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Indo-US N-deal: Modi Government Allows Greater Access to Nuclear Watchdog

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  • Indo-US N-deal: Modi Government Allows Greater Access to Nuclear Watchdog

    Indo-US N-deal: Modi Government Allows Greater Access to Nuclear Watchdog - NDTV

    I admit I haven't done much of my Home work on this.

    I wonder what that all means in a nutshell given India has already kept two of its nuclear plants out of IAEA's reach and we already have plenty of fissile material.

    What Modi be able to earn by making things more transparent ?

    Or it is just a media spin as there is no such concept of making it more transparent, because under Indo-US nuclear deal any thing that India pledges to IAEA has to be fully transparent or we are simply not abiding by the deal.

    Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US in September, the new government has made it clear that it will press ahead on the Indo-US nuclear deal sealed by the previous UPA regime.

    The government has ratified easier inspections by the global nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency or IAEA.

    India will now also inform the watchdog about its nuclear exports.

    Before coming to power, the BJP had expressed its unease over the deal. The government has, however, ratified the India-specific Additional Protocol - a commitment given under Indo-US nuclear deal by the previous government to grant greater access to the nuclear watchdog. This will facilitate India's entry as a full member of the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group or NSG which meets today.

    India has already placed several nuclear facilities under the IAEA's watch. This includes a part of the nuclear fuel complex in Hyderabad, the nuclear reactors in Rajasthan, the older reactors at Tarapur, and India's largest nuclear reactors at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.

    Sources say India wants to send a strong signal to the international community that it is a "serious and responsible" nuclear weapon state amid its keenness to become a member of the NSG and increase its share of nuclear energy.

    India's Nuclear Liability Bill, which asserts that the onus of damages in case of a nuclear accident is also on the supplier, remains a sticking point. Concerns from France and America continue even though Russia has found a way out as it has signed the agreement for the third and fourth units to come up at Kudankulam.

    Top sources say when Mr Modi goes to the US he will try and allay some of these concerns.
    Last edited by ambidex; 23 Jun 14,, 13:51.

  • #2
    The liability laws in India have pretty much snuffed out any enthusiasm for this deal. After govt nearly falling just to get it, India does not seem to have done a lot here. The environmentalists have the upper hand, see the drama over Kudankulam. That one at least seems to be moving ahead with the Russians.

    A lot more work needs to be done.

    Inspections was never really an issue, it was clear at the outset that a certain subset would fall under IAEA and others would not.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 23 Jun 14,, 16:14.


    • #3
      Has this been ratified by the Parliament? I remember that BJP was very against any inspections of startegic nationa assets by US inspectors/ UN bodies in 2007.

      But they softened their stand by 2009. But by 2011 their double speak was exposed in a wikileaks expose with US diplomatic cables stating that the party leadership had told them that its criticism of the US in public was to score "easy political points" against UPA and when in power, it would not harm the Indo-US nuclear deal.

      DE, you are right, inspections were never an issue.

      Cheers!...on the rocks!!


      • #4
        Way i understood it at the time is India has 14 reactors, seven of which would come under the IAEA and the reamainder would be off limits. Any new reactor purchased from abroad would come under IAEA or any that use fuel purchased from abroad. We can continue to build reactors for defense purposes with indigenous components or fuel which will not come under the IAEA.

        Am not sure if those seven have designated as yet or not. But in principle we have agreed to it.


        • #5
          Is this related?

          India expanding uranium enrichment, could develop thermonukes: Expert

          NEW DELHI - India is expanding a covert uranium enrichment plant that could potentially support the development of thermonuclear weapons, a defence research group said on Friday, raising the stakes in an arms race with China and Pakistan.

          New units at the Indian Rare Metals Plant would increase India's ability to produce weapons-grade uranium beyond what is needed for its planned nuclear-powered submarine fleet, IHS Janes said.

          The facility, located near Mysore in southern India, could be operational by mid-2015. "Taking into account all the enriched uranium likely to be needed by the Indian nuclear submarine fleet, there is likely to be a significant excess," Mr Matthew Clements, editor of IHS Jane's Intelligence Review, told Reuters.

