The chances of the 123 Agreement being signed by the both parties are now a foregone conclusion. The crux of the deal is that, India would open up 14 of its reactors to regular IAEA inspection, in return of which it would get to import civilian nuclear technology from US and buy nuclear fuel for its civilian reactors from the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
In a growing country like India there is tremendous demand for power. India plans to up its nuclear energy production to 40000 megawatts by 2020. To attain this India would commission 30 more nuclear reactors at an estimated cost of $2.5 billion for every 1000 megawatts. For an enormous project such as this the beneficiaries are not going to be limited to the public sector, Indian and international companies who have expertise in this particular field are all hoping that they all would be given a fair share of this endeavor.
The direct beneficiaries of this agreement will be PSU companies, being Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) and Uranium Corporation of India (UCIL). The mantle of India's nuclear aspiration rests on the shoulders of these two companies. NPCIL is entrusted with the nuclear power generation in India and currently all nuclear power plants are under its management whereas UCIL is entrusted to provide for the raw materials necessary to run these plants.
NPCIL in strategic collaboration with the Department of Atomic Energy had slowly built up the capabilities among the Indian Manufacturing companies to have the essential know-how to build a reactor and supply the necessary ancillary equipment. Few others sharing the big pieces in this business of public-private partnership are - L&T, Bhel, Walchandnagar Industries Limited, HCC. These companies have been in the forefront of the nuclear power effort of the NPCIL.
Another prominent name in this field in India is MTAR, this company has emerged as a specialist in the field of precision equipment necessary for aerospace, defense and nuclear power generation. Acknowledging its potential, in 2007 Blackstone invested $65 million for 26 per cent stake.
Recently even ONGC has shown interest in the potential of the nuclear power by offering to tie-up with UCIL. It wants to leverage its expertise in oil exploration and extraction into mining and extraction of thronium which is in much demand. RIL has done a similar deal with Uranium Exploration Australia for exploration of uranium in Australia. It is a foregone conclusion that it would also like play a part if this deal goes through. Moreover with the prices of uranium moving north owing to their lack of supply, more and more companies involved in mining would be interested to join this bandwagon.