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Four steps to the N-deal

January 30, 2007 14:29 IST

Dr Dinshaw MistryWhat is the status of the Indo-US nuclear deal? Can it still come undone? How does India benefit?

To answer these questions and more, we had Dr Dinshaw Mistry, a leading expert on arms control and proliferation and the author of the first and only comprehensive study of the Missile Technology Control Regime (Containing Missile Proliferation), answering those questions and more in an exclusive chat with readers.

A Mumbai native, Dr Mistry is now associate professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati. His articles on space technology and nuclear and missile proliferation have been published in top journals on strategic and international affairs, besides The New York Times and the Washington Post.

For those of you missed it, here is the transcript:

Dr Dinshaw Mistry says, I am available to take questions, thank you
PManoharBhatFromMumbai asked, Is this deal really "new and clear" to Indian establishment ? What are tradeoffs from US and Indian perspective ? Could you please shed some light on it ...
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, Let me answer this question in two parts. To begin with, in 2001, the new administration in Washington sought to engage India as a strategic partner. But New Delhi viewed nuclear obstacles as the impediment to strategic cooperation. Washington then sought ways to remove obstacles, under the High Technology Group, the glide path, and the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership, culminating in the July 2005 agreement.
PManoharBhatFromMumbai asked, Is this deal really "new and clear" to Indian establishment ? What are tradeoffs from US and Indian perspective ? Could you please shed some light on it ...
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, The terms and tradeoffs evolved after the July 2005 agreement. Washington would make exceptions in US law and international nuclear regime guidelines to allow for nuclear energy transfers to India. India would place 14 of its 22 thermal power reactors in operation or under construction, representing 65 percent of its nuclear power capacity, under permanent international safeguards - so that plutonium from these cannot be used for nuclear weapons. It would keep its breeder reactor outside the safeguards. New Delhi would maintain its self-imposed moratorium on nuclear testing, When all formalities are complete, India would then be permitted to import civilian nuclear reactors and uranium. These are the main terms of the agreement.
sajith asked, hi sir! Now a days, I worry about this.If some terrorits group get to know the technology of neuclear bomb.They can smuggle the various parts of the bomb to a country,assemble it inside and explore!!!!!
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, Nuclear terrorism is a problem but it can be tackled with prudent policies. Read Graham Allison's book on the same, and reports by Charles Fergusson at the Council on Foreign Relations. Also by Matt Bunn at Harvard. They discuss nuclear terrorism in some depth.
TRT asked, SIR, if this N-deal is finalised, when can we see the changes
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers,  If the deal is finalized in around 2007, then Russian, French, US, and others could begin selling nuclear reactors and uranium to India thereafter. Uranium to fuel India's reactors may be shipped very soon. Reactor construction may begin in a year or two, but these would only be complete by 2015 or so. Thus, new reactors may enter India's grid only around 2015
nuclearwinter asked, good morning Dr Mistry. First things the nuclear deal done already, or could it still be scrapped if India objects to the 123 agreement?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, The following four steps are still needed for the deal to be finalized. 1: Washington and New Delhi must negotiate a final Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (the 123 Agreement). New Delhi can still object to this. 2: New Delhi must negotiate a safeguards agreement with the IAEA for the 14 reactors to be safeguarded (though Six of these reactors were actually already under safeguards—two U.S.-supplied reactors at Tarapur, two Canadian-supplied reactors, and two Russian-built LWRs under construction.) 3: The 45-member Nuclear Supplier Group must allow the exemption for India ( major countries such as UK, France, Russia, and the US approve; some countries will wait for the safeguards agreement with the IAEA before giving approval). The NSG may take up the issue at its April 2007 meeting and  4: the US Congress must approve the 123 agreement when that is completed.
