Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Rangudu
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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby Rangudu » 19 Jun 2008 19:44

NRao wrote:Two side to the same coin. This is a Indo-US deal, so entities within these countries are open game – so to speak.

Not quite. The weightage given to any entity should be commensurate with the power that entity has to influence the deal. HK is an elder statesman, but that's about it. If you think his words are Gospel, then what about his peers in India such as K.Subrahmanyam etc.? You are just picking and choosing based on preconceived notions otherwise.

As to your oppositon predating China's - that is a lame argument with all due respect. You opened the conspiracy angle, so the onus is on you to explain a key data point that pokes a hole in your logic. The question is - Why is China opposing this deal if it is really a cap and roll back of India's nuclear program? If you cannot answer it, then there is a hole in your logic.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby ramana » 19 Jun 2008 20:00

Shiv, Why not lobby for India signing to NPT openly and not this morganatic way. And outsource BARC to DoE while shutting down the weapons part . There is no need for them anymore. Maybe that will release the folks and allow them to contribute to the world body of knowledge.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby Gerard » 19 Jun 2008 20:23

There is nothing wrong with joining the Kissinger, Nunn, Perry and Shultz bandwagon as long as you are clear what they are pushing (arms control not disarmament) and what your interests (arms control for others, no disarmament for yourself) are. They wish to work towards the "goal" of a nuclear weapons free world. Well, why not. In the same way you can visit the whorehouse every Friday night with the goal of locating a chaste virgin, you can join the geriatric four in their goal. Just make sure you know the difference between disarmament and arms control and you avoid all arms control treaties until your capability makes them irrelevent.

No FMCT until India has a surplus of weapons grade fissile material.
No CTBT until India has facilities for ICF, simulation and subcritical testing and a proven TN suitable for SLBM MIRV.

Continue to visit the whorehouse while preaching the virtues of chastity. Just make sure you don't take vows of chastity yourself.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby shiv » 19 Jun 2008 20:30

ramana wrote:Shiv, Why not lobby for India signing to NPT openly and not this morganatic way. And outsource BARC to DoE . There is no need for them anymore.


ramana if that is what you wanted why didn't you say so?

May I respectfully point out that I still have no opinion on the deal, but, just for the heck of it, I am asking questions about why the deal is a bad idea. And yours is one response to that question.

Personally, it appears to me that the case against the deal is about as weak as the case for the deal.

This is what the arguments seem to be:

From 1974 to the present time India has been under some nuclear sanctions or the other and has been unable to get what it wanted in terms of supplies - especially fissile material for power generation.

Suddenly India and the US agree to do a deal. The deal is advertised in India as a deal that will give us fissile material AND allow us to test.

The US brings us a deal that gives us fissile material and allows us to test but..

The "but" is important. The deal will give us fissile material alright, and it cannot stop us from testing. But it will cut off supplies of fissile material for civilian reactors.

Now this lays open several possibilities:
1) We say balls to the deal

2) We sign the deal and start negotiating. Since it will take 10 years or more to set up any new reactors we have a 10 year grace period when we can test and say "balls to your deal". We lose little.

3) We sign the deal, we negotiate and we fail to test even for 10 years and eventually have several reactors working on imported fuel. Maybe this will be 15 years from now. If we then decide to test - we are going to face the very situation predicted by all the people opposing the deal.

4) We get on with the deal and get reactors (same as 3) but we don't test for 20 to 25 years. By that time our parallel fast breeder program will hopefully have bred something usable, and our own Uranium production will have picked up. We may then be in a position to test and ditch the deal anyway.

The choice is between burning our bridges right away by ditching the deal now, or giving ourselves the choice of ditching the deal in the next ten years - before we get too dependent on any imported fuel and reactors.

After all, we know the Kaangress will not ditch the deal. Let the BJP ditch the deal if it is a national necessity, or the left if they are elected. Even if we sign, we will have IMO at least ten years to test (and ditch the deal) before we start losing more and more by testing. As a nation - we waited 10 years from 1964 to test once and waited another 24 years to test again. Even without the deal we are going to say "We are free to test" but we will not test.

