All derived material will remain under IAEA. So, even if we get lucky and can put our equipment there, the IP issue remains. The only way this reprocessing will work is if we import cotton. Accelerating our 3-stage we are, are we?
By IP issue, do you mean the fact that AHWRs under international supervision will result in IP leakage?
I read "Accelerating the 3-stage program" as meaning "advancing the three stage program so that AHWRs have the fuel to reprocess sooner than they would have been without nuke waste to reprocess --- this deal pushes for nucllear plants based on tech that will generate nuclear waste, doesn't it? How are you interpreting it, if I may ask?
The way I see it, this deal is most concrete, if that can be said, in supplying India with fuel. The import of nuclear technology and facilities require an amendment, which may or may not already have been negotiated for. It does not however show up in the document.
So, lets say then that we use foreign sourced fuel on India's civilian-list reactors for starters. I must say up-front that if we are talking about Indian fuel on Indian reactors, then this whole thing is moot because we really do not need to separate them out from our strategic program. We are allowed to connect our strategic reactors to the community grid.
It may well be that the spent-fuel from foreign-sourced fuel with Indian or foreign reactors is just to be waste. But we did argue for reprocessing rights, which would be moot if that were to be the case.
Now lets see how this reprocessing right appears to me as being straight-jacketed.
First, before we even actually reprocess, we need to come to an agreement with them about procedures and arrangements beyond 123. There is upto an 18 month hold, in the worst case. What's a kicker is that this renegotiating applies even after we have agreed to do the reprocessing under the IAEA umbrella already! What is the impact of the finger implicit in such a clause.
Second, now suppose that there is no agreement at the end on reprocessing procedures and arrangements. Then whether or not we use our technology, there is no way we can reprocess the spent-fuel that was foreign sourced. We can be optimistic here, but the leverage that the US can assert in terms of benefiting its commerce, to say the least, is obvious. We cannot therefore simply start using spent foreign-sourced fuel with our technology and get on with it. Not going to happen.
Third, there is no way for us to not put our reprocessing technology or future reactors that will actually benefit from that reprocessed fuel outside of IAEA. If we use a Th-Pu system this is certainly the case. It may be possible for us to embed our Thoria along with a U-Pu driver, where the U is foreign-sourced and Pu is derived from foreign fuel, and thus get Th-U out. In such a case one could argue that the thoria doesn't belong under the IAEA regime; the rods are separate, the thorex is separate. All such discussions are nonsensical it would appear. What stays under safeguard is pretty solid. So that Th-U in my view is under IAEA as is the AHwR that uses it.
To my mind this implies that they can assert control in the manner in which we reprocess, and get to pull out elements of our three-stage program, if not in its entirety, out into IAEA, when we used foreign sourced fuel to drive the 3-stage program.
If indeed the acceleration of our 3-stage was to be based on the wind-fall this foreign fuel was supposed to give us, that cannot happen outside IAEA. This appears to be OK, but no one here has said there are no IP issues involved with it. The constraints on using foreign fuel with our technology of course, as discussed above, also exist.
Please correct as you see it.