Canada, India reach nuclear cooperation pact

Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:38pm EST
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada and India agreed on Saturday to cooperate on nuclear issues, with a pact that ends a freeze in cooperation dating from 1974 and could offer new opportunities for Canadian uranium firms.

"Increased collaboration with India's civilian nuclear energy market will allow Canadian companies to benefit from greater access to one of the world's largest and fastest expanding economies," Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement, announcing the conclusion of negotiations on a nuclear cooperation agreement.

"Canada and India will now take the necessary steps to prepare the agreement for final signature and implementation," said the statement, released after talks between Harper and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the Commonwealth summit in Trinidad and Tobago.

Canada halted nuclear co-operation with India after the country diverted material from Canadian-designed reactors to make a nuclear bomb in 1974.

Possible Canadian winners from a deal include uranium miner Cameco Corp, which has said it plans to open a marketing office in India in an effort to win uranium supply deals, mining joint ventures and a chance to leverage its expertise in nuclear technology that India already uses.

(Reporting by Janet Guttsman; Editing by Peter Cooney)