Signing the deal forces us into a window of commitment. That "window of commitment" is a period when we will be hit hard if we test. If we test before that window the deal is off. If we test after that window - we have our (yellow) cake and eat it too. It's a gamble - but we can come up winners if we win that gamble.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby enqyoobOLD » 19 Jun 2008 20:49

COOL!!! :mrgreen: Dung-fight Alert! 8)

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby ramana » 19 Jun 2008 20:53

Shiv, Fair enough. And no N^3 wont entertain you.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby John Snow » 19 Jun 2008 21:22

enqyoob wrote:COOL!!! :mrgreen: Dung-fight Alert! 8)



I hear from havens (Avakashvani) tanpura in tune with Narayan, Narayan, Narayan!!
:wink: :eek:

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby Karan Dixit » 19 Jun 2008 21:31

There is nothing permanent including IAEA safeguards. After 20 years of adequate fuel supply, we will have much stronger economy, military and agriculture to deal with IAEA and NSG. It is all about might is right. There is no court out there that will enforce these treaties. International disputes are settled by might. US and any other country or organization can and will twist the words used in any treaty. There is no point sweating over it as long as we have injected the right words and it seems like we have.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby enqyoobOLD » 19 Jun 2008 21:43

I was just thinking about the irony of this statement:
we know the Kaangress will not ditch the deal. Let the BJP ditch the deal if it is a national necessity


Note that INC is (WAS) the party of Mrs.G, and BJP is direct descendant of the Jana-Sangh-vamsh. In the 1970s, the former was the Russia Party and the latter the Amreeka party. Are things REALLY that different now (replace Russia with China, OK..)????

So on a historically-relevant time scale, there is really no Party difference here. And frankly I don't think the ability of the core technical ppl to hammer some iota of sense into the political netaship has changed that much either.

IOW, if it's good enough for Lalooji, it's good enuf for me. :mrgreen:

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby Gerard » 19 Jun 2008 22:09

Karan Dixit wrote:There is nothing permanent including IAEA safeguards.


Agreed.

An India as powerful as Japan is now would be free to test.

Japan, because of their economic and technological power, has as a NNWS managed to obtain US enrichment, reprocessing and reactor technology. It bleats incessantly about non-proliferation while building up the largest Plutonium stockpile outside of the two former cold war superpowers. Its ICF and supercomputer facilities allow it to design advanced TN warheads.

While it builds all cryogenic heavy launch vehicles it has also built a 3 stage 2.5 m diameter, all solid fueled SLV. Very curious choice for a nation that already possesses large cryo stages.

While its very constitution forbids it to have armed forces, it has formidable land, sea and air power with a navy probably second only to the US in capability.

The day Japan says a big sayonara to the NPT, the rest of the world will have to shout 'banzai' and pass around cigars to the expectant thermonuclear father because nobody will be able to do a damn thing otherwise.

Now India isn't Japan... and as Shiv likes to point out, if your aunty has cojones she would be your uncle. But who are the big bad countries that will punish India in twenty years time?

The crucial thing is to ensure that no capping occurs now, agreement or no agreement, because an India that is technologically hobbled at this stage is unlikely to achieve breakout capability in the future.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby Prabu » 20 Jun 2008 00:33

Karan Dixit wrote:I used to be in favor of the deal but then I started reading posts on BRF and that confused this villager big time. Man Mohan Singh (the most powerful Indian) himself has assured in the parliament that the deal will not compromise India's strategic program. What more do we need?

Is Man Mohan Singh lying? If the answer is yes, what is his motive for lying to the country?


