Indian Nuclear News & Discussion - May-2008

Sanjay M
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Postby Sanjay M » 14 May 2008 07:41

NRao wrote:No US President will let India lead in any way. The last nuclear test, per the US, clearly crossed the line and they will not let it happen again.

What the US can, and I think will let happen, is any efforts from within India. Specially the three stage stuff. However, only as long as India does not "export" that tech/s in any shape or form.

As far as the acronymS ...... they are meant to control countries (like India) ...... next is GNEP. And, of course, for Indians to debate about them internally. Otherwise they have no meaning. (I think that is pretty much true of all international treaties going forward.)

Besides that I really cannot see any country out there that is "pro" India at this time. They all have some large enough deficiencies - including Brazil and SA. The ones that could count - Japan, Singapore, OZ, etc - are non factors right now.

I think India should concentrate on getting Uranium .... soon, like today. India does not need help from anyone if she plays her game. In any field actually.


The US is like Atlas holding up the sky. They have other burdens on their shoulders, so that they can't afford to drop everything to go after India. This is a key advantage we have.

Our security needs are what they are, and we have to cause the US enough pain and discomfort to make them acquiesce to that. The fact that they can cause us pain and discomfort matters less, because this is about issue saliency. Our nuclear security matters more to us than it does to the US in stopping it.

If the US couldn't do anything much to us after we "crossed the line" before, then it is in even less of a position to do so today. And its power advantage over us is shrinking every day. So time is on our side.

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Postby Sanjay M » 14 May 2008 07:49

lakshmic wrote:Sanjay-saar,
Three things should be taken into account. If teeny weeny countries withdraw from NPT and sign 123's with India

(a) Where will they get the uranium from ?


Well, uranium can be found in the ground, surprisingly. So some countries do have it in their soil. It's a matter of us picking the right countries(s) to enter into arrangements with. Then we can get some of that uranium in return.

(b) Even if they procure uranium, are they susceptible to economic sanctions (citing lame excuses) from Unkil, Russie, China etc ?


Well, just as US sanctions threats didn't do much to us after Pokhran-II, likewise there may be other countries out there feeling enough pain from energy prices that they may find it worth their while. Again, it's a matter of looking for the right candidates.

(c) US is not really constrained by NPT and NSG, in fact a clause in NPT says that free exchange of scientific results and technology for non-weapon purposes is allowed. In fact, for this privilege, Non NWS signatories of NPT give up all rights to the bum. So if India offers 123 for countries which withdraw from NPT, the stick of sanctions from Unkil and the carrot of tech sharing from Unkil will deter those countries from signing 123 with us.


So what exactly does India offer ? Uranium ? No. Better technology ? Debatable. On top of that we get labeled as the bad guys for wrecking NPT (and get into the club with Libya, NoKo and Iran) and the beneficiaries of our tech exchange get frivolous sanctions from Unkil.


India would be offering technology, plain and simple. The technology deniers would be offering no technology -- that's why they're called the technology deniers. So, given that choice, India's low tech is better than none at all. As I've said, our technology would come with fewer strings attached, in the sense that we could sign a bilateral 123 type of deal, without IAEA intruding into it.

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Postby Arun_S » 14 May 2008 09:20

No US President will let India lead in any way. The last nuclear test, per the US, clearly crossed the line and they will not let it happen again.

What the US can, and I think will let happen, is any efforts from within India. Specially the three stage stuff. However, only as long as India does not "export" that tech/s in any shape or form.

As far as the acronymS ...... they are meant to control countries (like India) ...... next is GNEP. And, of course, for Indians to debate about them internally. Otherwise they have no meaning. (I think that is pretty much true of all international treaties going forward.)

It is for India and Indian to belive in the tight rope that other countries have applied and what India will be allowed to do and what is kosher for India and what is not. Just because Pakistan wants Kashmir, and China wants Arunachal and Nepal and Bhutan does not mean India will give it to them on a platter. Fight it will if it need be. Similary if India is short of energy fight it must for worlds hydrocarbon. Nuclear energy is a wrong tree to bark for Indian energy needs (for next 20-30 years at least).

The above view is defeatist to say the least. By the same yardstick one can also say that Pakistan will never allow India to do this or that but will allow India do this other thing. Substitute the above with the name "China" and the same logic will hold water. Isnt it?? Does anyone see the problem with that logic and viewpoint??

Believe it or not there is lot much more of freedom out there than what we bond ourselves with. In this comity of nations India needs to as free as Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Germany, USA, UK and Russia. Just shed that baggage of colonialism for good being and ask for the whole world as other are askign for it too!!! Just hold your balls and join tha game, and hustle in this free for all tussle. There is no friend or enemy just ride up the top and and topple the guy who seems to be above.


Besides that I really cannot see any country out there that is "pro" India at this time. They all have some large enough deficiencies - including Brazil and SA. The ones that could count - Japan, Singapore, OZ, etc - are non factors right now.

One has to sow the seed of Mango and tend the mango plant, if one wishes to reap a crop of mango. India has to have a long term penetration strategy to develop Indian interest in those countries. Just like all other countries have penetrated India that work for their interests.

There is no Mai-Baap Sarkar here to fend for the poor Indian interest. Better to get off the ideas that spin off the Socialist Opium.

