Indian Nuclear News & Discussion - 01 Aug 2007

Ananth
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Postby Ananth » 02 Aug 2007 23:40

milindc wrote:-If Pakis or lizard test then India can test (my comment: don't know if it true or is encoded in test)
-No mention of N testing in agreement
-No legal commitment by India to never test again


The second statement contradicts 1st and 3rd.

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Postby NRao » 02 Aug 2007 23:40

It is not the text in the 123 that is important, but the difference between the two 123s that should be of interest.

It would be rather funny if the Indian 123 had these "barriers" and the US 123 did not.

I wonder if this 'leak" is in answer to the Burns comments a few days ago.

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Postby samuel » 03 Aug 2007 00:01

According to available information, India will place 65% of its present and all future civilian thermal and breeder reactors under safeguards. It retains the right to designate a reactor as civilian or military. We cannot therefore put-up a breeder (FBR/ATBR) for civilian energy needs without putting them under safeguards. We cannot argue the need for several high-capacity breeders in the military list, and use them to for civilian purposes, and we can't put them on the civilian list without putting them under safeguards. The only thing that exists is whether something is civilian or military. The fast-breeder component of a civilian 3-stage program has therefore effectively been sold-out under the inspection raj or condemned to remain small research-type reactor program. This would be especially true if as people argue here, paraphrased, "we have enough bums" is correct.

Since there will be a single set of guidelines or treaty governing all civilian reprocessing, any thorex process associated with the breeder comes under the inspection system. Derivatives from the thorex used to fuel AHWR can also not be put under a no-inspection system, that distinction does not exist.
India needs nuclear power. There is no doubt about that. We have vast reserves of thorium. We can sustain ourselves on that path. I think, however, that our entire 3-stage program for civil energy has come under IAEA non-proliferation regime. That's the sell-out in the name of energy needs.

Arguments that our strategic (military) need will not be compromised is besides the point. That should not and would not be under discussion at any rate. The argument that our 3-stage will be unaffected may only be true in the most contracted of interpretations. What we've ensured is that indigenous technology will always remain small-scale to remain independent. At best this 123 deal side-steps our own work, gee why is that not news.

Please do correct if these appear to be misplaced.

Thanks for debate on this, I look forward to understanding how this deal helps accelerate our 3-stage program. I look forward to understanding what our reprocessing rights are, and I look forward to hearing how we are going to meet our energy needs with this deal.


Ok, few more hours now...

PS: enqyoob, thanks very much for sharing the difficulties your family went through. I remember the gas-lamp that got me through early school well.

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Postby ShyamSP » 03 Aug 2007 00:15

NRao wrote:It is not the text in the 123 that is important, but the difference between the two 123s that should be of interest.

It would be rather funny if the Indian 123 had these "barriers" and the US 123 did not.

I wonder if this 'leak" is in answer to the Burns comments a few days ago.

"Lost in translation". Chinese always get away with that excuse.

No mention of test and Hyde in 123 should be enough to sign the deal assuming fuel supply and reprocessing issues are taken care of as reported by the officials from the both sides. If Hyde name appears, we need to look at/pass Indian laws to automatically trigger to offset Hyde Act provisions, and in essence, to take away power of PM/executive branch (present/future) who sure will be coerced to toe the US line to keep the 123 going.
Last edited by ShyamSP on 03 Aug 2007 00:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby NRao » 03 Aug 2007 00:15

Thanks.

According to available information, India will place 65% of its present and all future civilian thermal and breeder reactors under safeguards. It retains the right to designate a reactor as civilian or military. We cannot therefore put-up a breeder (FBR/ATBR) for civilian energy needs without putting them under safeguards. We cannot argue the need for several high-capacity breeders in the military list, and use them to for civilian purposes, and we can't put them on the civilian list without putting them under safeguards. The fast-breeder component of a civilian 3-stage program has therefore effectively been sold-out under the inspection raj or condemned to remain small research-type reactor program. This would be especially true if as people argue here, paraphrased, "we have enough bums" is correct.

Since there will be a single set of guidelines or treaty governing all civilian reprocessing, any thorex process associated with the breeder comes under the inspection system. Derivatives from the thorex used to fuel AHWR can also not be put under a no-inspection system, that distinction does not exist,the only thing that exists is whether something is civilian or military.


Point to seek is if India cna flip flop - move reactors from military to civi and back.

India needs nuclear power. There is no doubt about that. We have vast reserves of thorium. We can sustain ourselves on that path. I think, however, that our entire 3-stage program for civil energy has come under IAEA non-proliferation regime. That's the sell-out in the name of energy needs.


Not an issue. DAE has always stated that once mature they will build FBRs in civi side - under safeguard. BUT, India will drive this, not IAEA.

Arguments that our strategic (military) need will not be compromised is besides the point. That should not and would not be under discussion at any rate. The argument that our 3-stage will be unaffected may only be true in the most contracted of interpretations. What we've ensured is that indigenous technology will always remain small-scale to remain independent. At best this 123 deal side-steps our own work, gee why is that not news.



One of the down side of the Hyde Act (yeah, I know it is internal) is that it does nto allow for topo.

This poses two potential problems - 1) that it cannot be copied, and 2) An Indian invention - if it is very similar to a phoren one - could be calimed as topo, unless there is a trail.

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Postby SaiK » 03 Aug 2007 00:25

We cannot therefore put-up a breeder (FBR/ATBR) for civilian energy needs without putting them under safeguards.


well.. what if military reactors supplies power to indian railways to run the trains? will the 123 stop it?

if these things are documented, even allah! can't save mms manio!

hope its not the same bus driver who is saying these.

