More than six months after the Nuclear Suppliers Group signalled the resumption of global nuclear trade with India, New Delhi is set to explore business and technology opportunities with Britain when a group of scientists led by Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) chief Anil Kakodkar travels to London next week. 'The visit is significant as it follows the recent 123 agreement and will re-invigorate the UK-India bilateral relationship in this important area,' said a British High Commission press release , adding that the four-day visit would begin March 24. The visit comes at a time when the two countries are engaged in a dialogue for finalizing an India-Britain nuclear cooperation declaration, a bilateral pact like the ones India has signed with the US, France and Russia. The declaration may be signed later this year, said reliable sources.
The Indian delegation includes Srikumar Banerjee, director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai; Bikash Sinha, director of the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, Kolkatta; Vinod Chandra Sahni, director of the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore and P. Mohanakrishnan, head of the Reactor Physics Division at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam. B. Purniah, head of International Studies Division, Strategic Planning Group, DAE, will also be part of the delegation. Kakodkar will give a lecture in London on 'The Thorium Cycle and Clean Energy.' The group will visit Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) for an overview of the HiPER Laser Fusion Project. It will meet executives from a host of British commercial nuclear companies like Antech, Centronic, CMS Cameron McKenna LLP, Corporate Risk Associates Ltd., Halcrow, Herbert Smith LLP, Lloyd's Register Group, Simmons and Simmons, Thompson Valves, Urenco Enrichment Company Ltd. and the Nuclear Industry Association. The delegation will also visit Imperial College, London, and meet the British government's chief scientific advisor, John Beddington.