Karanji, Namaskar !
The answer is we really don't know !! ( may be many BRfites want to say "perhaps YES ")
But see these indicators :

1) The NUKE Deal has been kept highly secretive rioght from the beginnig.
2) GOI dont want any parlimentary discusiion or JPC probe even on a major deal like this which will have a great implication on our strategic program, soverignity, uranium dependance, with US declared intentions being cap, and roll back weopens program !
3) Congress Govt keeps redeucing the budget ofr nuke depts, and purposefully kept key depts starving ! ( right from PVN period !)
4) GOI dont want to counter the Hyde act with our internal laws ( if teh govt is rally interested in enrgy independace then it should bloddy well do it , instead they create a HUGE enrgy dependance !)
5) GOI dont want to show the IAEA TEXT, even to its coalition partner ! ! The NSG is NOT going to be a cake walk ! for sure ! any one who knows uncle and our history knows this vey well.( Like our N_Rao garu used to ask, WHY Uncle has got so much Love towards India ? )
We are signing a back door NPT and FMCT with safe guards in perpetuity !
6) GOI obeyed uncles instructions in axing senior congress stalwart Mr.Natwar singh , on poorvolker commitee report, who was the key man behind J, 18 statement (which gave equal status like US! ) ( Where as now we are signing as NNWS with partial enrichment rights, even that is to be negotiated separately ! It is again shifting of goal posts from FULL nuclear co-operation ! agreed in J 18 ! )
7) Why many serving scientists have mecome MUTE now ?? foremr NSA of Mrs.Ghandhi is against the deal !
8)Why GOI agrees to toe an American line of thinking in independant foreign policy decisions ? what the heck Iran got to do with civil nucelear deal with uncle ? Whayhappend to our long cherished policies of NAM ?
9) Why all tyhe uranium exploration has been slowed down and US lobbys was allowed to grow strongly oppsing new mines !! ( uncle sponsored organisations !)
10) Last but NOT the least why honourable MMS , wants to sign the the deal, even at the cost of his own Govt , when majority of Nation is opposing it ???

Now tell me what do you think ? What these actions indicates ?

Ank think why so much opposition is there for this deal even from some admins, if it is a clear deal, just to help India ? I am sure if we arrange a VOTE here in BRF forum, (after freezing the creation of new accounts for a day or two) I am sure majority will vote aginst the deal !
Thorium is the key !
Till we reach there exploite all other resources for power generation ! Exploe URANIUM in FULL SWING ! Involve private participation in all possible power generation, mining etc !

Supress objections to Desi uranium mining with Iron hands ! instead of supressing patriatic Desi VIEWS on opposing the deal ! Give clear instructions to officials and scientists and give thenm free hand to act !! They can do wonders , without this TRAP deal !

My humble view !
Last edited by Prabu on 20 Jun 2008 01:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby Sanatanan » 20 Jun 2008 00:51

shiv wrote:
What if the nuclear deal is signed - say in 3 months time.

What will happen to India (as a consequence of the deal) in

1) 10 years
2) 20 years
3) 50 years


I take the above comment to be an invitation to look into the future.

Accordingly, here is my science fiction. I hope it will function as a not-to-be-taken-seriously diversion from the head-going-ly serious discussion that is taking place in these threads on what ails India since July 18, 2005, symptoms of the disease, diagnosis, prognosis and possible cures.

Chapter 1 Near term:

In view of the "water-tight" separation required by the US / NSG / IAEA -

1.1) Any incumbent holding "two-in-one" post in BHAVINI as well as in Nuclear Power Corporation (NPCIL), would lose half his/her job (since PFBR would be in the military list at least in the early days, while NPCIL would be civilian).

1.2) "Civil personnel" who are at present living in residences that commingle with those of the "military personnel" may get eviction notices and might face relocation with its attendant (at least temporary) discomforts.

1.3) If there are any wife / husband pairs working in the atomic energy organizations, where one of them is employed in a military facility, then they too may face prospects of separation {there may even be restrictions on any form of communication between them!!) unless both can be accommodated in either any civilian or any military facility, or one of them chooses to give up his/her career.

Chapter 2 Medium term:

2.1) President Bush's prediction that 90% or more of Indian nuclear facilities would come under the safeguards regime, might turn out to be correct. 700 MWe PHWR projects might be placed in the civilian list to facilitate importation of materials / parts / systems. In all probability, imported CANDU ACRs would get preference over Indian 700 MWe PHWRs. This may be in addition to the import of 10 x 1000 MWe LWRs envisaged.

