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US Congress approval for N-deal will trigger NSG rush to India: Kakodkar
March 09, 2006 22:15 IST
Once the US Congress clears the Indo-US nuclear deal, it would lead to a rush of Nuclear Suppliers Group countries wanting to access the Indian nuclear power market, Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar said in Mumbai Thursday.
However, if the deal does not come through for any reason, "We will continue with our programme and the three-stage programme envisaged by Homi Bhabha will not be compromised at any stage," Kakodkar said at his first press conference after the two countries reached an understanding last week to implement the agreement.
Once the deal is cleared by the US Congress, it will open the floodgates for NSG to come in a big way to cater to the needs of India, the world's largest market for nuclear power, Kakodkar said.
With India's growing GDP, welcoming over 20 new reactors outside of the NSG would increase the nuclear electricity base in the country, he said adding, this is very essential as India is energy-starved.
Kakodkar said India has not compromised its indigenous nuclear programmes by signing the deal and the country's fast breeder programme will not be put under international safeguards at any time under the March 2 agreement.
Describing the Indo-US deal on civilian nuclear programme as a "very practical" one, he said India is expecting it to be cleared by the US Congress.
On the issue of India-specific safeguards, Kakodkar said India has to negotiate with the International Atomic Energy Agency along with the US.
Since a few of the Indian reactors are already under IAEA safeguards, it would not be a problem facing the inspectors with a complete separation programme, he said.
He said the separation plan of civilian and strategic nuclear facilities would be carried out in phased manner till 2014 and a lot of preparations are to be made although the cost-benefit ratio is yet to be worked out.
Asked about the sanctity of arriving at 2014 deadline, he said there would be lot of administrative difficulties and it needed that much of time to complete the seperation.
The AEC chariman said the finer details of 14 of the total 22 nuclear reactors to be placed under international safeguards will be made public within few days.