Venu asked, Where the agreement 123 going to be; with the unacceptable provision in the nuclear bill to India? When Russia takes positive steps to make India its strategic, economic and political partner, Why there is hasitation at America?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, Negotiating the 123 agreement may be tough but well within reach. Washington would ensure that the 123 agreement allows civilian nuclear cooperation but does not permit New Delhi to use the imported civilian teachnology for military purposes. And New Delhi would agree to maintain its moratorium on nuclear testing. Within these parameters, the 123 agreement is within reach.
aditya asked, Mr. Dinshaw where is our country heading in respect to Nuclear arms disarmament? and is our country safe by singing NPT.
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, The 1995 and 2000 NPT review conferences already outlined the steps toward Article VI disarmament obligations. These were the entry into force of a test ban treaty, a fissile material cutoff, and steps to not threaten non-nuclear states with nuclear weapons (such as a no-first-use policy). Once all nuclear weapon states agree to these (New Delhi included), we may see progress toward Article VI disarmament provisions
raghu1962 asked, Will star wars (Missle War such as destroying satellites, colonizing the moon, etc.) will become a reality in the near future?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, Missile Defense tests are partly successful, in that they can intercept rudimentary missiles that do not have evading countermeasures. A better and more robust defense is harder to attain, and may not become a reality in the next decade
homi asked, Does America now acknowledge us as a nuclear power. IS nuclear power cheaper than hydroelectricity. Are stringent safety measures being taken in India to safeguard such sites
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, the July 2005 agreement mentions that India could attain the same provisions and obligations as other nuclear weapons states. so New Delhi would be informally recognized as a state with nuclear weapons, but New Delhi would not be recognized under the NPT (the main international legal instrument) as a nuclear weapon state.
Madhu asked, Sir,is the recent indo-us nuclear deal really a favour that the Us is doing to us or you see any selfish motives in their moves..bcos US is always strategic in its approach..and wat wud be the repercussions on indian-Russia realationship
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, The motives for the nuclear agreement are strategic engagement and a strategic partnership. i.e. Washington would lift the nuclear technology sharing obstacles for India, and India would become a strategic partner for the US. There are many other ways to pursue a strategic partnership, eg. military to military cooperation (which is already happening), though Washington and New Delhi have pursued the nuclear route to this partnership.
kalyan asked, does this deal really helps the rural india? so how safe is building nuclear reactors in India?is it easy to attack?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, The question of nuclear energy in India is one that can be debated. The benefits are that it is environmentally friendly compared to coal; but it is still costly, so rural India may not be able to afford it unless subsidized. Urban India and corporate India may be able to afford nuclear energy.
sajith asked, there is a worry created by media reports and leftist columists that US want to slow down india's initiatives and researches in the neuclear power thats why they are coming with new tie-up or relaxations.Could you comment?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, The nuclear agreement would ensure that any imported civilian nuclear technology is not used for military purposes, by placing it under safeguards. But India is keeping many facilities outside safeguards, and these will be unaffected by the nuclear agreement. So there is little hindrance to India's nuclear program in these unsafeguarded facilities.
GeneralMusharraf asked, How should I react to the deal, Dr. Mistry ?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, Pakistan will eventually seek a similar nuclear agreement, and China may press the Nuclear Suppliers Group to make concessions for Pakistan. This will benefit Pakistan.
Venu asked, Before signing 123 agreement, if India conducts its thermonuclear test to finetune its arsanel for storage and delivery from all posible manner(land, sea, and space) (keeping in context with China destroying a weather satalite)What shall be the reaction of world especially American reaction? and the possible outcome of 123 agreement?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, Nuclear testing is a very sensitive topic, and there is longstanding US legislation in place that would bar economic and military assistance to countries testing nuclear devices. Thus, one could expect a strong reaction against nuclear testing. Missile testing is quite permissible, nuclear testing is problematic.
Singha asked, Dear Sir, What according to you is the nuclear arsenal of India and Pakistan. What is yhe current gap between China, India and Pakistan - nukes and delivery systems? Please elucidate.
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, China, India, and Pakistan probably have enough plutonium or uranium material for a minimum deterrent. They may have to perfect their missile delivery systems for the same.
