Canada's [Images] Atomic Energy Commission Ltd. spent 6 days in New Delhi [Images] during which they had a  series of meetings with their counterparts in India's  Department of Atomic Energy and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. to see how AECL could re-enter the Indian market after Canada's embargo of almost 35 years in the nuclear field.  

That embargo was imposed by Canada after India's first atomic test in 1975.

 AECL President and CEO Hugh MacDiarmid headed  the Canadian delegation and they were looking into the possibilities of securing contracts for servicing India's aging fleet of heavy-water reactors and AECL would also like to sell a nuclear reactor to India now that relations between the two countries in the nuclear field  have  almost been normalized.

 Canada supported India when India-US deal in civilian nuclear field came up for approval by the Nuclear Suppliers' Group.

 'We've been greeted very warmly,' MacDiarmid  is quoted in the Canadian newspaper's report as saying from New Delhi.  He said Indian heavy water reactor technology had not kept pace with Western companies, and ECL could help modernize it.

 'They feel there is a mutual benefit to be had.  We do believe there is potential for us to be marketing our reactor technology in this country.'

 'India is a responsible democracy that shares with Canada the fundamental values of freedom, democracy, human rights and respect for the rule of law,' Lisa Monette, a spokeswoman of Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs,  is quoted in the published report as saying.

"India has made substantial non-proliferation and disarmament commitments to achieve the trust of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which were reiterated in a political statement on September 5."

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