AEC wrests a say in nuke deal | india | Hindustan Times
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AEC wrests a say in nuke deal

AEC will scrutinise the deal once it is approved by the US Senate and Congress, reports BR Srikanth.

india Updated: Sep 26, 2006 03:00 IST

The Atomic Energy Commission will scrutinise the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement once it is approved by the US Senate and Congress. The AEC's exercise is meant to safeguard India's interests in pursuing indigenous programme and to address the concerns raised by political parties and nuclear scientists.

CNR Rao, chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister and a member of the AEC, told HT: "We will not allow anyone to take India for a ride. The AEC will go over what Senate and Congress say, word by word. It is not as if they can force whatever they want on us. I have told the prime minister and he has agreed."

Rao's statement on the AEC's role in analysing the legislation follows the apprehension expressed by nuclear scientists that US lawmakers could modify the civilian nuclear agreement signed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George W Bush on July 18.

While Rao said the nuclear deal with the US was essential to end India's status as a "nuclear apartheid nation", he emphasised the development of indigenous nuclear-energy programme. He said fast-breeder reactors using plutonium and depleted uranium as fuel would be "our trump card and everyone would follow our example".