PManoharBhatFromMumbai asked, Where are the issues beyond the 123 deal which India should start thinking of, right now Dr.Mistry ?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, Beyond the 123, there are a few other agreements to be negotiated - 2 New Delhi must negotiate a safeguards agreement with the IAEA for the 14 reactors to be safeguarded 3 The 45-member Nuclear Supplier Group must allow the exemption for India ( major countries such as UK, France, Russia, and the US approve; some countries will wait for the safeguards agreement with the IAEA before giving approval). The NSG may take up the issue at its April 2007 meeting
Manoj asked, By bringing most of the Civilian Nuclear plants under IAEA inspections, is India not taking a back foot on enhancing the Nuclear Power for military purpose? Where do we stand if either US, Russia or China attacks India in near future ? Civilian Nuclear deal may cost us with our defence isnt it?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, In the next decade or two, it is unlikely that US-Russia-China would consider a military attack against India. And in any case, the civilian nuclear agreement does not really hinder India's missile and military nuclear program (except for the nuclear testing issue).
vipul asked, Sir, Is their any chances that our neighbour may attack us by using N weopans?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, There remain concerns that in any military crisis that escalates into a war, New Delhi and Islamabad may use nuclear weapons. since New Delhi has a no-first-use, this means that Islamabad may be the one to use nuclear weapons first. The way to avoid this is to avoid military crises (such as Kargil and 2001-02).
theBigBrahma asked, how can we trust NSG. This is an extract from their website We need energy, but then NSG can stop it at anytime. like tomorrow Pak conducts more nuke tests, we might have to respond with our own nuke test. then NSG stops the fuel supply. we are at loss as we don't have nuclear energy as well as gas or oil(from Iran)
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers,  The way to avert this situation is for New Delhi and Islamabad to jointly reinforce their nuclear moratorium. If Islamabad seeks the same nuclear agreement as India, then it will not conduct nuclear tests.
PManoharBhatFromMumbai asked, To what extent are India and Pakistan on an even keel and on what issues of strategic importance on nuclear knowhow for civilian or military purposes ? Pl elaborate...
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, India and Pakistan are strategically equal because both are nuclear weapons states. India has a much larger conventional military than Pakistan, but nuclear weapons make Pakistan a strategic equal. India has a larger civilian nuclear industry than Pakistan.
raghunath asked, Sir, The safe disposal of nuclear wastes is not only a vexing problem, but also an expensive one. considering this are nuclear energy plants still remunerative over their life time when decomissioning costs are included?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, As mentioned earlier, nuclear plants are costly--and the costs increase when taking into account waste disposal and decommissioning costs. One assumes that economies of scale would cut down costs, but it is hard to estimate this.
homi asked, Since we do not mine uranium, cost of importing nuclear fuel would be added strain for India. Also why do we need to use it for weapons when elctricity can be generated from the same
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, If India builds or buys nuclear plants, it would need uranium to fuel these plants. And it does not presently mine enough uranium to fuel all its nuclear plants at 100% capacity, which is why the nuclear agreement would help--the agreement would allow India to import uranium to fully fuel all its plants
chakrionly asked, Does we have any techonlogy from we can diffuse any adverse affects of necular. I mean if any one attacks us with necular war heads.Does any one in the world pocess this
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, there is no definite protection from a nuclear attack. in the Cold War, US civil defense mechanisms did conceive underground bunkers for protecting large sections of the population, but a nuclear attack anywhere would be devastating.
Akshay asked, How inmortant is this pact in your terms for India and after this pact to what extent has India moved forward to be a nuclear? Secondly India is poised to be a soft power. How far do you this this pact would contribute to the mission?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, The full benefits of the pact for both Washington and New Delhi will only be attained after 5-10 years. i.e. New Delhi would avail of most of the imported technology after 5-10 years (it takes that long to construct reactors). Once these benefits materialize, the pact would be important for India's energy sector.