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Postby milindc » 03 Aug 2007 00:35

samuel wrote: We cannot therefore put-up a breeder (FBR/ATBR) for civilian energy needs without putting them under safeguards. We cannot argue the need for several high-capacity breeders in the military list, and use them to for civilian purposes, and we can't put them on the civilian list without putting them under safeguards. The only thing that exists is whether something is civilian or military. The fast-breeder component of a civilian 3-stage program has therefore effectively been sold-out under the inspection raj or condemned to remain small research-type reactor program.


Well, the above is only true if we have foreign source fuel. Per my understanding until now, nothing prevents us from declaring the breeder reactor as non-civilian or prototype and have it connected to the grid.
The PFBR will be connected to the grid when ready...

samuel wrote:
Since there will be a single set of guidelines or treaty governing all civilian reprocessing, any thorex process associated with the breeder comes under the inspection system. Derivatives from the thorex used to fuel AHWR can also not be put under a no-inspection system, that distinction does not exist.
India needs nuclear power. There is no doubt about that. We have vast reserves of thorium. We can sustain ourselves on that path. I think, however, that our entire 3-stage program for civil energy has come under IAEA non-proliferation regime. That's the sell-out in the name of energy needs.


Again, only true if we use foreign fuel. As you stated, if we can sustain the 3-stage program with out foreign fuel then this agreement shouldn't be of concern. When we are ready to go, just declare the reactor as military or prototype, who cares.
Just think.. if we come to a point where our 3-stage process kicks in, then do we even need the foreign fuel and this agreement.
Last edited by milindc on 03 Aug 2007 00:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Rye » 03 Aug 2007 00:42

I think there is a complete insulation of the civilian fuel cycle from the non-civilian fuel cycle.

So neutrons derived from foreign fuel or in a safeguarded site and nuclear fuel derived from safeguarded sites cannot be mixed with neutrons from unsafeguarded fuels and their derivatives from the non-civilian side of the Indian civilian program.

So if fuel X burns to create fuel Y that is to be used in non civilian site Z, then X and Y can only involve non-civilian sites. Ditto for civilian sites.

The two fuel cycles are completely insulated, and leakage of material from Safeguarded sites to any unsafeguarded site Z would automatically imply that Z is a safeguarded site.

I think this separation is why 123 is not violating the Hyde Act, as stated by the US negotiating team....because it does not assist India' strategic program in any way whatsoever. So the NPAs don't have a leg to stand on when they claim that 123 is in violation of the Hyde act.

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Postby ShibaPJ » 03 Aug 2007 00:49

Samuel,
The 65:35 % breakdown is for the existing setup only; i.e. 14 & 8 out of 22 (existing & upcoming combined) would be civ & mil respectively.

The fast-breeder component of a civilian 3-stage program has therefore effectively been sold-out under the inspection raj or condemned to remain small research-type reactor program. This would be especially true if as people argue here, paraphrased, "we have enough bums" is correct.

Please explain, how is it sold out? FBRs/ AHWRs come to the civ list, only when prototyping is over, technology is validated & GoI is ready. Both the FBR/ AHWR technology are important; what is also most critical is the reproc process/ technology for FBR/ AHWR spent fuel and the need to safeguard it from the prying eyes. It is safe, because India agreed to IAEA safeguards only (which DAE can drive with IAEA negotiation) & not Unkil supervision, which would have been much worse.

The 3-stage program is not lost or sold out. We only source the raw material/ fuel, and we do the value-add. It is in Unkil's interest to accommodate India in GNEP as a supplier. & the 3-stage program is goose that laid the golden egg (reproc tech).

Point to seek is if India cna flip flop - move reactors from military to civi and back.

It is not allowed, but is it a bother? I would be more concerned about the potential skilled manpower issues for domestic R&D, which always loses out to the more shining & lucrative BPO side (JC has elaborated on this).

Added later: I believe, the recent announcements of N-engg specific courses in India is a step in the right direction.. Quite proactive thinking. Godspeed!
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Postby sunilUpa » 03 Aug 2007 00:52

A bunch of reports hit the headline in the last few minutes..posting the links, will discuss later (have to run home :D )

1. Burns interview to CFR Link

2. Aussie speak Link

3. The Economist thinks it's better that China gobble them rather than give us few atoms (ya I know, what else is new) Link

4. Finally news from Pukiland, belongs to P.E.N.I.S thread really, but especially for N^3 link

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Postby enqyoobOLD » 03 Aug 2007 01:05

-If Pakis or lizard test then India can test (my comment: don't know if it true or is encoded in test)
-No mention of N testing in agreement
-No legal commitment by India to never test again


The second statement contradicts 1st and 3rd.


Not at all. Pakistani "test" is not a nuke test, it is a Pu test. Actually this is one of the HUUUUUUUGE misunderstandings causing such UNFAIRNESS and HARASSMENT to Pakistan for the past 9 years. The 1998 Tests at Chagai were actually RDX, and the test was for Pakistani Strategic Warfare - viz., Suicide Abduls with Bum Vests. (SABV).

Lizald nevel tests, so "lizard test" is "no test".
Q.E.D.

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Postby Satya_anveshi » 03 Aug 2007 01:13

Tellis denies India got what it wanted:: By Seema Mustafa

New Delhi, Aug. 2: The US take on the 123 agreement remains totally different from that put out by the Indian government, with one of the key US negotiators, Dr Ashley Tellis, even dismissing the Indian claim that the agreement gave little to the US as totally "erroneous." He in fact said that the US proposals to clinch the 123 agreement had been politically cleared before the Indian delegation arrived in Washington.