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Postby sraj » 14 May 2008 10:42

lakshmic wrote:(a) We need to lock up uranium supplies and like it or not, NSG controls the gates. This is independent of how much Nuclear energy we would be able to generate in the near future. If all Uranium is locked up by chini and Unkil, and if we need some at a future date, we would be shafted.

NSG is a 45-nation Uranium and nuclear tech cartel. Last time I checked, there were 187-plus countries in the world. God did not put all the Uranium on this planet in the 45 NSG countries.

All Uranium is not locked up by "chini and Unkil".

Namibia, Niger, and Uzbekistan are among the top 5 producers of Uranium today. All three are not members of NSG.

Why has GoI made moves in the last few months in Namibia? How come an Indian company suddenly obtained a Uranium exploration licence in Niger last year? Did GoI seriously investigate non-NSG options for Uranium before 2006? Why not?
(b) We are seriously impaired through restriction on high tech transfers and if at all we hope to build up our manufacturing base at a rapid clip and move away from agriculture we need (1) energy (2) technology. There are still silly sanctions on decades old microprocessors that is impairing among other things, our manufacturing sector and high tech sector like space.

True. The question is: what restrictions does this deal lift? what is the price being paid for whatever limited restrictions are being lifted? we all know about the stuff that remains restricted. Could someone list some of the high tech restrictions that will be lifted due to this deal?
(d) We need all high technology regarding alternate energy sources and need to launch our 3-stage program at the earliest. This is critical considering that an international consensus on climate change and further escalation in energy prices are likely.

There is a reason Shyam Saran is now designated the PM's Special Envoy on Nuclear and Climate Change Issues. How far do you the think the world can move on tackling climate change if they do not get cooperation from India? What price can India demand for such cooperation?

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Postby sauravjha » 14 May 2008 10:59

Namibia, Niger,



there is a catch here . there is this AFRICAN NUCLEAR-WEAPON-FREE ZONE TREATY that these two countries are party to.
http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/acda/treaties/afrinwfz.htm

Once this treaty comes into force it may create it's own complications , about not supplying uranium to non NPT members blah blah .


Niger is of course an unstable place with French meddling , Tuaregs and what not .

the company that you are referring to, that is, Taurian Resources Private Limited has got rights, but the area assigned to them pales in comparison to what the French have.

http://taurianresources.co.in/default/c ... g,english/

Why was Uzbekistan not tapped? the answer to that lies as much with the Russians as with the Americans.

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Postby sraj » 14 May 2008 13:00

sauravjha wrote:there is a catch here . there is this AFRICAN NUCLEAR-WEAPON-FREE ZONE TREATY that these two countries are party to.
http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/acda/treaties/afrinwfz.htm

Once this treaty comes into force it may create it's own complications , about not supplying uranium to non NPT members blah blah .

All this has been discussed in previous threads. To recap:

1. Neither Namibia nor Niger has ratified Pelindaba.
2. Pelindaba will come into force once 28 countries ratify; only 23 have ratified so far.
3. We can, of course, twiddle our thumbs, wail about how "Unkil" controls everything and how there is no alternative but to sign on the dotted line, and wait for another 10 years until Pelindaba comes into force OR we can lock in long-term supply contracts NOW and create incentives for supplier countries not to ratify. (Question: how many years ago was Pelindaba signed? Did GoI explore non-NSG Uranium options before 2006? Why not? Why is it exploring them now?)
4. Contrary to many statements here, "Unkil" does not hold all the cards. If the US pressurises any country to ratify Pelindaba, they also need to explain why they have not ratified Protocol I and II of Pelindaba (reason: will require giving up right to station nuclear weapons at Diego Garcia).
5. Even if Pelindaba comes into force AND Namibia/Niger ratify it, there is room for excluding India from its scope (pls read Article 9.c carefully -- it talks about NNWS which India is not, since NWS&NNWS are defined wrt NPT to which India is not a Party -- unless, of course, India scores a self-goal by voluntarily accepting categorization as NNWS in the IAEA safeguards agreement, as mentioned in recent press reports!!).
Niger is of course an unstable place with French meddling , Tuaregs and what not .

the company that you are referring to, that is, Taurian Resources Private Limited has got rights, but the area assigned to them pales in comparison to what the French have.

Everything requires effort. Nothing is guaranteed. No one will present India with Uranium on a platter. Is that enough reason to not even try? Or to give up our strategic autonomy and sign on the dotted line (something our leaders did not do when much weaker and receiving PL-480 food aid in the 1960s).
Why was Uzbekistan not tapped? the answer to that lies as much with the Russians as with the Americans.

How do you know that Uzbekistan is not being tapped?

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Postby sauravjha » 14 May 2008 14:05

Contrary to many statements here, "Unkil" does not hold all the cards.


Of course. but the remaining cards are not really held by us either at this point of time.

No one will present India with Uranium on a platter.


yes and the reason for that is, this is one industry where the fuel and the reactor tech usually flow in the same direction. question" who has the rights in Niger? and who is super keen to supply us with reactors , in the event of the deal?"

Is that enough reason to not even try?


Oh we will have to try . A chaiwallah told me once that Uranium will have to be obtained , one way or the other.

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Postby Gerard » 14 May 2008 16:17

Pelindaba, unlike Raratonga, has no clause implying full scope safeguards for supply of Uranium fuel.

And the previous Aussie Government was willing to supply Uranium, irregardless of what Raratonga implied.