PManoharBhatFromMumbai asked, India is supposed to have a lot of thorium deposits-if yes, what advantage does it provide us ?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, Thorium is part of India's three stage nuclear program and India may not need to import reactors when its three-phase nuclear program—-based on breeder reactors in the second stage and thorium in the third stage-- becomes viable, maybe by 2020-2030. But that is a long way away, the technology is still unproven
Ankit asked, Will recent trip of Mr. Putin to India annoucement came of Russia supplying nuclear fuel to India. will that change US perception of looking at India as a long term ally? in context to US-Russia relations?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, The Putin trip brings out the potential benefit of the nuclear agreement- - Russia has agreed to supply India four more 1000 MW reactors, but these can only be supplied if the US-India nuclear agreement is completed and the NSG then approves.
ANNU asked, sir have we anti nuclear weapon right now and what are the future planning for that
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, if anti-nuclear weapons means protection from nuclear attacks, this is problematic. missile defenses are a limited protection from a missile attack-- these may only intercept a small portion of incoming missiles. and they are not a protection from an air or cruise missile attack. there is no real other protection from a nuclear attack.
PManoharBhatFromMumbai asked, What are your views on Dr.A Q Khan of Pakistan ? Has the proliferation started by him really contained or just hidden from media and unknown to people at large ? Pl ratiocinate...
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, The AQ Khan network has been substantially dismantled.
roul_bij124 asked, How can India play a balancing act of carrying forward its strategic ambitions vis-a-vis its need to possess the critical amounts of nuclear weapons, as well as fulfilling its committment under the Indo-US Civilian Nuclear Deal? Will they not be cotradictory to each other?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, There is no contradiction here. The civilian nuclear agreement allows India to import civilian technology as long as it is safeguarded. It does not affect India's military nuclear program--India can produce as much plutonium as it desires and can build and test as many missiles as it desires. There are some limited obstacles, such as the moratorium on nuclear testing, these are not significant obstacles.
Vickyu asked, Sorry this may be out of topic question, but why was South Korea been choosen for ITER ( International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor ) based in Germany which uses the Fusion Technology ? South Korea dosent seems to be a big Techi country....
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, South Korea has a substantial and growing nuclear industry
chakrionly asked, sir if we start producing power from necular reactors then we will import fuel from outside what happens to the resoures avlible to us in terms of necular research work
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, While India may import reactors, nuclear research on its three phase program may well continue.
sai asked, sir when countries like francenow dont want to depend too much on nuclear energy ,why is India asing for it??
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, France is the worlds largest dependent on nuclear energy which provides some 70% of its electricity.
PManoharBhatFromMumbai asked, What % of energy demand is met by nuclear sources in US, India against global average ? Since the average is likely to change with national ambitions for energy self-sufficiency, what is the optimum level for India in the foreseeable future for sustainable development against growing energy needs ? Kindly comment, Dr. Mistry
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, The averages are found on the IAEA homepage. India currently gets 3% of its electricy from nuclear sources and this could grow to 5-10 percent in 10-15 years if the nuclear agreement comes into effect. The US gets 15-20% and France gets 70% of its electricity from nuclear sources
chakrionly asked, Does we are encourging necular race in subcontinent
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, An arms race will be averted once all countries renounce nuclear testing (by signing the test ban treaty) and renounce producing weapons grade material (via a moratorium on this and then signing a fissile material treaty). both are quite possible.
chakrionly asked, sir As we have policy of not using necular weapons first but our nearby friends dont hesistate to stike first.So what should indian do if any one stikes. I mean to say cant we start researching any techonoligy which can diffuse or minimize the threat
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, No first use is a prudent policy for a responsible nuclear country. Islamabad does not subscribe to this due to its conventional force inferiority. Yet it could subscribe to the same once bilateral ties normalize.