In interviews in Washington, Dr Tellis is quoted as saying: "All these reports that India got the better of the US ... are completely wrong." He further pointed out: "When the text becomes public, you will see that all the claims that India got what it wanted ‘at the expense of the United States’ are erroneous." The US media had been earlier quoting sources as being unhappy over the manner in which the Indian government had projected the agreement, saying that a correct picture had not been given in New Delhi.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had told reporters earlier that he had decided to send national security adviser M.K. Narayanan and foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon to Washington for talks on the 123 agreement. Later he had said the talks were "in the last leg." Dr Tellis made it clear that the Indian negotiating team arrived in Washington "absolutely resolved not to return home empty-handed." In other words, a political decision had been taken by the government to complete the deal at all costs.

Dr Tellis said that US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and vice-president Dick Cheney had in their meetings with the Indian officials told them "to complete the agreement expeditiously." However, according to him, "the substance of the US proposals were cleared ahead of time, before the Indian delegation arrived in Washington, and were shepherded by undersecretary (of state for political affairs Nicholas) Burns throughout the negotiations." Mr Cheney also "told the Indian side to conclude the agreement speedily", but did not get into the details of the agreement.

Both Dr Tellis and Mr Burns, in separate briefings with the media there, made it clear that the 123 agreement was in total consonance with US law. "All the solutions that have been codified in the agreement are consistent with US law," Dr Tellis said. Mr Burns said that the "most important legal aspect of this would be the legal obligations we are served by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 as well as the 1978 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act. "What is paramount to any agreement is a country’s obligations to its own laws, and so we have preserved — as we must — our obligations under US laws in this agreement."

Meanwhile, opposition to the deal is growing in India, with the CPI(M), CPI, Samajwadi Party, Telugu Desam, AIADMK and Asom Gana Parishad waiting for the text of the agreement before finalising their position. All parties have made it clear that the government is accountable to Parliament on the nuclear deal, and cannot enter into this with the US without a consensus. In a significant move, CPI(M) MLA Sumendra Nath Bera and state housing minister Gautam Deb moved a motion in the West Bengal Assembly stating: "This House categorically states that the people of this country will not accept any attempt to impose conditions by any country on India on the supply of nuclear fuel to India." This was passed by a decisive majority vote.

The Left will be consulting scientists and others to analyse the fine print of the 123 agreement text to see whether it is based on the assurances given by Dr Singh in Parliament in August 2006. The government had earlier been warned by MPs that it should not take any decision on the nuclear deal without seeking the approval of Parliament.

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Postby JCage » 03 Aug 2007 01:27

sunilUpa wrote:3. The Economist thinks it's better that China gobble them rather than give us few atoms (ya I know, what else is new) Link


The Economists loathing and hostility for India really knows no bounds. They'll go to any lengths just to spite India.

Anyone upto noting who the editor is and tracing his past record? The behaviour of the Economist testifies to a strong editorial line consistently against India.

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Postby CRamS » 03 Aug 2007 01:44

JCage wrote:
sunilUpa wrote:3. The Economist thinks it's better that China gobble them rather than give us few atoms (ya I know, what else is new) Link


The Economists loathing and hostility for India really knows no bounds. They'll go to any lengths just to spite India.

Anyone upto noting who the editor is and tracing his past record? The behaviour of the Economist testifies to a strong editorial line consistently against India.


Its a subliminal subconscious colonial/racist attitude towards India. Note that they are consistent cheer leaders for India becoming Brittany-spears listening, pizza/coke guzzling, bread-dead western lackeys. But India aspiring for any power; how dare the SDREs do so? See this quote from the above article:


More likely, however, the rewards India (and North Korea) are reaping will encourage countries without the bomb to strive to acquire one as soon as possible.



Oh really? Why do the Brit poodles, US lackeys need nukes? Why doesn't UK set an example by giving up nukes, its under the security umbrella of its big brother anyway?

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Postby GaneshK » 03 Aug 2007 01:47


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Postby samuel » 03 Aug 2007 01:58

Hi Shiba,

yes, totally right. 65:35 is present only (but all designated civil breeder/thermal go in this in the future). That's my understanding too.

In order to answer your question in detail, I need to understand three things better. First, what guidelines define civil vs. nuclear, is this just ad-hoc or is there more to it? Second, what exactly are our reprocessing rights? It appears that 123 grants us that right (ugh), but its scope has to be negotiated? Third, what does an IAEA inspection-regime entail. Irrespectively, whatever has been declared civil is subject to these standards. Right, and we don't know what that standard is.

To set this up a bit, consider a hypothetical where the first reactor is of say a VVER type we bought along with fuel to go with it. For a while, we will keep storing the spent-fuel and in that time frame, here come the sellers lining up with deals. Sounds great so far.

At some point, we put out an FBR that works with it. Just as how well this deal is timed, these guys will show up with reprocessing technology and a way to close the loop. My fear is that now this is going to look like arms deals we do and guess who gets screwed again. It happens again when we try to go for AHWR. Thus, we starve our own civil 3-stage program whose framework can be co-opted by others and they can handsomly profit.

