Indian nuclear liability rules make SNC Lavalin wary

Thu Nov 8, 2012 9:13am EST
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* Canadian firm says to be cautious about building reactors

* Indian rules put liability onus on firms

* Canada and India finished negotiations on nuclear supply

* Lavalin says needs clarification on limits of Indian law

By Randall Palmer

BANGALORE, India, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Despite the high-profile nuclear agreement this week between Canada and India, Canadian engineering firm SNC Lavalin Group Inc will not be rushing to build reactors in India until its concerns over liability are addressed.

SNC Lavalin International President Ronald Denom told Reuters on Thursday that his company would proceed cautiously in light of Indian liability rules, which have so far sidelined U.S. companies such as General Electric Co.

"SNC Lavalin takes a very conservative approach to such issues and will proceed with caution until such time that we are satisfied that the matter has been clarified and our concerns have been addressed," Denom said.

Indian nuclear liability rules oblige firms rather than the Indian state to pay for the damage from an industrial accident, making some companies question whether it is worth it.   Continued...