Dinesh asked, Hi SIR, India being a super power and having the capabilities to develop the best technologies what other countries are holding now, yet we are not able to do the same. Is it because of our political support or there are some other factors that are associated with it. If so what are they?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, The best technologies are not necessary for a minimum nuclear deterrent. India has sufficient technologies for such a deterrent.
abomb asked, Every one talks about nuclear energy...but what about nuclear waste? What can India do to reduce this problem?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, Nuclear waste is a global issue- cooperation with the IAEA and others in best practices is a good way to reduce the problem asked, Sir, with the deal set in motion, the Manmohan Singh has done a credible job...but still d public in general is sceptical, when it comes to work with US...y is the government not transparent
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, The public may be skeptical, but with full and complete information it may be less skeptical. The long-term consequences of the nuclear deal cannot be easily predicted. the short term consequences can be -- India would be able to import fuel and reactors over the next 10-15 years (which would help its nuclear energy needs) as long as it maintains its nuclear test moratorium.
sajithm asked, i am planning to write a book in neuclear threat and terrerism in malayalam.I am looking for informations on this subject.including the detailed structure and parts of a neuclear bomb.Could you suggest some websites?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, please see my earlier answer on nuclear terrorism
Mani asked, Sir, How good we are with the safety of the nuclear power plants? How can we ensure chernobyl like incident won't happen in Koodangulam/Kalpakkam. We just had a sunami and how protected these sites are from natural/man made threats?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers,  Nuclear safety can be an important component of the civilian nuclear cooperation agreement.
PManoharBhatFromMumbai asked, Would you agree to the viewpoint that stunted economic growth with political instability can create nuclear fallouts from Pakistan on Indo-US interests in the future ? Does US have plans to defang its strategic partner of desperation, Pakistan ? They have a dubious distinction of harbouring Talibans while trying to help Americans trace them in Afghanistan from where they have been safely extricated ! Please comment...
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers,  Political instability and state failure in Pakistan is among the biggest concerns.because a failed Pakistan could export its nuclear technology. Which is why a top priority is to prevent such state failure.
sai asked, is the nuclear deal really part of foreign policy(to do good to india). or our countries like America trying to get more grip on Indias foreign policy and internal policy as well.Infact the question can be framed differently as .. Are our political leaders trying to get the country locked for their own personal benefits and ideologies?? or is it a foreign policy mainly made by thinktanks in the administration??
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, see some of my replies below-- the long term consequences of the nuclear agreement cannot be prediced. some short term consequences can be estimated.
U asked, Do you think a universally comprehensive test ban will ever be achievable in our life time?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, with political willingness, it can be. it would be a very significant step in the right direction.
Mani asked, Sir, If we get thru NSG on the deal, would there be a mad rush for contracts. First do we have money? Are we counting on FDIs? Also should we have to make sure most of the nations are happy in dealing with us (Russia, France, etc..) not just USA for letting us off the hook?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, There will be many suppliers interested in selling nuclear fuel (eg. Australia) and reactors (Russia, France, the US).
Mani asked, Sir, Do you think no first use policy of India is rationale when Pakistan refuses to do so. Whats the point of loosing hundreds and thousands of people in a nuclear war and then retaliating to it. Does any other "nuclear have's" has any such policy?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, see some of my earlier replies on no-first-use. China has a no-first use, and all the NPT-nuclear states have given qualified security assurances against using nuclear weapons versus non-nuclear states . Legalizing this is an important issue.
abhishek asked, sir,when we talk of nuclear reactors for civil use it again requires a lot of time for setting it long u see it will take for india to get these power reactors get activated?how about the cost of electricity going to affect by this?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, see my earlier replies--imported reactors could get activiated around 2015.
Atul asked, Sir in you opinion will the Indo-US nuclear deal end our technological apartheid, or the important issues like MTCR and other technology control regimes which have been left untouched will have more effect on the ground
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, the nuclear agreement is the first step toward the general lifting of technology embargoes versus New Delhi.
Mani asked, Sir, how good are we with our delivery systems? Even Agni 3 seems to have been targetting for 3500 km ...well short of say Beijing!
