Monday, October 15, 2007

Additional delay on the US-India nuclear deal

Amid encouragement from former Florida Governor Jeb Bush praising the US-India nuclear deal, and also from International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei stating that India should be part of the “nuclear renaissance” and that a nuclear deal would remove restrictions imposed on India by the Nuclear Suppliers Group, reports suggest that Prime Minister Singh was expected to call President Bush to announce that India would not press for the US-India deal, at least for now. In so doing, the Singh government seems to be shelving the nuclear deal, at least temporarily, to avoid the withdrawal of the UPA-Communists from the coalition government and early elections.

While India might still go forward eventually with negotiations at the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the International Atomic Energy Agency, it appears that, barring a break-through with the UPA-Communist parties, it looks as though the deal may be on hold in India.


  1. Dear Nukes on a Blog--

    As it happens, I just heard a report on NPR's Morning Edition, which paints the objection in the Indian Parliament as mostly a "nationalist" or "anti-American" issue. As you know, it's much more. So I wrote this reply....

    TO: Steve Inskeep, and Morning Edition

    I'm glad you're reporting on the controversy in the Indian Parliament on the US-India nuclear deal. But in emphasizing mostly the nationalist objections, you significantly understate the significance and risks of this deal. Fact is, the proposal, if approved by Congress and India, severely undermines the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, giving India enrichable fuel for dozens or perhaps hundreds of nuclear bombs, which could upset the balance of power and hence peace in South Asia.

    Thanks- hope you develop the story!

    Ed Aguilar
    Project for Nuclear Awareness
    Philadelphia, PA

  2. The chronology of the nuclear deal Bush wants to rush Congress into signing before October shows that the US Congress has been in step with this plan from the beginning. The likelihood of it failing passage seems small at this point. Sale of nuclear "materials, equipment and technology" will be profitable for someone; but the deal appears to be more strategic in scope than mere profits. It is clearly a tilt toward India in its dispute with Pakistan, which has called the Deal provocative of a new nuclear arms race in the region. The danger I see is that the "legal" manipulation of the Nuclear Suppliers Group to exempt India from the NPT is abandonment altogether of the principle of non-proliferation which is the foundation of the treaty. India is being rewarded instead of sanctioned. Also, the Deal makes it possible for India to store "strategic reserves" of nuke fuel. In the event India tests more weapons, cutting off trade in nuclear fuel will do no damage if a "strategic reserve" exists. Moreover, it has been alluded that "loopholes" in the Agreement make it possible for nuclear fuel to be transferred from civilian use at the 14 inspectable reactors to the eight uninspectable military reactors. It is evident that India needs more power to run industries that US corporations have kindly outsourced to their economy, but as of now India supposedly gets only 2% of her power from nuclear reactors. Obviously, it is because India has poor uranium sources and has been unable to acquire fuel due to the treaty. Now the Treaty has been undermined. Who is next for an exemption in this lunatic asylum of nuclear nightmares?