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Postby sauravjha » 14 May 2008 16:21

according to some reports the aussies may even be reconsidering their 'no-nuke ' stance. remember that "arm ripping " theory ?

so much for a south pacific free of nukes. Pff.

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Postby Rahul Shukla » 15 May 2008 00:06

Exim Bank may fund Indian nuclear projects (Business Standard)
Export-Import Bank of the United States (Exim Bank) has shown interest to fund the Indian nuclear power projects that will source equipment and services from US.

If the US company is involved in providing equipment and services for nuclear power project in India, the Exim Bank could look at such proposal, its Chairman and President James Lambright said. The mandate of Exim, agency owned by US government, is to promote exports out of United States.

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Postby Gerard » 15 May 2008 03:22


sraj
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Postby sraj » 15 May 2008 07:52

Non-NSG nations on fuel radar - in the Economic Times
15 May, 2008, 0029 hrs IST,Subhash Narayan, TNN

[quote]NEW DELHI: Energy-hungry India is now tapping non-NSG (nuclear suppliers’ group) members, including Namibia and Niger, to explore possibilities of importing fuel for its nuclear plants. This comes even as the government tries to bring on board its Left allies on the Indo-US nuclear deal. At least two units, expected to be commissioned within the next few months, may have to wait for fuel linkages if fresh supplies for uranium are not struck soon.

It is a necessisity for India to tap alternate sources of fuel to sustain its nuclear power programme. Shortage of fuel is likely to jeopardise its nuclear power projects. Even the country’s existing units are running on a low plant load factor (PLF) of around 50%. With India having resources to feed only about 10,000 MW of nuclear capacity, new sources of fuel have become important.

[b]“Both Namibia and Niger have huge reserves of uranium reserves. In fact, Namibia has around 10% of world’s uranium reserves that could be easily tapped by India to fuel its nuclear power programme. The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) would discuss cooperation between Indian and Namibian utilities for uranium mining and its shipment back to the country,â€

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Postby Prabu » 15 May 2008 17:26

John Snow wrote:so a decade after POK II the day will go uncelebrated? :roll:


This clearly shows the intentions of teh GOI on nukes !
Kill or slow down all advanced researchs !
reduce all budgetary allocations and make it to starve !
This govt has scant regard to our research institutes and nuclear scientists !! The POK II , 10th year anniversary should have been seen beyond politics and scientsts should have been honoured ! This will make more more engineers to aspire carrer in DRDO / DRDL, and other defense instuitutes , rather than looking for lucrative abroad offers !
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Postby sauravjha » 15 May 2008 17:33

he he . looks like the Chaiwallah was telling the truth after all.

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Postby Prabu » 15 May 2008 18:05

NRao wrote:
Sanjay M wrote:If necessary, India should revive the issue of nuclear technology sharing amonst the Non-Aligned Nations, given that high energy prices are causing severe pain to the developing world.

If enough like-minded countries can bring broad-based pressure onto those who have imposed the technology denial regime, then that regime will crumble.


I doubt that will happen. It will be rather difficult to hold the gang together.

The US could very easily force India into a corner by providing a better deal for the rest.

There is no better alternative to going it alone and doing better than expected.

I do not think at the moment AK has an alternative outside of toeing the party line and hoping that more Uranium will be found in the country.

On the flip side I am more hopeful (today) if Obama comes to power



That is good. He is leading Hilary onmany counts !

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Postby Gerard » 16 May 2008 05:54

US Ex-Im eyes nuclear power project funding
Export-Import Bank of the United States (EX-IM Bank) is open to funding Indian nuclear power projects that will source equipment and services from the US.

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Postby Gerard » 17 May 2008 03:10


Gerard
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Postby Gerard » 17 May 2008 03:12


Gerard
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Postby Gerard » 18 May 2008 18:10


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Postby Gerard » 18 May 2008 18:10


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Postby sauravjha » 18 May 2008 19:06

While the uncertainty over nuclear deal continues, NPCIL, the state-owned utility running country’s nuclear power plants, is already facing acute shortage of uranium that is forcing it run its plants at PLF as low as 40-50%. In fact, fuel shortage has forced the PSU to delay commissioning of two 220 MW units at the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS).



In the next 6-8 months this scenario will change once bandhurang and Turamdih kick in.


on another note , in the event that the deal doesn't happen and we are still serious about PWRs in the future , it's not just Uranium but the means to enrich it, that will become important for us .

the ratenhalli plant , is of course for specific purposes. we would need much bigger facilities.

if the thinking is, no deal so no more PWRs, then I guess sites like jaitapur will be downgraded to host 700 Mwe PHWRs.

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Postby jahaju » 18 May 2008 23:31

May 15: RCF has entered into an agreement with Heavy Water Board (HWB) for a Technology Demonstration Cum Prototype Industrial Scale Plant at the Trombay Phosphoric Acid Plant for clean up of phosphoric acid and extraction of Material of interest (MOI). FEDO was appointed as a Consultant by HWB for providing technical services for this project. (source. indianfertilizer.com)

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Postby putnanja » 20 May 2008 01:26

Nuclear deal ‘down to the last days’

[quote]Chennai, May 19 The Indo-US nuclear deal is “down to the last daysâ€

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Postby NRao » 20 May 2008 01:57

The US is like Atlas holding up the sky. They have other burdens on their shoulders, so that they can't afford to drop everything to go after India. This is a key advantage we have.