Chapter 3 Long Term:

3.1) The electric grid is not associated in any way with the separation plan. Keeping this in view, one can foresee Energy Intensive Industry Parks (E2IP) may be located, close to -- but not in the same campus as -- Nuclear Electricity Generation Parks where the imported reactors would be located and supply electricity to the grid. This will reduce transmission / theft loses in the electrical energy input to E2IP from the grid.

Now, what industries may the E2IPs house? Noting that E2IPs will be categorized as strategic, not subject to safeguards, here is a possible list:

a) Spent Fuel reprocessing plant(s).

b) U enrichment plant(s) co-located with [a] above - some of these could be used to re-enrich U235 from spent PHWR fuel (after reprocessing), back to Nat U levels. Get the last drop of juice, as it were, from Indian Nat U. May be other isotopic separation plants as well.

c) ADS systems for incineration of radioactive wastes from spent fuel (I presume that these are energy intensive).

d) Metallurgical industries (for both nuclear and non-nuclear applications) that require humongous amounts of energy input - just a few examples could be:

-- manufacture of high quality, large-size ingots of conventional and exotic alloy steels (maraging steel? CVAR / ESR quality products?), aluminum alloys etc.;

-- large size castings and forgings (how about super heavy duty artillery gun-barrels, if there are such things?);

-- large machine shops;

-- the list could be endless.

e) Heavy water plants.

f) Some samaj kalyan by way of desalination of sea water although this activity by itself would not qualify for being called "military". In addition, plants could also be set up to extract from the sea water, valuable elements such as Deuterium, Uranium, Vanadium, Cobalt and etc.

When there is an abundance of energy (not necessarily the cheapest), many things can be done that could not be done up to now.

3.2) It is possible that in about 10 to 15 years from now first criticality of the first AHWR that is presently at the design stage may be achieved. Even here one could foresee competition from the Canadian Thorium burner / breeder. Dr P.K Iyengar's article Nuclear power and the Indo-US nuclear deal gives an interesting insight:


Light-water reactors from the US are not the only option. Recently the head of AECL in Canada has issued a statement (published by PTI) which talks of modified Candu reactors which will use MOX fuel involving plutonium and thorium and thus introduce thorium in the fuel cycle earlier than fast breeder reactors – an old concept similar to our Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) but utilizing the same hardware of CANDU which will make it most economical. He has also welcomed cooperation in introducing it in India since we have established reprocessing and MOX fuel making facilities long ago some fifteen years. We should grab such opportunities because we have demonstrated successful cooperation with them. It will also free us from the hold of enrichment cartels that can hold us to ransom in the future.


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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby ramana » 20 Jun 2008 00:52

Prabhuji, Maybe he knows the true capabilities and hence is doing this to save India.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby Prabu » 20 Jun 2008 01:09

ramana wrote:Prabhuji, Maybe he knows the true capabilities and hence is doing this to save India.


Ramanaji, Thanks for your reply. If it is really so, I will be happiest person in this BR forum, Uncle is not a fool to give a clean NSG clearance and make India to go to France and Russia !
Anyway but time will reveal and we will know soon !

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby Prabu » 20 Jun 2008 01:16

enqyoob wrote:Exactly why again are ppl here so :(( :(( about the deal moving ahead? I must have missed that discussion.. 8) Last I checked, even Shri L.K. Advani was in favor of it..


Yes, but NOT in the current form ! He wants to insulate from the bad effects of the Hyde act and re nogotiate as a NWS ! :D

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby enqyoobOLD » 20 Jun 2008 01:23

This is like listening to speeches from Vidyarthi Corner (where all the "perpetual students" like VM Sudheeran, Oommen Chandy etc. perpetually came to dazzle students who stayed out of classes):

WhatISHappeningInVietnam?WhatIsHappeningInCambodia?, Or...
VietnaminenthuSambhavikkunooooooooo - CambooooodiayilenthuSambhavikkunooooooooo..?

Trouble is, I had no clue then where Vietnam or Cambodia were, and I have no clue what is in the NSG deal or MMS-SG minds now. :((

As for LKA negotiating as NWS, I suppose that will be successful any time now... as soon as the Ayodhya Case is settled. Just another 2,000,000,000 years or so.. :mrgreen:

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby John Snow » 20 Jun 2008 01:46

Anyway but time will reveal and we will know soon !


