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‘India leaked nuclear blueprint’

As a key senate panel prepared to review the India-US civil nuclear deal, an influential US daily published a report alleging that sensitive nuclear blueprints were leaked by an Indian government agency in 2006.

world Updated: Sep 19, 2008 00:57 IST

As a key senate panel prepared to review the India-US civil nuclear deal, an influential US daily published a report alleging that sensitive nuclear blueprints were leaked by an Indian government agency in 2006.

Sensitive drawings depicting the inner workings of a centrifuge, used to enrich uranium for nuclear bombs, were made available to bidders for a government project for as little as $10 in 2006, the Washington Post said in a report on Thursday.

The report, “06 Blueprint Leak Intensifies Concerns Over US-India Deal”, was significantly timed for publication the day Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, headed by Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden, meets to review the implementing 123 agreement and put it on fast track for approval.

In most Western countries, such drawings would be considered secret, but the Indian diagrams were available for a nominal bidding fee, the Post quoted David Albright, a former UN weapons inspector, as saying. He said he acquired the drawings to prove a point. “We got them for about $10,” Albright said. He called the incident a “serious leak of sensitive nuclear information.”

"India has since tightened its bidding procedures, but the incident has fuelled concerns among opponents of a US-Indian civilian nuclear deal that Congress is expected to consider in the coming weeks," the daily said.