Here is a sample response for this situation:

[url=http://www.hindu.com/2008/05/20/stories/2008052056360900.htm]
‘Nuclear deal will have little effect on broad framework of bilateral ties’[/url]

Ambassador, while the deal is still in the process of being completed, what will the U.S. government’s stance be on India sourcing uranium from non-NSG sources like Niger?


Well, it’s all been determined that everything will stay in place. Because if India was going to buy uranium from somebody else — I mean, they could have done that anytime. The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) of countries will not cooperate with that and nor will the major countries such as France and Russia, who have reached understandings about cooperating with India, but whose conditions for activating those understandings is that the current deal has to go through the IAEA, the NSG process, and be ratified by the full international community of civilian nuclear countries. So that would be regarded with disapproval.


When the GoI failed to guide the Hyde Act to benefit India, this approach has a lot more risks associated with it. Let alone partnering with the likes of Brazil.

I feel that India lost the initiative - WRT the civilian nuclear deal - with the passage of the Hyde Act. Furthermore, Uncle AND the rest will not allow an alternative. The US, I think, is interested in shackling India, while the rest are interested in the funds.

The only way out - IMHO - is to sign and break it at the right time.

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Postby Sanatanan » 20 May 2008 11:31

NRao wrote:The only way out - IMHO - is to sign and break it at the right time.


In this comment, I am limiting myself only to development of nuclear power reactor technology in India.

Signing a sellout deal with the intention of breaking it at a future date is, to me, not a good strategy, nor will US / NSG easily allow India to carry out that kind of manoeuvre at any time. Fallout of this strategy is likely to be: India's ability to develop hightech within the country will get eroded (very fast) during the time when the deal is in operation. Technology denial will restart when India reneges on the deal. And by that time, India would have been so impoverished in expertise, that she would find it difficult to restart indigenous development efforts.

On the contrary, consider this :

I believe that nuclear power plants such as the PHWRs at Tarapur 3 &4 are extremely complex in terms of the sheer extent of technological efforts required to design, engineer, carry out safety analyses, manufacture, construct, commission, and operate. It is not just a matter of copying CANDU design or "scaling up" a 220 MWe design. Figuratively speaking, every single nut, bolt, washer, pin and whatever else you may think of, would be a new part / equipment / system which needs to be conceptualised and "given birth" to , de novo. Yet, in spite of the projected backwardness in technology, India has successfully achieved this in the midst of the worst technology denial regime, without having to sign such a one-sided deal favouring US/NSG. To be sure, not everything in a nuclear power plant might have been made in India, but rules of the game (as understood by the players prior to the "goalpost shifting" stunt adopted by the US since July 2005) were followed. So why seek out and sign a surrender document with sweet-talking sheep-clothed big bad wolves whose real (as well as stated) intention is to limit India's technological capability? Why not continue with the strategy that had been adopted hitherto and which had shown a good measure of success?

Clearly, striving for improvements in performance on all fronts, be it technology management or man-management or funds management or citizen-management, is open-ended, not only for DAE or GoI, but also for all countries, societies and organisations. No one stays at one pinnacle for too long. So my suggestion is that we should shun this deal, but take urgent measures to start and complete a good spring cleaning of DAE and GoI, strengthen weak spots (generally in the areas of funds availability and political / administrative will and commitment to nuclear power plant technology development, setting realistic targets etc).

It must be borne in mind that the spurned big bad wolves might continue to place impediments in India's development efforts in the future too. Counteracting this requires adequate "scientific temper", political sagacity and foresight.
Last edited by Sanatanan on 23 May 2008 10:27, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Prabu » 20 May 2008 16:50

The only way out - IMHO - is to sign and break it at the right time.[/quote]

We should also see what is the cost of breaking the deal, once signed. Perhaps it is too costly decision to make !

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Postby NRao » 20 May 2008 17:09

Counteracting this requires adequate "scientific temper", political sagacity and foresight.


THAT is the "right time".

Considering the facts that even with a planning dept, India did not "plan". Next, as the US amby stated, all these days India had access to non-NSG Uranium and did not get any. Next, the Hyde Act, India let such a legislation pass without any objections (in fact funded the passage of this legislation). Next, has painted herself into a corner. Where is she going to get the temper or sagacity from? Even those in India that have been defiant seem to have been effectively silenced (my read)!

IF I may, the very denial regime we complain about is enhanced by India ........ which is why it really says a LOT about those Indians that have made all this happen. Now, who in India has enhanced this regime is open for discussion - I guess.

This is not a technical issue. It is a political one for sure and perhaps a financial one, which I do not think as I write is one. When the political system has been supportive India has produced (politics is not just the elected yahoos, it is the user comm in some cases!).

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Postby ramdas » 20 May 2008 21:46

I too feel that signing a sellout deal such as this and hoping to break out in the future is not the correct thing to do. Also, with private and multinational entities being allowed into the nuclear sector, indigenous capabilities will indeed be rapidly eroded.

If need be , we should continue operating our nuclear power plants at the current 30-40% PLFs until we can get more uranium within the country -more mining , uranium from phosphate, etc or source uranium from non NSG countries. In any case, for bulk power production, coal is the way to go.