No Know from GOI only thru Congressional Records in Spin city or Hearings. The good thing in dealing with unkil at least he keeps his public informed most of the time, err except in Prez Dubya rule!

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby ramana » 20 Jun 2008 01:47

just a ungentle reminder of Shiv's guidelines and they apply to all.

shiv wrote:I thought it best to put the old thread away and move on.

No personal attacks on anyone please under the general guideline that everyone is a jackass, a traitor and an incompetent liar including GOI, armed forces and all Indians and everyone who posts on here - so repeating that accusation is pointless. We put away this point as a "given" and state opinions. Everyone's opinion is brahma satya and equal. Nobody gets more or less points for his opinion and there is no sense is breaking one's head trying to bash down an opinion that is contrary to one's own belief.

I am not sure if it was coincidence that ramana asked about cognitive dissonance. Even on an issue such as this any information that is contrary to long held views can cause the anger of cognitive dissonance - so please - let us try and follow a guideline that is followed in a very civilized list that I subscribe to: "Assume goodwill"

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby putnanja » 20 Jun 2008 01:51

Nothing privileged about draft safeguards text, say officials

New Delhi: There is no diplomatic or protocol-related obstacle to the draft safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency being made public, senior government officials have told The Hindu.

On Wednesday, the Left parties complained that the draft text “has not been made available” to the United Progressive Alliance-Left committee on Indo-U.S. civil nuclear cooperation. Noting that this ran counter to the understanding last November that the outcome of India’s talks with the IAEA would be presented to the committee “for its consideration before it finalises its findings” on the nuclear deal, the Left said that “in such a situation” it was firmly of the opinion that the government should not proceed to seek approval of the draft text from the IAEA’s Board of Governors.

Though it has shared a summary of the draft’s formulations, the government has so far expressed its unwillingness to part with the actual text on the plea that it would violate diplomatic protocol. On its part, the Left too had not pressed this point, mainly because its stated objections to the deal are of a political rather than “technical” nature.

But now that the Left has upped the ante by seeking the text, the government is examining the consequences of releasing the draft and appears to be not entirely averse to the idea. “I think there is no real problem in us doing so,” a senior official said on Thursday.

While the IAEA Secretariat is bound by a specified procedure and cannot release the draft to the public or to members of the Board without express sanction from New Delhi, the government is bound only by the rules it chooses to make for itself.

Until now, some officials had argued that the “early” release of the text could give the non-proliferation lobby in the West extra time to agitate against the specific language India had inserted to protect its right to take “corrective measures” if its safeguarded reactors ever faced a fuel supply disruption.

These lobbies have already warned members of the IAEA Board and the Nuclear Suppliers Group that any reference to “corrective measures” would violate the letter and spirit of the safeguards regime. They have also suggested that India might try to use the safeguards agreement to establish a distinct status for the indigenous reactors it has agreed to safeguard, making them subject to inspections only when they use foreign fuel rather than in perpetuity.

With the process of Board approval expected to take at least one month, however, officials now feel India has nothing to lose by allowing western non-proliferation activists a few extra weeks to sharpen their knives.

At the same time, senior officials have reservations about the utility of sharing the text with the Left when the latter’s objections to the deal were not about the nitty-gritty of safeguards but the principle of nuclear cooperation with the U.S. “At the end of the day, I don’t think [making it public] is really going to resolve the issue,” an official said.


Indo-French nuclear accord ‘technically ready’

Hyderabad: French Ambassador Jerome Bonnafont declared here on Thursday that a bilateral agreement between France and India on civilian nuclear energy cooperation was “technically ready” and it could be signed as soon as the IAEA safeguards pact was okayed and the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group granted exemption.

In an interview to The Hindu, he said it was France which “originated” the idea in 1998 that there was need for a specific status for India as far as civilian nuclear energy cooperation was concerned.

The set of agreements that India was discussing with the IAEA, NSG, France, Russia and the U.S. was the direct consequence of “this conviction of ours” that as India was a responsible nuclear power (even if it is not a member of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), there had to be a special regime for it to have sustainable development.