But maybe there will be healthy participation and some FBRs will indeed come out quickly along with all reprocessing before and after both stages. May be we really will seize the day, though not quite in the way enqyoob says it. If we do, that technology becomes part of this inspection regime. How soon then before it becomes an open secret and what does that do to our competitive advantage? It is unlikely that our reprocessing technology is going to change that frequently. So we are setting ourselves up for becoming a technology provider whose IP is an open secret and thus whose competitive advantage is regulated whilst the reverse is not true. Why are we making things harder for ourselves down the road?

In the end, maybe there is nothing to fear. Maybe we will come out on top in this game for preserving our process just as we've done in some others. I just don't know.

So the loss here, on the one hand, is of a IPR type of loss. On the other hand, it is that we have not incubated our own progress to the extent that we can compete effectively. We may have found a way, wittingly or unwittingly to marginalize the ability to stand on our own two feet.

If we really are on the verge of breaking out the three-stage, a simple fundamental question that must've been answered is how many years before we can scale-up to the self-sustaining thorium cycle and how does compare to what this deal does to us. And if I can understand that better, I will be able to at least phrase the loss or gain of this deal at an appropriate level.

Do we have it or don't we? If we do, why the sell-out?


ShibaPJ wrote:Samuel,
The 65:35 % breakdown is for the existing setup only; i.e. 14 & 8 out of 22 (existing & upcoming combined) would be civ & mil respectively.

The fast-breeder component of a civilian 3-stage program has therefore effectively been sold-out under the inspection raj or condemned to remain small research-type reactor program. This would be especially true if as people argue here, paraphrased, "we have enough bums" is correct.

Please explain, how is it sold out? FBRs/ AHWRs come to the civ list, only when prototyping is over, technology is validated & GoI is ready. Both the FBR/ AHWR technology are important; what is also most critical is the reproc process/ technology for FBR/ AHWR spent fuel and the need to safeguard it from the prying eyes. It is safe, because India agreed to IAEA safeguards only (which DAE can drive with IAEA negotiation) & not Unkil supervision, which would have been much worse.

The 3-stage program is not lost or sold out. We only source the raw material/ fuel, and we do the value-add. It is in Unkil's interest to accommodate India in GNEP as a supplier. & the 3-stage program is goose that laid the golden egg (reproc tech).

Point to seek is if India cna flip flop - move reactors from military to civi and back.

It is not allowed, but is it a bother? I would be more concerned about the potential skilled manpower issues for domestic R&D, which always loses out to the more shining & lucrative BPO side (JC has elaborated on this).

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Postby samuel » 03 Aug 2007 02:19

Hi milind,
Right, I agree.
If we don't use foreign fuel there is no need to put it on the civilian list...though I don't know what defines civilian.
S
milindc wrote:
samuel wrote: We cannot therefore put-up a breeder (FBR/ATBR) for civilian energy needs without putting them under safeguards. We cannot argue the need for several high-capacity breeders in the military list, and use them to for civilian purposes, and we can't put them on the civilian list without putting them under safeguards. The only thing that exists is whether something is civilian or military. The fast-breeder component of a civilian 3-stage program has therefore effectively been sold-out under the inspection raj or condemned to remain small research-type reactor program.


Well, the above is only true if we have foreign source fuel. Per my understanding until now, nothing prevents us from declaring the breeder reactor as non-civilian or prototype and have it connected to the grid.
The PFBR will be connected to the grid when ready...

samuel wrote:
Since there will be a single set of guidelines or treaty governing all civilian reprocessing, any thorex process associated with the breeder comes under the inspection system. Derivatives from the thorex used to fuel AHWR can also not be put under a no-inspection system, that distinction does not exist.
India needs nuclear power. There is no doubt about that. We have vast reserves of thorium. We can sustain ourselves on that path. I think, however, that our entire 3-stage program for civil energy has come under IAEA non-proliferation regime. That's the sell-out in the name of energy needs.


Again, only true if we use foreign fuel. As you stated, if we can sustain the 3-stage program with out foreign fuel then this agreement shouldn't be of concern. When we are ready to go, just declare the reactor as military or prototype, who cares.
Just think.. if we come to a point where our 3-stage process kicks in, then do we even need the foreign fuel and this agreement.

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Postby samuel » 03 Aug 2007 02:21

how would you classify it...Come clean, or squeak around?
SaiK wrote:
We cannot therefore put-up a breeder (FBR/ATBR) for civilian energy needs without putting them under safeguards.


well.. what if military reactors supplies power to indian railways to run the trains? will the 123 stop it?

if these things are documented, even allah! can't save mms manio!

hope its not the same bus driver who is saying these.

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Postby NRao » 03 Aug 2007 02:30

though I don't know what defines civilian


A reactor connected to a civilian grid.

I do not know what to believe and what not to.

However, I have this strange feeling that Condi has smoke coming out of her ears.

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Postby enqyoobOLD » 03 Aug 2007 02:34

I can describe present situation as 100% "protected" reactors, but most of them are actually used for civilian power generation, hey? And all use indigenous fuel.

So future is AT LEAST that - we can continue building and using "protected" reactors all we want, using fuel that we can dig up, or buy from willing sellers who don't want to be bothered with IAEA (if any such exist).

So I still don't c what the :(( :(( is about. The only new thing is that some of our reactors which are not NEEDED in the "protected" sector can now be opened into the "safeguarded" sector, and buy foreign fuel on open market.

Er... Back to the Maid-Goat analogy here. Many of us appear to have that fine innocent belief that ATM Made Everything Just Phor My Use Onlee, that characterizes the true Pakistani...

(Ducking out again now).

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Postby NRao » 03 Aug 2007 02:36

One more thought.