Waiting while actively ramping up indigenous uranium production will allow us to eventually have a reasonable 10000MWe PHWR program and preserve and enhance our other strategic capabilities. Also, the nuclear sector will remain completely under state control, not allowing private and multinational entities to poach upon and dismantle capabilities that have been built with so much difficulty. Some things have to be sheilded from free market mechanisms, and our nuclear capability is one of those.

I still wonder why the nuclear scientists who opposed this in the beginning are now silent. Also, why is Dr. Kalam supporting it now ? And why did KS, who was one of the first to mould opinion in favor of going nuclear, enthusiastically support the deal ?

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Postby Rishirishi » 20 May 2008 22:36

My personal view is that sooner or later, India will become among the 3 most powerful nations. (India, China and USA). The country will be too important to ignore or isolate. At some point, the world will have to accept India as a full nuclear power.

Nuclear energy is not the only solution (if it is one at all) to meeting the energy demand. There is at least 200 000 mwh of hydro electric potential, that is yet to be tapped (approx 90 000 in India and some 140 000 in Nepal, Butan and Burma).

[/quote]

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Postby ShauryaT » 21 May 2008 19:26

[url=http://www.sinlung.com/?p=1733]No decision on uranium mines
[/url]
Shillong, May 21 : The Meghalaya government has clarified that no decision has been taken on uranium mining in the state, despite the Union minister of state for power, Jairam Ramesh’s claim that it was in favour of a nuclear plant.


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Postby Neshant » 21 May 2008 22:08

> Non-NSG nations on fuel radar

what is ridiculous is the govt had this opportunity all along but did nothing about it.

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Postby Gerard » 23 May 2008 04:29


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Postby sraj » 23 May 2008 08:59

Let me attempt to parse the Hon. Ambassador's words quoted below:
[url=http://www.hindu.com/2008/05/20/stories/2008052056360900.htm]
‘Nuclear deal will have little effect on broad framework of bilateral ties’[/url]
Ambassador, while the deal is still in the process of being completed, what will the U.S. government’s stance be on India sourcing uranium from non-NSG sources like Niger?

Well, it’s all been determined that everything will stay in place.{comment: now what could this sentence possibly mean? could anyone throw light on the deeper meaning here, or is it just that the Hon. Ambassador was spouting gobbledygook as he scrambled to answer a question that put him on the spot?} Because if India was going to buy uranium from somebody else — I mean, they could have done that anytime{comment: true, but what does the past have to do with future GoI actions?}. The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) of countries will not cooperate {comment: has GoI suggested that they cannot get uranium from Namibia without such cooperation?}with that and nor will the major countries such as France and Russia{comment: but are Russia and France not already covered by the previous statement about NSG?}, who have reached understandings about cooperating with India, but whose conditions for activating those understandings is that the current deal has to go through the IAEA, the NSG process, and be ratified by the full international community of civilian nuclear countries. So that would be regarded with disapproval.{comment: "disapproval" is quite ok, Hon. Ambassador! the question is: is it "illegal" under international law for India to source uranium from Namibia? and if it is not "illegal", but if the US still decides to exert its might to keep India from augmenting its energy supply in this manner, how does that square with your own State Dept's oft-repeated dream of "turning on the lights for [Indian] kids to do homework"?}


NRao wrote:When the GoI failed to guide the Hyde Act to benefit India, this approach has a lot more risks associated with it. Let alone partnering with the likes of Brazil.

Could you please enumerate these risks, and perhaps expand on the comment about Brazil?
NRao wrote:The only way out - IMHO - is to sign and break it at the right time.

OK, so let me understand this:

We dare not do something today that is perfectly legal under international law, because US "disapproval" makes it a non-starter. However, in the future, we will suddenly develop the ability "at the right time" to break an agreement even though that will inevitably involve breaking related multilateral (e.g. IAEA) commitments which could invite enforceable UNSC sanctions under widely accepted international law.

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Postby NRao » 24 May 2008 06:17

sraj wrote:
Could you please enumerate these risks, and perhaps expand on the comment about Brazil?


1) Risks:

See where the J18 efforted started (equal to US status) and where it ended (India needs to sign to save face), with the Hyde Act along the way and plenty of Indian oposition silenced (for whatever reason).

Now imagine what can happen IF India were to go outside the fence that the US has errected with Indian "approval". Not signing is one thing but to not sign and then go outside what the Indian Govt expected to sign is another. Recall that all along the GoI played along without much noise.

2) Brazil

Like going otuside the fence, Brazil is also one such entity outside the fence.

IF India had reasons to do whatever outside of the NSG/IAEA she should have done it by now. Doing that now is clearly forcing the issue.


sraj wrote:
OK, so let me understand this:

We dare not do something today that is perfectly legal under international law, because US "disapproval" makes it a non-starter. However, in the future, we will suddenly develop the ability "at the right time" to break an agreement even though that will inevitably involve breaking related multilateral (e.g. IAEA) commitments which could invite enforceable UNSC sanctions under widely accepted international law.


Not really. No one had expected the Indian economy to gallop at the pace it is doing now. I myself have been critical of Indian planners not being able to plan well, that is an error on my part. I now think they were unable to see this change in the economy or perhaps react to it fast enough. By the time they saw the complete picture so had the US.

The current drama is the result of this new reality - where India has enough funds to break loose, and, the usual the brain power to make things happen.

