India and the US will hold the second round of discussions on ‘arrangements and procedures’ for reprocessing of spent fuel of American origin here.
“The talks are scheduled for next month,” Ravi Grover, Director, Strategic Planning Group in the Department of Atomic Energy told PTI here.
However, it was not immediately clear whether the talks would be held in India, the US or Vienna.
A five-member Indian delegation led by Mr. Grover held the first round of consultations in Vienna in July.
“We made good progress in the first round,” Mr. Grover said without going into the details of the discussions.
The talks are considered as a significant step to take forward the operationalisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal.
Asked whether this would be the final round of talks, Grover said he was not in a position to give any specific timeframe for the conclusion of the discussion.
The consultations are being strictly based on Article 6 (III) of the 123 agreement between India and the US.
According to the agreement, to bring reprocessing rights into effect, India has to establish a new national facility dedicated to reprocessing safeguarded nuclear material under the safeguards of International Atomic Energy Agency.
Also, India has to reach an agreement with the US on ’arrangements and procedures’ under which such reprocessing will take place in this new facility.
Conclusion of the talks is crucial for the US companies to start nuclear commerce with India.
US energy majors – Westinghouse-Toshiba and GE-Hitachi have inked pacts with state-run Nuclear Power Corporation for setting up nuclear parks in India.
Sites have been identified in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat for setting up nuclear reactors by American companies though an official announcement in this regard is pending.