Both Burns statements the other day and that of Tellis now are to put pressure on MMS to deliver. IMHO, the comments made by Tellis were uncalled for - probably His Mater's Voice.

Not to forget the statements of the US Amby to India.

Trend setters. Wonder if it has predictive capabilities.

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Postby vsudhir » 03 Aug 2007 02:45

Ideally, civilian==any reactor Delhi designates as civilian.
All other reactors, whether or not connected to the national elec grid, is none of anyone's business.

Ideally.

The text should soon be out and we can see how far reality deviates from the ideal. If at all.

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Postby vsudhir » 03 Aug 2007 02:52


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Postby sunilUpa » 03 Aug 2007 02:58

NRao wrote:One more thought.

Both Burns statements the other day and that of Tellis now are to put pressure on MMS to deliver. IMHO, the comments made by Tellis were uncalled for - probably His Mater's Voice.

Not to forget the statements of the US Amby to India.

Trend setters. Wonder if it has predictive capabilities.


Not really. Just like GoI has to deal with detractors at home, Bush administration has to drum up support in Congress and pacify the NPA. Saying that India got all it wanted, in return giving up little not going to help in any way.

It may be wise to listen to what Mulford actually said rather than reading DDM interpretation.
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Postby bala » 03 Aug 2007 02:59

On Friday in India...

123 agreement to be unveiled today

The text of the Indo-US agreement for operationalisation of the civil nuclear deal will be made public today. The document will be put on the website of the Ministry of External Affairs for comments and a debate on the significant agreement.

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Postby pradeepe » 03 Aug 2007 03:05

Sorry if posted earlier:

Fact sheet on the agreement

From MEA:
http://meaindia.nic.in/pressrelease/2007/07/27pr01.htm

From US SD:
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2007/89552.htm

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Postby nkumar » 03 Aug 2007 04:00

Here is some good news, not sure if this is posted earlier.

1st thorium unit in India soon

By R. Bhagwan Singh and Kumar Chellappan

Chennai, Aug. 2: India is on the verge of setting up the world's first advanced heavy water reactor (AHWR) which uses thorium as a fuel. "We have the design and the technology to install a 300MW thorium-based reactor. It is going through the process of regulatory clearance. We will start work on it in the Eleventh Plan (2007-2012) period... and we hope to complete the work within seven years," Dr Baldev Raj , director of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam, said on Thursday.

In an exclusive interview with this newspaper, Dr Baldev Raj, an internationally-acclaimed metallurgist, said the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre at Trombay, near Mumbai, has been doing research into thorium-based reactors for the past 50 years. He explained that India was the only country in the world with adequate reserves of thorium to make the use of the reactors based on it financially viable.

"As of today, no other country in the world is doing any research on thorium-based reactors as they do not have adequate thorium reserves," Dr Raj added. This would be a major technological achievement for the country as thorium-based reactors would see the completion of India's nuclear fuel cycle, according to him.

The first stage of India's nuclear programme saw pressurised heavy water reactors which created plutonium. "The fast breeder reactors coming up at Kalpakkam and other places will use this plutonium as fuel. This in turn will help us build up an inventory of Uranium-233, which could be used along with Thorium-232 to run the thorium reactors," Dr Raj explained. He said that within three decades, the country's thorium reactors would start generating power for the national grid. "I am sure that by 2037 we will have thorium reactors in place," he said.

With its vast thorium resources along the Kerala and Tamil Nadu coasts, the country would not need to worry about its fuel needs in the future, according to him. Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, himself a scientist of international repute, had recently spoken about the necessity to develop thorium-based reactors to make the country energy independent.

With the commissioning of the thorium-based reactor, the country is expected to make a quantum leap towards economy and safety in power generation. Since thorium produces 10 to 10,000 times less long-lived radioactive waste than uranium or plutonium reactors, the chances of any radiation hazards are fewer in thorium reactors, experts point out.

According to Dr Raj, work on the 500MW fast breeder reactor at Kalpakkam was progressing as per schedule. "We are sure that the FBR will be commissioned by September 2010. It will start supplying power to the national grid by March 2011. We have almost finished the civil construction work. The reactor vault has been completed without any problems. The main vessel of the reactor, the safety vessel, core structure, control rod drives, fuel-handling mechanism are all in various stages of completion. From the end of September, we will start loading all components into the building," he added.

He said that his team of scientists and engineers were working towards a goal to produce power at the rate of Rs 2 per unit. "As of today the power from FBR costs Rs 3.20 per unit. Our dream is to bring it down by a rupee," he said.

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Postby samuel » 03 Aug 2007 05:22

Does anyone know what the planned capacity for "thorium reactors" is by year 2037?


nkumar wrote:Here is some good news, not sure if this is posted earlier.

1st thorium unit in India soon

By R. Bhagwan Singh and Kumar Chellappan

Chennai, Aug. 2: India is on the verge of setting up the world's first advanced heavy water reactor (AHWR) which uses thorium as a fuel. "We have the design and the technology to install a 300MW thorium-based reactor. It is going through the process of regulatory clearance. We will start work on it in the Eleventh Plan (2007-2012) period... and we hope to complete the work within seven years," Dr Baldev Raj , director of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam, said on Thursday.

In an exclusive interview with this newspaper, Dr Baldev Raj, an internationally-acclaimed metallurgist, said the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre at Trombay, near Mumbai, has been doing research into thorium-based reactors for the past 50 years. He explained that India was the only country in the world with adequate reserves of thorium to make the use of the reactors based on it financially viable.

