Companies

GE offers tech assistance to Japanese nuclear industry

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 14, 2011

The General Electric Chairman and CEO, Mr Jeffrey Immelt, on Monday offered technical assistance to Japan's nuclear industry which is struggling to tackle the nuclear catastrophe triggered by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Mr Immelt said that it was too early to know the impact the nuclear power crises in Japan would have on the nuclear power industry. “Our first priority is to support the government and people of Japan,” he said, adding that GE will donate $5 million to the relief effort.

GE, which is partner to some of the Japanese nuclear companies, said that the protection surrounding the nuclear reactors at the plant were still intact. Despite the explosions at the plant, Mr Immelt said that “the primary containment of all the reactors had not yet been breached based on what we know today”.

In 2007, GE combined its nuclear ventures with Japanese firm Hitachi. In India, the joint venture is looking at getting into nuclear energy projects with the Indian Government.

However, GE has been asking for more clarity on compensation under the nuclear liability law. The Indian law gives victims the right to seek damages from plant suppliers if there is an accident has raised concerns among companies.

“I really think that the comments we have made about nuclear liability in India haven't changed based on the tragedy in Japan. We have said consistently that we believe the regime in India has to toe the global liability regimes world over, other than that I just want to let the process work,” said Mr Immelt.

He also said that it was too early to make a profound decision on the company rethinking its India nuclear energy plans. “Let the process work its course in Japan and then we will have plenty of time to make an assessment on the nuclear industry in India as time goes on,” he added.

Published on March 14, 2011

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