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, Agni-3 may just reach Beijing, but it may require 2-3 years more of testing to be perfected.
chakrionly asked, Sir aim from state a district of our state have rich necular mineral deposits (people says) if it is true infact i feel it is true but most of local leader instead of educating people they are provaking
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, Nuclear mining is an important issue for India's nuclear sector. as mentioned before, India currently does not mine enough uranium (of a good-grade) for all its nuclear plants, which is why it would benefit from importing such uranium. the alternative is to explore new mineral deposits within India
PManoharBhatMumbai asked, For how long is this chat session going to be on ? Please provide list of urls and books for graduated understanding of nuances of this subject at the end of this chat or later to editors. Thanks!
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, I will chat for another 30 minutes. thanks
ramananda asked, Dr Mistry, what would consider to be the most serious roadblock to the final consumation of the Indo-US nuclear deal? What happens if there is serious Indian opposition to the 123 agreement?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers,  The Current Obstacles to the 123 agreement are technical issues- India wants to right to reprocess imported uranium, presumably so it can use this toward its three-phase nuclear program. But washington must ensure that this uranium is not used for military purposes. the other technical issue is the nuclear test moratorium which new delhi does not want to be legally binding. Diplomacy and high-level political momentum can break any technical deadlocks on these issues.
ash asked, Dear Sir, How do you see use of this Nuclear facilities for power in development of cities like Banglore, Pune , Mumbai and Chandigarh? Are we using it right now?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, the future of nuclear power is hard to predict. overall, it may only provide 5-10% of Indias electricity (currently its 3%). at the same time it may be important for certain industrial-urban regions.
venkat asked, Why don't we develop fully Thorium reactore and use our Natural resources instead of begging USA or others?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, see my answers below-- the three phase plan based on thorium is potentially useful, it may only begin providing energy around 2020-2030.
Atul asked, Sir, aren't we derailing our three-phase nuclear power project which appears to have made considerable progress in the recent past by accepting tough international scrutiny?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, see my answers on thorium earlier in this chat.
sai asked, sir so why didnt india sign the NPT like china and get the best deals from countries like australia?? india has now lost its sovereignity to a certain extent,if we would have signed the NPT it would have been better
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, the NPT is a very old treaty, it does not accept new nuclear members. so India cannot sign it as a nuclear weapons state. but the nuclear deal may give India some of the benefits of NPT membership, i.e. the right to import civilian nuclear technology, as long as this is safeguarded and not used for militayr purposes.
amit asked, will the deal give full civilian nuclear technology and lift all existing sanctions on dual use technology imposed on India despite not signing the NPT,is NSG ready to supply india without signing NPT,In case the US stop suppling of fuel, will continuity be assured through other members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, India would accept permanent safeguards so that New Delhi would not have the option of importing fuel or technology for a civilian nuclear facility and later withdrawing the facility from safeguards. In a compromise, India accepted permanent safeguards for its reactors, and Washington assured the supply of fuel to the safeguarded reactors through three mechanisms—a bilateral U.S.-India agreement; a three-party agreement between the IAEA, India, and the United States; and via a group of friendly supplier countries such as Russia, France, and the United Kingdom, which would supply fuel to India in case of any dispute in the other two mechanisms. Continuity may also be assured for emergency purposes so that there is no meltdown (Russia already supplies enriched uranium for Tarapur under this clause, this is happening now even without the nuclear agreement)
venkat asked, Sir, What are the current technical hurdles we have on full developed Thorium reactor?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, thorium is the third stage of a three phase, and India still has not got past the second stage of the breeder reactor. the first breeder will be completed around 2010, three more by around 2020 (assuming India has enough plutonium to operate these), after which the thorium reactors may be viable.
Atul asked, Sir, will the recently concluded deal for another 4 russian reactors arm the NPT ayatollahs considering the amount of anti-Russian sentiment displayed by the western media
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, The Western media will probably ignore the 4 russian reactors
neeraj asked, Sir, i havnt understood d Indo-US nuclear deal , what does d deal signify ?is it for d research purpose ?if it is ,then how would the research help developing our country?would it not possible dat in d name of research either of d countries could develop nuclear weapons?Also i'm apprehensive dat US would use our (Indian scientist's )brain to make them more powerful(so as to counter USSR,China & N.Korea).Thy hv understood very well dat Indians are very intelligent ,already more than 35% of scientists in NASA r of Indian origin(& many IITians too !!!).And i think thy can easiy persuade India(so far politicians r ruling India!) in future to do anything in their favour (& against our long term ally ie USSR) !!!what do u think???
