Indo-US nuke deal clinched
It took a push from US President George W Bush to wrap up the first phase of crucial negotiations to implement a bilateral civil nuclear power cooperation agreement, with India and the US okaying an agreed separation plan.Updated: Mar 04, 2006 22:00 IST
It took a push from US President George W Bush to wrap up the first phase of crucial negotiations to implement a bilateral civil nuclear power cooperation agreement, with India and the US okaying an agreed separation plan.
Announcing the “historic” decision at a joint press interaction with the US president on Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said but for Bush’s “initiative”, the deal would not have happened.
Sources said the deal, by which India will complete the phased separation of 65 per cent of its civilian nuclear reactors from the military by 2014, was clinched after days of intense negotiations among top officials, and an hour of talks between Singh and Bush.
The US administration will now approach the US Congress to suitably amend American legislation for an India-specific waiver, and go to the Nuclear Suppliers Group. India will go to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to negotiate India-specific safeguards for its civilian nuclear reactors.
Going by the prime minister’s address to Parliament earlier this week, India has, broadly, agreed to place 14 of its reactors on the civilian list, under IAEA safe guards. DEAL WHAT’S THE Fourteen of India’s 22 reactors to be civilian and placed under safeguards. US concedes that breeder reactor be kept outside until India decides otherwise India concedes that reactors once safeguarded, will be so in perpetuity. But secures clause that it can take “corrective action” if the reactors’ fuel supply is cut off. This point was the last mile in the negotiations India will decide whether it wishes to safeguard future reactors Enrichment and reprocessing plants can switch back and forth from safeguards, depending on whether they handled safeguarded material or not The nuclear separation plan will be done in phases but will be concluded by 2014.
First Published: Mar 04, 2006 22:00 IST