Opposing any move to operationalise the Indo-US nuclear deal, the Left parties on Friday charged the government with trying to push the 123 agreement by arguing that uranium shortage was affecting the country's nuclear power generation.
"We are not buying this argument. We are unable to understand how this shortage is taking place as the government estimates show there is enough uranium to produce 10,000 MW of power when the current production is only 4,000 MW," CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said in New Delhi.
His statement came days ahead of the UPA-Left meeting on the nuclear deal in which the two sides are at present discussing proposals on the draft of an India-specific safeguards agreement with the IAEA.
"The so-called fuel shortage is being made a plea to sign the deal," CPI General Secretary AB Bardhan said.
Reacting to reports about fuel shortages affecting the nuclear reactors, Karat said "what is disturbing is to paint the temporary shortage as a permanent scarcity in order to push the nuclear deal."
Quoting a press release of the Nuclear Power Corporation and a former Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, the CPI(M) leader said that the shortage was "temporary" was proved by the estimates of the public sector firm.
"The current shortage of uranium is certainly not because the India-US deal has not come through, since the 10,000 MW plan was finalised purely on the basis of proven Indian uranium reserves long before any deal with the US was in the horizon," Karat said.