Efforts on to complete reprocessing deal before PM's visit | india | Hindustan Times
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Efforts on to complete reprocessing deal before PM's visit

Top US and Indian officials are making hectic efforts to conclude the discussions on critical reprocessing deal on spent nuclear fuel before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's high-profile state visit here next week.

india Updated: Nov 16, 2009 12:50 IST

Top US and Indian officials are making hectic efforts to conclude the discussions on critical reprocessing deal on spent nuclear fuel before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's high-profile state visit here next week.

Knowledgeable sources familiar with the negotiations that have been going on between the two sides since July told PTI that the bracketed portion of the draft agreement, flying between the two capitals, has reduced to six from 13.

India's Atomic Energy Commission's Chairman Anil Kakodkar is understood to have been in Washington this past week to hold talks with the US officials on this issue.

Another round of negotiations between India and the US on reprocessing of nuclear spent fuel -- that constitutes a significant part of the 123 agreement -- is scheduled for November 20 and 21 here, on the eve of the arrival of Singh to the US as the first State Guest of President Barack Obama.

Informed sources said officials from both India and the US are "extremely pleased" that meetings so far have advanced the reprocessing agreement towards the conclusion so quickly.

The 123 agreement on bilateral nuclear cooperation gives New Delhi prior consent to reprocess.

However, it stipulates that this right would come into effect only when India establishes a new national facility dedicated to reprocessing safeguarded nuclear material under safeguards of International Atomic Energy Agency and reaches a deal with the US on "arrangements and procedures under which such reprocessing will take place in this new facility."