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Indian goverment paves way for foreign investment in new nuclear

India’s Cabinet has approved a nuclear liability bill, seen as a crucial step for bringing foreign companies into its potentially vast nuclear energy market.

India has faced a nuclear trade ban since conducting its first atomic test in 1974 and refusing to sign non-proliferation accords.

However, it began emerging from the nuclear isolation in 2008 when it signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with the United States. The 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group then lifted a three-decade global ban on nuclear trade with India.

The energy-starved country hopes to harness its new acceptance to build nuclear power plants.

US-based companies GE-Hitachi and Westinghouse Electric, a subsidiary of Japan’s Toshiba, have been waiting for the liability bill to pass before entering India’s nuclear energy sector.

Meanwhile, Russian and French government-linked companies have raced ahead and have been awarded contracts.

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