US ‘very keen’ to transfer nuclear energy technology to India: GoI official

Cooling towers of Narora Atomic Power Station in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. [Photo: Wikimedia]

The US is “very keen” to collaborate with India in the area of technology transfer on the nuclear energy front, a senior government official said on Wednesday, as per PTI.

Responding to a question on how G-20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant’s request for “unfettered access” to US technology made to delegates attending the third meeting of the G-20 energy transition working group on Tuesday was taken by American delegates, GoI Power Secretary Alok Kumar hinted Washington is positive.

“US delegation was also there as part of the G20 group and they supported the technology transfer. But It is always on the voluntary, mutually agreed basis,” Kumar told reporters at a press conference organised at the conclusion of the three-day meet in the financial capital.

Details will have to be worked out and have to be mutually agreed, the report quoted him further saying.

“My sense is the US side is very keen to collaborate with India in the area of technology…including nuclear technology,” Kumar said.

Addressing a side meeting of the working group on small modular reactors and the potential they present, Kant had made the request to the Americans and said that the transfer of the technology will help India produce smaller nuclear power plants, commission capacity quickly and can also eventually be exported.

Kumar told reporters that the Department of Atomic Energy scientists are already working on developing the SMR technology indigenously as well.

The Power Ministry, which is steering the negotiations on the energy transition working group at G-20 as part of India’s presidency of the grouping, said there is a broad consensus on all the suggestions made by India to the delegates.

It is only the details on how to go ahead and the exact path to be adopted on which there are some differences, Kumar said, adding that the group will continue deliberations remotely on every part of the resolution in the run-up to its fourth meet in Goa in July ahead of the ministerial meeting.

India has been notably able to convince the grouping for giving priority to the fuels of the future, which include green hydrogen and biofuels, Kumar said.

The exact nomenclature – whether to call it green hydrogen or clean hydrogen – is yet to be decided, said Kumar, who had earlier flagged the differences in opinion on whether to consider hydrogen derived from nuclear energy as “green hydrogen” or not.

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