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, please see my answers below-Washington would make exceptions in US law and international nuclear regime guidelines to allow for nuclear energy transfers to India. THIS would allow India to import reactors to meet its energy needs. In return India would place 14 of its 22 thermal power reactors in operation or under construction, representing 65 percent of its nuclear power capacity, under permanent international safeguards - so that plutonium from these cannot be used for nuclear weapons. New Delhi would maintain its self-imposed moratorium on nuclear testing.
Kumar asked, What costraints did Nuclear Deal add on Indian plans(for the future). Did it compromise India's sovereignty?
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers,  see some answers below on what India can and cannot do under the nucelar deal. it can do a lot of military nucelar activity in its unsafeguarded facilities, but cannot use safeguarded facilities and imported civilian technology for military purposes
amit asked, After 1974, when the world discontinued cooperation with india, we built our capability in many sensitive technological areas, which need not and should not now be subjected to external control. Safeguards are understandable where external assistance for nuclear materials or technologies are US still ready for india specific safeguards or IAEA inspection are open for all reactors??
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, i am answering the last three questions now. Safeguards are currently being negotiated with the IAEA, and many indigenous technologies (such as the breeder reactor and all facilities at Kalpakkam and BARC) are outside safeguards.
chakri asked, Sir can indian governament is having plans to delovep Thorium reacters.
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, see answers earlier.
Atul asked, Sir, according to news reports the second stage will kick in with the first Breeder reactor going critical in 2009 while other reports indicate that we already have the design for AHWR (third-stage reactor). When do you think this will become operational and where does this technology put DAE in international arena.
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, as mentioned earlier, India is designing and building initial reactors for the second and third stage, but these will take at least 10 years to refine and perfect, and as many more years to commence commercial-scale operation
chakri asked, How far it is treat to us as our nearby friend is capable of distroying even satellites. As they are to still our land since long time even it helps the other nation which always wanna to wage a war against us
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, India has rockets that can launch and also destroy satellites
Lightwater asked, sir, thanks for your time. India has only about 6000 tons of usable uranium - i this true
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, uranium shortage is a current problem, it may ease in the long term once India expands its mining and milling capacity or imports uranium
neeraj asked, "New Delhi would maintain its self-imposed moratorium on nuclear testing," dats ok. but wat abt US,will it maintain its self -imposed moratorium on nuclear testing? if it breaches d deal then wat can we do?(but we breach thy can do anything!!!!)
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers,  The US public is very supportive of a test ban, and Congress has not funded new weapons designs sought by weapons labs, it is also wary of testing, it is hard for a US administration to breach its test moratorium.
amit asked, Can further enriching on spent fuel supplied by NSG/US/.. can be done by india for strategic use...or there are still ramblinghs on the issue??
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, The issue of spent fuel supplied by NSG-US is being negotiated-- as long as this spent fuel is not used for military purposes, it should be okay.
PManoharBhatMumbai asked, What is fixed and hence unchangeable part of US law and what is dynamic and hence prerogative of US President in case of Indo-US deal ? What should our Government interlocutors know and keep in mind vis-a-vis attainable due to discretionary powers of counterparty in consonance with views of our nuclear experts on technical and strategic terms ? Kindly explain...
Dr Dinshaw Mistry answers, Okay, this is my last answer - Under the 123 agreement, US law is being changed to exempt India from rules for civilian nuclear technology transfer. The President will have discretionary powers to grant such exemptions. Congres may again pass laws to override the President, The President can override law, Congress can veto an override, so this is a complicated issue. In simple terms, the 123 Agreement will allow exemptions for India so that it can import civilian nuclear technology under certain conditions such as safeguards. Thank you for your time.

Complete coverage: The Indo-US nuclear deal |  The nuclear deal chats