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U.S. and India Conclude First Workshop of the Civil Nuclear Working Group

January 12, 2006

MUMBAI, INDIA -- The U.S. and India today concluded a four-day workshop on civilian nuclear energy, building on the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue initiated by President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in September 2004, and launched by Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman and India Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia in May, 2005. 

The U.S. was represented at the first workshop of the Civil Nuclear Working Group by R. Shane Johnson, acting director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology. India was represented by Dr. R. B. Grover, director of India’s Strategic Planning Group of the Department of Atomic Energy.

“These discussions are an important step in establishing a foundation for cooperation on civil use of nuclear energy,” Johnson said. “As the populations and economies of India and the United States continue to grow, we look forward to working together to meet our increasing energy needs in safe and environmentally friendly ways.”

India hosted the first workshop of the civil nuclear working group, which took place in Mumbai. The workshop afforded the two countries the opportunity to convene experts to initiate discussions and share information on the global demand for nuclear energy today and in the future; on safety, emergency response, security, physical protection, and current practices for safeguarding nuclear facilities; on production and use of medical isotopes; and on research in such areas as fusion energy, high energy physics, and nuclear physics. 

The U.S. delegation included senior officials and technical and policy experts from the U.S. Embassy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration, DOE’s Nuclear Energy and Science Offices and several DOE national laboratories. The workshop concluded with a tour of a commercial nuclear power plant in Tarapur, located in the vicinity of Mumbai. 

In his closing remarks, Johnson extended an invitation to the host country members of the civil nuclear working group to participate in a reciprocal meeting to be hosted by the U.S. in 2006.