India - I feel - missed her chance exactly on J18. In hind sight she should have approached the non-NSG countries quietly and got the job done.

Now she has to wait for a similar "right time". When will that come, I do not know.

I think in the "Casting doubt on Indian nuclear weapon designs and yields" there is some reference to this - capping the capabilty vs. intent, etc.

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Postby Tilak » 24 May 2008 06:55

Left adamant on n-deal, blames government for uranium shortage
May 23rd, 2008 - 10:45 pm

[quote]New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) Asserting that their opposition to the Indo-US civil nuclear deal remains unchanged, India’s Left parties Friday alleged that the government was trying to create a “temporary uranium shortageâ€

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Postby Tilak » 24 May 2008 07:32

Pokhran-III prospects dead on Pokhran-II anniversary?
IANS
Sunday, May 11, 2008 22:19 IST

What difference does it make who signed the Pokhran files? Brajesh Mishra, the powerful former security advisor to then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, revealed a bit too late. There was a time when the Congress must have felt elated to claim making India nuclear. The first Pokhran test (in 1974) was their contribution and Indira Gandhi dared the Americans bravely. Should we be ashamed of it or try to delete that chapter from Indian history just because she happened to be another party's leader?

If Rajiv Gandhi signed the file clearing the way for Pokhran-II and Vajpayee did take the final step successfully, should the fight be on credit or the efforts made for an unanimity on those brave acts to take the nation on the path of Pokhran-III - if ever required?


Indians should develop a habit of feeling elated to see any other Indian succeeding for the cause of the motherland. That way the present United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has done injustice to the Indian cause celebre by refusing to celebrate the Pokhran-II anniversary.

It was certainly a great moment. Indira Gandhi did the first Pokhran blast and while P.V. Narasimha Rao couldn't muster courage after the leak to the Americans and their subsequent pressure, Vajpayee, like Shivaji, did the whole operation in such a grand fashion that all pervasive US satellites failed and the world shook on May 11, 1998, seeing mushroom clouds over the desert of Rajasthan. A peeved and bruised US imposed all sorts of sanctions fooled by the Europeans and the Japanese too. Who cared? We emerged taller and all the sanctions were removed without our applying for it in their durbar.

Remember the days when Americans were refusing super computers and Russians were stopped from providing cryogenic engines? The fuel crisis and the technological components, the essential parts for our nuclear plants and heavy industry and so on so forth. All tactics were used to make us bend on knees and say sorry. India refused.

Our scientists did us proud by producing supercomputer Param in less than half the American cost and as good, if not even better. The spirit of Swadeshi, self reliance and indigenous brilliance was recognised. India asserted its sovereign rights and stood tall in the comity of nations.

But everything has a price, especially to stand firm as a proud people. The cost India gave is certainly high; we have been longing to get the best in hardware for our nuclear plants and heavy industry. Even for our labs and IITs, the supplies got stuck post Pokhran-II and the votaries of signing the 123 agreement with the US put up the same argument - ink the agreement and get all what you need. The crowd crying to sign is the same that advocates beheading the solution for a headache.

A society and a nation doesn't live just on un-interrupted power supplies and peaceful armed forces de-teethed to please some donors. And while donor nations keep on arming and financing our deadly enemies in the neighbourhood sitting pretty on their nuclear godowns, the nice sweet and energy-starved are advised to work on their peaceful purposes.

India did its first explosion in May 1974 and named it 'Smiling Buddha'. That was Indira Gandhi's time and we had a great patriotic scientist in Homi Bhabha. Even that time, those who are aggressively campaigning to cap our nuclear programme were frowning furiously at us and helped Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's 'Islamic bomb' dreams get realised clandestinely.

Now India is surrounded by two unreliable nuclear power states and both of them have been at war with us, both of them have usurped a large part of our land and still clamouring for more. One of them has been singularly responsible for killings of more than 100,000 Indian citizens by way of direct war and proxy-wars through Islamic jihadis in the last three decades.

Apart from these two worthies, we are surrounded by failed states who threaten our security and territorial integrity. If Bangladesh, a 'jihad factory' sends our dead soldiers tied to bamboo poles like animals and exports its extra heads to become our illegal guests, Sri Lankan battle fields have cast a bloody shadow on our domestic politics claiming one prime minister. And look at Nepal. The Red Army rule in Kathmandu means China reaching as close to us as Gorakhpur, and Badrinath.

In this scenario, it is not to suggest that we shall use tiny bits of nuclear explosions to silence the dangers, but having the strength to strike in times of need means having a credible deterrence to frighten the arrogant and mischievous aggressor. Given the past record, it's only India on this planet that can be trusted for using nuclear power for peaceful purpose that includes the purpose to maintain peace and scare the enemy from becoming the first striker.

The nationalists are not blindly opposed to the nuclear deal with the US. In spite of the fact that neither the Clinton years nor the Bush era proved great for bilateral relationship, Clinton pushed us hard to de-nuclearise and for the first time used a ghastly incorrect term - Hindu terrorists - in reference to a terror attack in Chhittisinghpura in Jammu and Kashmir when 35 Sikhs were killed. Bush refused to address our terror wounds by ignoring Pakistan's support to Taliban and entertaining Kashmiri separatists.

Still an India-US friendship is always welcome for the present world scenario where India needs democratic cohesiveness to smoothen its path to economic progress. But it can't be done by sealing our doors and keeping the keys with Washington's mercurial masters.