          "One potential use of this would be for the development of thermonuclear weapons."

          No comment was immediately available from the Indian government press office or the foreign ministry.

          India, which is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, tested its first nuclear weapon in 1974, leading to the imposition of international sanctions that barred it from importing nuclear technology and materials.

          It conducted tests again in 1998 that were followed by a similar set of tests by Pakistan.

          A civil nuclear cooperation deal with the United States, sealed in 2008, gave India access to know-how and fuel in return for a pledge - so far unfulfilled - to bring in US firms to build nuclear power stations.

          The pact exempts military facilities and stockpiles of nuclear fuel from scrutiny by the International Atomic Energy Agency, a United Nations energy safety watchdog. The Mysore plant is not subject to IAEA safeguards.

          The exemption, granted by the administration of President George W. Bush, faced opposition from China and Pakistan, India's regional rivals, and European nations who said it would undermine efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons.

          Satellite view

          Based on analysis of commercial satellite images, IHS Janes has identified what appears to be a new uranium hexafluoride plant that would increase the uranium enrichment capacity of the Mysore facility.

          Its capacity to produce uranium enriched to 90 per cent purity, or weapons grade, would be roughly double the needs of India's nuclear submarine fleet that is being developed to complement its land-based arsenal.

          The facility would produce a surplus of around 160 kilos a year of weapons-grade uranium, IHS Janes reckons. "We aren't suggesting that this action alone will create an immediate standoff, but it's going to create a further level of complexity in an already difficult situation," said Mr Clements of the regional security implications.

          IHS's findings have been corroborated by other analysts, with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute writing in a report this week that the Mysore facility could signify India's intent to move towards thermonuclear weapons.

          The enriched uranium produced from the facility could be blended with India's existing stock of plutonium to expand an existing arsenal that is estimated to hold 90-110 nuclear weapons, SIPRI said.

          India expanding uranium enrichment, could develop thermonukes: Expert, AsiaOne Asia News
          Attached Files


          • #6
            But ....

            US dismisses report on India covertly increasing nukes

            The US on Friday dismissed a report suggesting that India is covertly enriching its nuclear weapons capabilities, describing it as “speculative.”

            “We’re not in a position to speculate on its conclusions,” State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference when asked about a report which alleged India is covertly enhancing its nuclear weapons capabilities.

            “We remain fully committed to the terms of the 123 agreement and to enhancing our strategic relationship. Nothing we provide to India under the civ-nuke agreement may be used to enhance India’s military capability or add to its military stockpile, but we don’t have enough information or confirmation of the report to speak to that,” Ms. Psaki said.

            Nothing provided to India can be used to enhance their military capability, she reiterated.

            “I’m not certain and...that would be highly speculative about this, given there’s only one external report that’s not a reflection of a US government report,” Ms. Psaki said.

            In a report on Thursday the IHS Jane’s defence and security intelligence experts claimed that they have identified a possible new uranium hexafluoride plant at the Indian Rare Metals Plant (IRMP) near Mysore.

            The report alleged that this site in India will support new centrifuges that will substantially expand India’s uranium enrichment capacity, most likely to facilitate the construction of an increased number of naval reactors to expand the country’s nuclear submarine fleet, but also, to potentially support the development of thermonuclear weapons.

            IHS Jane’s experts assess that the new uranium enrichment facility could become operational by mid-to-late-2015.

            “The expansion of India’s uranium enrichment facilities allows the country to press ahead with the introduction of its ballistic missile nuclear submarine fleet, part of an effort to enhance its existing nuclear deterrent in the face of perceived threats from both China and Pakistan,” said Matthew Clements, editor, IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review.

            Robert Kelley, consultant to IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review, said the US continues to treat India as a bona fide nuclear weapons state despite India’s failure to ratify the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

            “Mysore’s original centrifuge plant was constructed in 1992, although in 2010 site clearance for a new, even larger, suspected centrifuge hall began. It is this new facility that could soon be operational.

            “India is generally vocal in publicising its defence industry successes, but has revealed little about operations at Mysore, possibly to reduce attention to its nuclear trade agreements with the US,” he said.

            US dismisses report on India covertly increasing nukes - The Hindu