"As of today, no other country in the world is doing any research on thorium-based reactors as they do not have adequate thorium reserves," Dr Raj added. This would be a major technological achievement for the country as thorium-based reactors would see the completion of India's nuclear fuel cycle, according to him.

The first stage of India's nuclear programme saw pressurised heavy water reactors which created plutonium. "The fast breeder reactors coming up at Kalpakkam and other places will use this plutonium as fuel. This in turn will help us build up an inventory of Uranium-233, which could be used along with Thorium-232 to run the thorium reactors," Dr Raj explained. He said that within three decades, the country's thorium reactors would start generating power for the national grid. "I am sure that by 2037 we will have thorium reactors in place," he said.

With its vast thorium resources along the Kerala and Tamil Nadu coasts, the country would not need to worry about its fuel needs in the future, according to him. Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, himself a scientist of international repute, had recently spoken about the necessity to develop thorium-based reactors to make the country energy independent.

With the commissioning of the thorium-based reactor, the country is expected to make a quantum leap towards economy and safety in power generation. Since thorium produces 10 to 10,000 times less long-lived radioactive waste than uranium or plutonium reactors, the chances of any radiation hazards are fewer in thorium reactors, experts point out.

According to Dr Raj, work on the 500MW fast breeder reactor at Kalpakkam was progressing as per schedule. "We are sure that the FBR will be commissioned by September 2010. It will start supplying power to the national grid by March 2011. We have almost finished the civil construction work. The reactor vault has been completed without any problems. The main vessel of the reactor, the safety vessel, core structure, control rod drives, fuel-handling mechanism are all in various stages of completion. From the end of September, we will start loading all components into the building," he added.

He said that his team of scientists and engineers were working towards a goal to produce power at the rate of Rs 2 per unit. "As of today the power from FBR costs Rs 3.20 per unit. Our dream is to bring it down by a rupee," he said.

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Postby enqyoobOLD » 03 Aug 2007 06:28

Thx, vsudhir. Rarely do we have the privilege of learning straight from someone like Arundhati Ghose. Savor the clear, bold, factual writing. Posted in full - this should be archived. I'll trust her over BC etc, all of whom have their ego axes and political axes to grind. Ghose is simply pro-India.

The Heart of The Matter

July seems to be a particularly significant month for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh--in July 1991, as Finance Minister in the Narasimha Rao government, he announced the liberalization of industry from government controls in his budget speech, starting the move towards the opening up of the Indian economy. In July 2005, in a Joint Statement with President Bush, he initiated a process aimed at removing three decades of technology denial to India by most of the countries with advanced technology. The process was centred on an agreement with the US, the progenitor of the denial regimes, in civilian nuclear energy. And then, last week, after a rocky and strenuous two years of negotiations, the government of India approved such an agreement.

While the text is not yet publicly available, it is clear that, in spite of fears and dire prognostications, India’s negotiators have been able to project and protect India’s interests, in both the civilian and strategic fields. It is true that, as in the case of his economic reforms, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is not solely responsible for this achievement; he built on a basis established by his predecessors and has been assisted be an outstanding team of negotiators.

To briefly put the agreement--called the ‘123’ agreement as it is under that section of the US Atomic Energy Act that the US signs such cooperation agreements with other countries--into a context, it is necessary to recall that India started her nuclear energy programme with international cooperation, including with the US, and in fact signed on to a Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963. However, when the US and the USSR pushed through a discriminatory Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty in 1970, after China had conducted her first nuclear test in 1964, India refused to join. In 1971, the nuclear armed USS Enterprise sailed into the Bay of Bengal to put pressure on an India that was winning the Bangladesh war, India tested a nuclear device, in 1974. Enraged, the US not only passed domestic laws to curtail the flow of all dual use technology to India, but by 1975, had established the Nuclear Suppliers Group to ensure that the technology denial regime was broad based. The nuclear issue became, and remained, for the next thirty years, a major obstacle in normal India-US relations.

In 1998, India conducted five nuclear tests and declared herself a nuclear weapon state . After an initial period of outrage, the US government, under President Clinton, a Democrat, appeared to move towards an engagement with India, recognizing that India’s security interests had to be taken into account, even while pushing for a global non-proliferation regime with progressively stricter controls on the export of dual use items and technologies to India. The objective of that government was to discuss civilian nuclear cooperation with India, even while attempting to ‘cap, roll back and eliminate’ India’s weapons programme. Clearly, this approach did not lead to any significant improvement in relations.

In the meanwhile, India’s economy had started to grow and the world itself had started to change. The Bush Administration, a Republican one, realized that it had much to gain if it could forge a new and friendly relationship with India, and for that, the nuclear ‘issue’ had to be resolved. To accomplish this, the US had to change its domestic law to favour only one country, India. For India, an opportunity presented itself to unshackle the nuclear energy sector, and to benefit from free flows of high technology to enable her to build a competitive knowledge based economy, without compromising her security interests or her technological independence.

India offered to separate her civilian and military facilities and place the former under IAEA safeguards; in return the US proceeded to change its laws to ‘exceptionalise’ India. The Hyde Act, finally passed by the US Congress, did ‘exceptionalise’ India, but it also introduced a series of conditions which made the Act as much a non-proliferation act as a cooperation one. This was a reflection of an entrenched distrust of India in parts of the US establishment, with memories of not only India’s own hostility to the US during the Cold War, but the indignation at India’s nuclear weapons tests, still alive. It was this mind set ( with an almost mirror image in India) that the negotiators of the Agreement had to contend with. It has been held that the US Congress, in permitting civilian nuclear cooperation with India, has only reiterated those sections of US law that were not amended; however, the inclusion of sections of a US non-proliferation law that had generic reference were made specific to India.

