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Canada, India may ink nuclear agreement
October 10, 2007 11:28 IST
Canada [Images] and India are optimistic about reaching a deal that could open the door for the Canadian industry to export nuclear reactors to New Delhi for the first time in over three decades, media reports said in Toronto on Wednesday.
Canada severed its nuclear ties with India in 1974 after New Delhi detonated a weapon using material from a Canadian reactor. But Canada renewed its civilian nuclear trade with India two years ago.
The move comes on the heels of a nuclear agreement signed between India and the United States, the Montreal Gazette reported.
The deal with Washington, if implemented, will allow India to buy civilian nuclear technology while possessing nuclear weapons despite not having signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
"Canada started nuclear co-operation with India. This is now more than 50 years, so Canada is a very special country for us," Indian High Commissioner R L Narayan said.
"There have been blips, and those have essentially been occasioned by the nuclear issue and when we tested nuclear weapons in 1974 and 1998 and so forth. But hopefully we have gotten over those blips now," Narayan said.
Approximately three per cent of India's power now comes from nuclear reactors, but it is hoping to increase that percentage to at least 20 per cent, Narayan said, adding that nuclear technology was the best solution to support economic growth with the potential of wiping out poverty in the nation within 25 years.
"It's very clear that we won't slow down our growth, because we need this energy somehow," said Narayan.
Industry representatives say that it is clear that the Canadian government is waiting for the ratification of the IndoUS agreement before moving forward with a new deal.