Friendship doesn't mean complete surrender of our future options to the whims and egos of a nation whose track record doesn't instil confidence to call him an 'all weather ally'. In fact, we need a prime minister who would have the guts to go for Pokhran-III, if need be. And why not? We may wish never ever having to go that way, but that also means wishing that US and other nuclear club members take a complete Gandhian turn and empty their nuclear store houses for ever!!


This government neither represents the nationalist spirit of the Congress' basic identity nor the character of Indian patriotism.

It's a small coterie of people willing to sacrifice greater interests of the nation for smaller gains. Hence should we believe that the tenth and an un-celebrated anniversary of Pokaran-II, fell on the death of the Pokhran-III prospects?

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Postby p_saggu » 24 May 2008 12:55

Tilak wrote:Pokhran-III prospects dead on Pokhran-II anniversary?
IANS
Sunday, May 11, 2008 22:19 IST


Very very precise and hard hitting. :!:

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Postby Prabu » 24 May 2008 15:00

[quote="Tilak"]Pokhran-III prospects dead on Pokhran-II anniversary?
IANS
Sunday, May 11, 2008 22:19 IST

[b]
Excellent article !

also

[u]The communists asked if the shortage of uranium was due to lack of proper planning or “deliberatelyâ€

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Postby Sanatanan » 24 May 2008 16:25

This issue, as to why GoI had not thought of approaching non-NSG countries for import of Nat U well before J1805, has been highlighted in these pages several times now (20 May 2008 by NRao, 21 May 2008 by Neeshant, and 24 May 2008 by NRao)

Here, I attempt to place my "samadhanam" (explanation) for the paradox based on a bit of web crawling.

1) I believe that GoI did not do then, what it is saying it is contemplating to do now (that is, look for Nat U from Non-NSG countries), because it did not see a shortage of Nat U for the PHWR and FBR programmes at all. It did not see a shortage, because there was (and is) no real shortage.

There have been many questions answered in the Parliament by concerned Ministers as to the indigenous availability of sufficient quantity of Nat U for the 3-stage programme.

See document titled "Document 10: Strategy For Growth Of Electrical Energy In India" [http://www.dae.gov.in/publ/doc10/index.htm] in DAE's web site [http://www.dae.gov.in]. (Unfortunately, the document does not seem to carry a dateline, but I believe it to be current.) In the chapter titled " Primary Energy And Its Components " [http://www.dae.gov.in/publ/doc10/pg50.htm], it says:


3.5 Nuclear Energy

As in case of coal, uranium reserves are also given certain categorisation. These are Reasonable Assured Resources (RAR), Estimated Additional Resources-I (EAR-I), Estimated Additional Resources-II (EAR-II) and Speculative Resources (SR). Uranium reserves in India pertaining to categories RAR, EAR-I and EAR-II are estimated to be about 95,000 tonnes of metal. Speculative reserves are over and above this quantity and with further exploration, could become available for nuclear power programme. After accounting for various losses including mining (15%), milling (20%) and fabrication (5%), the net uranium available for power generation is about 61,000 tonnes. Thorium reserves are present in a much larger quantity. Total estimated reserves of monazite in India are about 8 million tonnes (containing about 0.63 million tonnes of thorium metal) occurring in beach and river sands in association with other heavy minerals. Out of nearly 100 deposits of the heavy minerals, at present only 17 deposits containing about ~4 million tonnes of monazite have been identified as exploitable. Mineable reserves are ~70% of identified exploitable resources. Therefore, about 2,25,000 tonnes of thorium metal is available for nuclear power programme.

The present indigenous nuclear power plants are of Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) type, having heavy water as moderator and coolant, and working on the once-through-cycle of natural uranium fuel. Based on such reactors nearly 330 GWe-yr of electricity can be produced from domestic uranium resource. This is equivalent to about 10 GWe installed capacity of PHWRs running at a life-time capacity factor of 80% for 40 years. This uranium on multiple recycling through the route of Fast Breeder Reactors (FBR) has the potential to provide about 42,200 GWe-yr assuming utilisation of 60% of heavy metal, percentage utilisation being an indicative number. Actual value will be have the potential of about 150,000 GWe-yr, which can satisfy our energy needs for a long time. {I have left-in the obvious typo - Sanatanan.}

A three-stage nuclear power programme has been chalked out in the Department of Atomic Energy to systematically exploit all these resources. It is planned to install a nuclear power capacity of about 20 GWe by the year 2020. The second stage of the nuclear power programme envisages building a chain of fast breeder reactors multiplying fissile material inventory along with power production. Approval of the Government for the construction of the first 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) was obtained in September 2003 and it is scheduled for completion in the year 2011. It is envisaged that four more such units will be constructed by the year 2020 as a part of the programme to set up about 20 GWe by the year 2020. Subsequently FBRs will be the mainstay of the nuclear power programme in India. The third stage consists of exploiting country’s vast resources of thorium through the route of fast or thermal critical reactors or the accelerator driven sub-critical reactors (ADS). A 300 MWe Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR), designed to draw about two-third power from thorium fuel, is under development and will provide experience in all aspects of technologies related to thorium fuel cycle. A beginning is being made towards developing an accelerator needed for ADS.