This would have been the biggest hurdle before the negotiators, one that was handled by the US side as the law applied to them and could not bind India. Clearly, this obstacle was overcome by intervention at the political level which had determined that friendly relations with India required flexibility and sensitivity to India’s concerns. There are already reports of a negative reaction in the US, with some US Congressmen taking strong exception to the ‘concessions’ made by the US to India in the Agreement.

However, India had specific concerns, too. India’s nuclear programme depends on reprocessing spent fuel; the US, in its other 123 agreements gives such rights (when using US fuel or materiel) only to safeguarded facilities. India, which had not, in its separation plan, provided for any reprocessing plants to be placed under safeguards, offered, as a compromise to build a special reprocessing plant for US fuel which it would place under safeguards. In any case, US law does not bar reprocessing rights. Secondly, India had, in March 2006, agreed to place each civilian facility under safeguards for the lifetime of the facility, provided such facility was assured fuel in perpetuity. This was a major issue, as India still had bitter memories of Tarapur. According to US law, if a non-nuclear weapon state tested a nuclear weapon all cooperation would cease, and all materiel or fuel imported from the US would have to be returned. This would have implied that either India’s investments or her freedom to test in the future, should she require to do so, would be jeopardized. Obviously, while politically the US accepted India’s possession of nuclear weapons, no amendment had been introduced to the legal provisions. A third area of difficulty related to the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technologies; while India does not need such technologies, having developed her own, she could not accept any discrimination in treatment, which might impact on some components she may require in the future. According to the Prime Minister and the External Affairs Minister, all India’s concerns have been "satisfactorily" met in the Agreement.

Of course, there are still further steps to be taken and obstacles to be overcome. The Nuclear Suppliers Group has to be persuaded to make the same exception for India--will China agree, without some provision for Pakistan? India has to negotiate a sui generis India-specific safeguards agreement with the IAEA for her civilian reactors, the US Congress has to approve the whole deal after it is completed, not necessarily a foregone conclusion. In India, opposition Parties, particularly the Left front have to concur-an uncertain eventuality.

To try and change mindsets, to overcome decades of estrangement, distrust and adversarial relations, through a single Agreement, however significant, is a giant task Whatever the strategic purposes of the US, a friendlier and closer relationship is probably reflective of the goals of India’s new generation for technological freedom.. It is the heart of the matter.
****************
Arundhati Ghose was India's permanent representative/ ambassador to the United Nations. In 1996, she dramatically vetoed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty at the Conference on Disarmament, a step that some say would not have been taken without her. This piece was originally written for Outlook Saptahik

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Postby John Snow » 03 Aug 2007 06:54

Looks like MMS in his infinite wisdom miss read what Bhaba had said

"No power is costlier than No power"

while Bhaba wanted India accrue power thru Independence MMS went the other route ---> power in dependence (first SG then Dub(ya)ious. desh ko dubaya hai) :-?

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Postby samuel » 03 Aug 2007 07:08

NRao wrote:
though I don't know what defines civilian


A reactor connected to a civilian grid.

I do not know what to believe and what not to.

However, I have this strange feeling that Condi has smoke coming out of her ears.



Right, possible (as is what vsudhir says). Although i wonder if say a 220mw non-grid load is easy to comeby or un-necessary for reactor of that capacity. Where would all that energy go, hot water?

Maybe anything not used for min cred deterrent, or whatever does not fall in India's nuclear doctrine is civil because it may be easier to say what military is. dont know yet...

Yeah, me too. good luck

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Postby CRamS » 03 Aug 2007 07:27

enqyoob wrote:Thx, vsudhir. Rarely do we have the privilege of learning straight from someone like Arundhati Ghose. Savor the clear, bold, factual writing. Posted in full - this should be archived. I'll trust her over BC etc, all of whom have their ego axes and political axes to grind. Ghose is simply pro-India.


The Heart of The Matter

According to the Prime Minister and the External Affairs Minister, all India’s concerns have been "satisfactorily" met in the Agreement.



Arundathi Ghosh sure is probably pro-India, I have no basis to think otherwise, based on her above quote, she appears pro-MMS than anything else. I'd request her to read the 123 text in its entiretly and then like BC has done several times, offer a point by point analysis based on her judgement, not according to what MMS and his minions aver.
Last edited by CRamS on 03 Aug 2007 07:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby samuel » 03 Aug 2007 07:30

CRamS wrote:
enqyoob wrote:Thx, vsudhir. Rarely do we have the privilege of learning straight from someone like Arundhati Ghose. Savor the clear, bold, factual writing. Posted in full - this should be archived. I'll trust her over BC etc, all of whom have their ego axes and political axes to grind. Ghose is simply pro-India.


The Heart of The Matter

According to the Prime Minister and the External Affairs Minister, all India’s concerns have been "satisfactorily" met in the Agreement.



Arundathi Roy sure is probably pro-India, I have no basis to think otherwise, based on her above quote, she appears pro-MMS than anything else. I'd request her to read the 123 text in its entiretly and then like BC has done several times, offer a point by point analysis based on her judgement, not according to what MMS and his minions aver.


Arundhati Ghose was India's permanent representative/ ambassador to the United Nations. In 1996, she dramatically vetoed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty at the Conference on Disarmament, a step that some say would not have been taken without her. This piece was originally written for Outlook Saptahik

not same as the godmother of small things?

