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Canada, India exploring ways to co-operate in nuclear energy

Canada and India are optimistic about reaching a deal that could open the door for the Canadian industry to export nuclear reactors to New Delhi.

world Updated: Oct 10, 2007 11:48 IST

Canada and India are optimistic about reaching a deal that could open the door for the Canadian industry to export nuclear reactors to New Delhi for the first time in over three decades, media reported in Toronto.

Canada cut its nuclear ties with India in 1974 after the New Delhi detonated a weapon using materials from a Canadian reactor. But, two years back Canada renewed its civilian nuclear trade with India.

The move comes on the heels of a nuclear deal signed between India and the US, Montreal Gazette reported today.

The deal with Washington, if implemented, would allow India to buy civilian nuclear technology while possessing nuclear weapons despite not having signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

"Canada ... Started nuclear co-operation with India. This is now more than 50 years, so Canada is a very special country for us," Indian High Commissioner RL Narayan said.

"There have been blips, and those have essentially been occasioned by the nuclear issue and when we tested first in 1974 and 1998 and so forth. But hopefully we've gotten over those blips now," Narayan said.

About three per cent of India's power now comes from nuclear reactors, but it is hoping to increase that ratio to at least 20 per cent, Narayan said, adding nuclear technology was the best solution to support economic growth with the potential of wiping out poverty in the nation within 25 years.

"It's very clear that we won't obviously slow down our growth, because we (need) this energy somehow," he said.

Industry representatives here say it's clear that the Canadian government is waiting for ratification of the US agreement before moving forward with a new deal for Canada.