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India's legal right to conduct N tests preserved: Kakodkar

September 06, 2008 20:10 IST

India's legal right to conduct nuclear tests has been fully preserved and the country has not made any commitment in this regard to gain the waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group to participate in nuclear commerce, Anil Kakodkar, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, said on Saturday.

India gets NSG waiver by consensus

"There is no explicit mention of nuclear testing (in the NSG waiver)," he told reporters, making it clear that the exemption granted to India by the 45-nation cartel met all the requirements of the Department of Atomic Energy.

"We have made no legal commitment (on nuclear tests)," Kakodkar said, underlining that India has already made a unilateral, voluntary moratorium on conducting atomic tests.

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"Today is an important day as we have achieved a major breakthrough," he said and termed the waiver to India as unique as it will open the doors for the country to take part in international civil nuclear commerce after 34 years of isolation.

Asked about the amendments India had to accept to win over sceptical NSG members, he said, "There is nothing significant. You can see it for yourself when the waiver document is made public by the NSG shortly. It is a straightforward document."

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"There is no specific targeting of India on anything," the country's top nuclear scientist said.

"I think it is clear that people have understood and recognised the importance of this exemption for India from India's track record, behaviour and energy needs," he said when asked what he felt led to the waiver from the guidelines of the cartel that controls international nuclear trade.

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Kakodkar said India's three-stage nuclear programme will continue.

He said that there was a good amount of urgency for enlarging the share of nuclear power and the NSG waiver will enable bringing 'additionalities to the domestic nuclear programme'.

He said India will talk to all the countries engaged in nuclear trade and "certainly with the US.

PM hails NSG waiver

"We have been talking about use of nuclear technology for national development and also meeting national requirements, while we have the strategic programme which will go on. Our energy requirement is very large and the opening of civil nuclear commerce will enable is to meet both objectives," Kakodkar said.

On enrichment and reprocessing technologies, he said, "There are certain provisions in the NSG guidelines and the same will be applicable to us."

NSG nod elicits mixed reactions

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