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Postby milindc » 03 Aug 2007 07:33

CRamS wrote:
enqyoob wrote:Thx, vsudhir. Rarely do we have the privilege of learning straight from someone like Arundhati Ghose. Savor the clear, bold, factual writing. Posted in full - this should be archived. I'll trust her over BC etc, all of whom have their ego axes and political axes to grind. Ghose is simply pro-India.


The Heart of The Matter

According to the Prime Minister and the External Affairs Minister, all India’s concerns have been "satisfactorily" met in the Agreement.



Arundathi Roy sure is probably pro-India, I have no basis to think otherwise, based on her above quote, she appears pro-MMS than anything else. I'd request her to read the 123 text in its entiretly and then like BC has done several times, offer a point by point analysis based on her judgement, not according to what MMS and his minions aver.


First she is Arundhati Ghose not Roy. Roy is a leftie commie India hating b*tch. Now did BC read 123 text ? Is it out yet?

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Postby disha » 03 Aug 2007 07:35

samuel wrote: ... Right, possible (as is what vsudhir says). Although i wonder if say a 220mw non-grid load is easy to comeby or un-necessary for reactor of that capacity. Where would all that energy go, hot water?...


There is much Ro&Dh [tm] [Rona & Dhona] going around on this thread. First of all take a pause and remember that this same politicos and babus cleaned up the lizard with Heavy water! And at that time we were far more vulnerable!!

As the text says, Indian government designates a reactor in military or civilian category. It does not say that just because it is associated with electrical grid of civilian nature, it becomes civilian. That association is ridiculous and the IAEA inspectors are welcome to climb over the electrical wires to check if they are civilian or not! And where will that electricity go? To probably run some centrifuges or heavy water separation plants. Or desalinate water for non-civilian uses....

Please do not degenerate into R&D [Rona & Dhona]. :evil:

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Postby samuel » 03 Aug 2007 07:42

disha wrote:
samuel wrote: ... Right, possible (as is what vsudhir says). Although i wonder if say a 220mw non-grid load is easy to comeby or un-necessary for reactor of that capacity. Where would all that energy go, hot water?...


There is much Ro&Dh [tm] [Rona & Dhona] going around on this thread. First of all take a pause and remember that this same politicos and babus cleaned up the lizard with Heavy water! And at that time we were far more vulnerable!!

As the text says, Indian government designates a reactor in military or civilian category. It does not say that just because it is associated with electrical grid of civilian nature, it becomes civilian. That association is ridiculous and the IAEA inspectors are welcome to climb over the electrical wires to check if they are civilian or not! And where will that electricity go? To probably run some centrifuges or heavy water separation plants. Or desalinate water for non-civilian uses....

Please do not degenerate into R&D [Rona & Dhona]. :evil:


sorry, how is the substance of what you are saying any different from what i just said?
Last edited by samuel on 03 Aug 2007 07:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby CRamS » 03 Aug 2007 07:45

milindc wrote:
First she is Arundhati Ghose not Roy. Roy is a leftie commie India hating b*tch. Now did BC read 123 text ? Is it out yet?


Typo corrected. The 123 will be out tomorrow. Ms. Ghose by her own admission is relying on the word of MMS and his minions. BC in contrast has offered his informed opinions. Lets wait for his customary doosras and googlies after he gets hold of the 123. I am sure it will be explosive.

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Postby NRao » 03 Aug 2007 07:46

N-deal with Japan some way off

NEW DELHI: With the nuclear deal under his belt, the next big diplomatic event in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's calendar is a visit later this month by Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.

National security adviser M K Narayanan will travel to Tokyo next week for the next round of strategic dialogue with his Japanese counterpart as a run-up to Abe's visit. However, the politically beleaguered Abe will probably skirt the nuclear issue with India this time round. Fighting his own unpopularity and a dynamic opposition in control of the upper house in the Japanese Diet, Abe is unlikely to want to rock his precarious domestic boat.

While nuclear cooperation with Japan is probably on top of the Indian wishlist, particularly since Japan is the world leader in nuclear reactor technology, the issue doesn't have very high traction in Japan at the moment. The India-US nuclear deal hasn't exactly been received with whoops of joy in Tokyo.

The dynamic Japanese opposition leader, Ichiro Ozawa, gunning for Abe, has very different views on the role of Japan's military and certainly on nuclear cooperation with India.In fact, during his meeting with his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso in Manila on August 1, foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee too was given the impression that Japan wanted to take this very slow. Sources said there was little expectation of any announcement on this issue during Abe's visit.

The Japanese foreign ministry spokesperson was also quoted as saying that Japan would wait for India to finish the safeguards agreement and an NSG exemption before moving on a bilateral nuclear deal. Mitsuo Sakaba, a spokesperson, was quoted as saying, "The Japanese government is taking a very cautious position. India is not a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty."

Nevertheless, Aso told Mukherjee that Japan would be willing to share more efficient technology with India. This is part of Abe's big push for the 2008 G-8 summit and Japan's "Cool Earth 50" initiative. This will get greater prominence during Abe's visit.

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Postby Sanjay M » 03 Aug 2007 07:50



Problem is that Shinzo Abe has a very weak mandate right now, and the opposition is quite powerful. It's too bad, because he's been fairly assertive against China and consequently pro-India.

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Postby SaiK » 03 Aug 2007 07:56

We/I missed this article
http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/aug/02tps.htm

btw, ms ghose's artcile exactly remembers an article i read in rediff or ? few days back. will revert once i find.


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