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Home > News > PTI

Intl community will lose if N-deal doesn't go through: India

October 26, 2006 00:00 IST
Last Updated: October 26, 2006 00:01 IST

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Indo-US Nuclear Tango

As the fate of Indo-US nuclear deal remains uncertain, India today said if it does not go through the American Congressional process, the international community will stand to lose because New Delhi will adopt alternative energy sources which may not be eco-friendly.

Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar emphasised that India had the potential to develop strong indigenous nuclear technological base irrespective of the future of the deal, which is aimed at allowing India access to atomic fuel and technology.

It remains to be seen whether or not the Senate takes up during the 'lame-duck' session next month the bill that entails change of US laws to enable civil nuclear cooperation with India, he told PTI in Mumbai.

However, regardless of whether the deal goes through or not, Kakodkar said India's atomic energy programme remains robust and the country has the potential to develop strong indigenous nuclear technological base.

But the international community will lose, as India will adopt alternative energy options, which may not be eco-friendly, till it realises the thorium cycle, he said.

The AEC chairman maintained that the proposed deal will only provide additional atomic power capacity, but India would continue to pioneer technology in the thrust areas.

A bill on the nuclear deal is yet to be put to vote in the US Senate whose term expired earlier this month and it is hoped that the legislation will be considered during the 'lame-duck' session expected anytime after the November 7 Congressional elections.

After the US Congress clears the deal, New Delhi will have to convince the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group to change its guidelines to make an exception for India.

"We have to get the US Congress clear (the deal) and then the NSG to change the guidelines as per India's requirement and also relax the guidelines making an exception for India as a responsible nulcar weapons power," Kakodkar said.

The guidelines of the NSG prescribe that a country receiving nuclear technology should have fullscope safeguards under which the entire nuclear programme will be open to international scrutiny.

"But this is not acceptable to India as we have our own strategic programme," Kakodkar said, adding it is a complex issue as so many countries are involved.

Under the Indo-US nuclear deal clinched in March, India has identified 14 nuclear facilities as civilian, which will be open to international safeguards and scrutiny.

The US Congress is left with just a fortnight to take up the issue of finalising the deal signed on July 18, 2005.

Meanwhile, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Chairman S K Jain said, "I am sure the deal will come through as it is a necessity for both sides."

India needs nuclear technology from outside to fulfill its burgeoning energy requirements and the world community is worried about global warming (nuclear energy does not cause global warming), Jain said.

It would take some time for the Americans to overcome the fact that they had to make an exception to India, which is a non-signatory to the "discriminatory" Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Jain said.

"It would be day dreaming to think the Americans clear the deal without any murmur," he stated.

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