REUTERS - The United States and France have urged Japan to sign a nuclear deal with India, a move that would clear the way for General Electric Co and France’s Areva to use Japanese suppliers for nuclear projects in the country, the Nikkei reported.
Nuclear giant Areva and a U.S. consortium led by General Electric have each won orders for two reactors in India, but Japan’s technologies are deemed indispensable to completing the projects, the business daily said. Both Areva and GE use reactor vessels made by Japan Steel Works Ltd. GE, in particular, relies heavily on Hitachi Ltd in nuclear reactor projects, the daily said.
Japan has declined to sign a civilian pact with India because the nation is not a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), thus barring Japanese companies from supplying nuclear products to India, the Nikkei said.
The requests from the French and U.S. governments could present a conundrum for the new government of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, the Nikkei said, adding that many in the government are against giving special treatment to India.
Japanese manufacturers, such as Toshiba Corp and Hitachi, are concerned that they will miss out on business opportunities in India, the daily said.
Companies from the United States, France, Russia and South Korea are scrambling to win orders for the more than 20 foreign-made large nuclear power plants that India plans to install by 2020 due to growing power demand, the Nikkei said.
Reporting by Divya Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal