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The United States hosted the second meeting of the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Energy Working Group at Idaho National Laboratory on April 28-30, 2009. This was the first meeting held by the Working Group since entry into force of the U.S.-India peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement. The agreement, signed in October 2008, aims to provide new opportunities for trade and job creation for both economies, help India meet its rapidly increasing energy needs in an environmentally responsible way, and enhance global nonproliferation efforts by bringing India closer to the nonproliferation mainstream.
With completion of the peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement, both governments are now working to reinvigorate technical discussions begun under the Working Group in 2006. Mr. Shane Johnson, Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy in the U.S. Department of Energy, and Dr. Ravi Grover, Director of India's Strategic & Planning Group in the Department of Atomic Energy, served as co-chairs of the meeting. They opened the dialogue by reaffirming their commitment to work collaboratively to face global economic, climate change, and energy security challenges.
Discussions focused on deepening mutual understanding of each country's nuclear energy development plans, including light water reactors, near term reactor deployment, licensing, management of nuclear waste, research and development programs as well as international best practices. The U.S. delivered presentations on safeguards and physical protection. The Working Group will continue its efforts by developing an action plan to focus collaborative work efforts. Its next meeting is scheduled near the end of 2009 in India.
The Obama Administration is committed to the implementation of civil nuclear cooperation agreement with India and looks forward to India bringing its IAEA Safeguards Agreement into force, filing its declaration of facilities pursuant to the safeguards agreement, publicly announcing reactor park sites for U.S. companies, and enacting global standards of liability protection.