Click on the last menu item captioned "Annex" in the above web page to reach this document titled "Basis for Calculating Growth of Installed Nuclear Capacity". It gives the justification with facts and numbers (along with some math that seems to be beyond me), as to how there is adequate Nat U for our Nuclear Power Programme as envisaged.


The depleted uranium discharged from the PHWRs will be used in the FBRs as initial inventory and as makeup requirements i.e. the difference between the feeds and the discharges. The total cycle inventory would be approximately 130 T per GWe and the annual makeup requirement would be about 1.1 T per GWe. It strictly applies for the INFCE reference oxide design only but has been taken to be applicable for the metal design as well. It may have little effect on the present estimates based on the metal design. Accordingly about 35,750 T of the depleted uranium would be tied up in FBRs. The annual makeup requirement after 2052 would be about 300 T per year, whereas nearly 24,000 T would be the inventory in hand. It would be sufficient for the life time of the FBRs.


2) Mr. Kakodkar has articulated many times that it is only a temporary mismatch between supply and demand that we are facing. If so why constrain our programmes to safeguards in perpetuity? As we have seen many times in the past, pawars that be, tend to create artificial shortage so as to be able to benefit later from it (eg. fairly frequent and sudden disappearance of kanda-batata from the market; manipulated import of wheat even if it is unfit for human consumption; "educated" import of gas-fired power station even if it is known that it cannot be run economically in India etc). Similarly, in the case of Nat U also, the so-called "shortage" was contrived by the political class by starving DAE of funds and by their inability / willingness to counter the arguments / agitations of interested persons and organisations who make a living out of placing unreasonable obstacles in India's technology development efforts.

3) Suddenly protagonists of the deal have decided to use the issue of temporary mismatch in fuel supply to our PHWRs as a strong argument in favour of the deal through obfuscation. For instance Dr M. R Srinivasan, writing in this article titled "Nuclear ground realities" [http://www.indianexpress.com/printerFriendly/289768.html], in the Indian Express, while admitting that:


. . .some complacency seems to have set in, during the early 1990s, on the urgency of opening up new uranium mines. The leadership of DAE may have taken an accountant’s view of the uranium inventory that was continuing to be held.
. . . .
In the post-1990 situation, when India faced a severe economic crisis and public investments in many areas were curtailed, work on the new uranium mines was actually stopped. The improvement in operations of our PHWRs and the resulting increase in demand for uranium appear to have been overlooked. .... . India has about 100,000 tonnes of uranium in the ground. This will be adequate to support 10,000 MW of PHWR capacity over its lifetime {namely 40 years at 80% lifetime average capacity factor at about 29% steam-cycle thermal efficiency - Sanatanan}



also says:


"But the Fast Breeder Reactor capacity of the second stage that can be supported by 10,000 MW of PHWR will still be too small to permit a large-scale use of thorium even after two or three decades. We must have some 30,000 to 50,000 MW of the first stage programme (using natural and enriched uranium) to allow us to exploit the thorium resources in a significant manner.


Quite characteristically he has failed to define (or even indicate by means of a clue) what he means by "in a significant manner"! Even then, he is only pointing out to a scenario in the implementation of transition from 2nd Stage to the 3rd Stage which is quite a few years away at the moment. If I recall correctly, Dr Srinivasan's view was commented upon by Arun_S in these threads some time back (07 Apr 2008) to say that it was not correct.

Now, all and sundry analysts [including the Hawk-Neocon(vert)-Dove], have caught on to Dr Srinivasan's article and are misquoting it to imply that we just do not have Nat U for our PHWRs and the only way out is to sign the sellout and import - period. (Dr. Srinivasan does not stop with just import of fuel, but wants to import LWRs too, lock stock and barrel!)

4) The so-called non-NSG countries who can sell Nat U to India are signatories to the NPT (besides other Treaties between African nations, as has been pointed out in these threads). So they cannot sell Nat U unless India places its reactors under Safeguards. In the pre J1805 time-frame that we are currently talking about, there was no proposal to place any of its India-built PHWRs under the intrusive safeguards inspection. If I recall correctly, to be allowed to export Nat U to India, India would have had to, by the NPT rules, place all of its nuclear facilities under safeguards -- clearly a no-no.

5) I think at best what we can do now is to import Nat U for Rajasthan 2 (RAPP-2), which is already under safeguards (assuming RAPP-1 is a write-off and hence should be tagged for decommissioning to gain valuable experience in that aspect of nuclear power plant operations). I see no merit in irradiating precious atoms of Nat U mined in India, in RAPP-2. By all means re-negotiate the existing RAPP-2 safeguards agreement with IAEA to permit import of Nat U but without having to go through this charade of "civil" vs. "military" separation. Also, renegotiate the 123 Agreement of Tarapur 1&2 to permit India to reprocess the Pu and use it in Tarapur 1&2 or RAPP-2 (in which case some design modifications and fresh AERB approvals might be required). This may also help in establishing bonafides of USA - Trust but Verfy first! And dump this sellout deal.

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Postby Tilak » 24 May 2008 20:54

Left nuclear swipe at PM’s debut era - N-fuel shortage traced to Nineties
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

[quote]New Delhi, May 23: The Left has renewed its opposition to the nuclear deal just when the political temperature has started ticking up again, adding a reference to the finance ministry around the time Manmohan Singh was heading it.

“Our stand remains.… We are not for the operationalisation of the 123 Agreement,â€


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