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Scientists concerned over Indo-US nuclear bill

india Updated: Dec 10, 2006 21:04 IST

Country's top nuclear scientists have expressed concern over the provision in the bill passed by the US Congress to implement Indo-US nuclear deal that seeks to cap India's right to conduct atomic tests.

However, they were of the view that the current legislation was meant only for the US lawmakers and the bilateral cooperation on sharing civil nuclear technology would be governed by the 123 agreement between the two countries.

"India need not worry about the legislation passed by the US Congress as it is meant for the US lawmakers. India is obliged only to the bilateral agreement (123 Agreement)," former Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chairman MR Srinivasan said.

"We have to work for further negotiations on the 123 Agreement. If that is modified in favour of India then we will go ahead in signing the deal," he said.

Srinivasan, now a member of the AEC, expressed concern over the provision in the "Henry J Hyde United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act of 2006" which states that the US would terminate civilian nuclear cooperation if India were to conduct a nuclear test.

"It is impossible to have a minimum credible deterrent without conducting nuclear tests. But the bill indicates that the cooperation will be terminated if this is done," former Atomic Energy Commission Chairman PK Iyengar said.

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