“We are in favour of the IAEA agreement if India decides to do so, to enter into force.” France had repeatedly said that it was in favour of NSG exemption for India.
“Win-win situation”

Mr. Bonnafont said it was impossible to have an agreement without IAEA nod and NSG exemption as it was against international law. “We believe that it is not up to us to talk for India, but if we look at our experience of civilian nuclear energy, the decisions we have made had enhanced our sovereignty, increased our energy independence and at the same time put us in the best position in Europe to fight climate change. We believe it is a win-win situation for India and the world to go in that direction.”

Describing the relations between India and France as excellent, he said it was “very old friendship” that had developed into a strategic partnership, which meant that France and India shared the same view of what the world should become.

On bilateral trade, he was optimistic of meeting the target of doubling the existing two-way trade of more than 6 billion euros to 12 billion euros by 2012 as envisaged by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Mr. Bonnafont described the joint building of Scorpene submarine as a flagship project that involved technology transfer, cooperation from company-to-company and strategic vision of relationship.

On the education front, he said France planned to triple in the next few years the number of students visiting it from 1,000 to 1,500 at present.
Consulates

Two more French consulates would be opened by the end of the year — in Bangalore and Kolkata. The Bangalore consulate would cover both Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, he said.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby Rye » 20 Jun 2008 01:59

Prabu wrote:
Yes, but NOT in the current form ! He wants to insulate from the bad effects of the Hyde act and re nogotiate as a NWS !


Problem is that the above naive claim that India can negotiate itself into a NWS state ignores the rest of the actors involved in the arms control regime. This is not a two-party game with just India and the US -- the value of 123 to the P-5 is that India will now not be a killjoy in stopping them from pushing various treaties to tackle the problem of non state actors getting the knowledge/capability to fields WMDs. That is not a bad idea as long as India carefully avoids being roped into any arms control nonsense, even if the rest of the NNWS tie themselves down further.

NWS is a wet dream given our current capabilities, and in order to realistically BE a NWS (whether we are called NNWS or subordinate-Chaiwala is irrelevant) India needs to bootstrap itself to that position using whatever means necessary.

JMTs

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby ramana » 20 Jun 2008 02:02

Gerard wrote:A DISARMING INITIATIVE
we should avoid putting ourselves in a position where our strong espousal of elimination generates pressure on us to take some intermediate steps, such as signing the CTBT and declaring a moratorium voluntarily on the production of fissile material as a gauge of our genuine commitment to a nuclear-weapon-free world.

Elimination of nuclear weapons will prove a proposition practically impossible to implement, given the inordinately complex nature of the issue. Ultimately it will get limited to an arms-control and non-proliferation agenda. We should neither get locked into arms-control arrangements prematurely nor allow ourselves to be subject to tighter nonproliferation restrictions applicable to NNWS. Our rhetoric on elimination should not compromise the substance of our as-yet-incomplete deterrent.


Full text.

A DISARMING INITIATIVE
- Where should India position itself on the elimination issue?
Kanwal Sibal


Indian Army personnel at the nuclear test site in Pokhran, 1998
The elimination of nuclear weapons has resurfaced as a proposition after four former American secretaries of state and defence — George Schulz, Henry Kissinger, William Perry and Samuel Nunn — mentioned this possibility in newspaper articles in January 2007 and earlier this year. The previous British foreign minister and the Norwegian foreign minister welcomed this initiative. Senators McCain and Obama, the two American presidential candidates, have endorsed it, raising hopes that the idea of elimination may make some headway with the new administration in the United States of America. It is a dramatic demonstration of the US’s soft power that it can present for serious global discussion simply through op-ed pieces themes it had itself firmly rejected previously as impractical and illusory.

The skeptics, naturally, probe the hidden agenda of these quintessential cold warriors now espousing a radical agenda associated with fantasy-driven peaceniks. Is it that it is easier to make a bid to go down in history after retirement? Realpolitik dictated their thinking and actions when in power; the same realpolitik, it is suspected, dictates the proposed agenda.

Is it because they recognize the need for change in the American approach to the badly handled security and non-proliferation agenda? The US has been weakened politically, morally, economically and even militarily by the reckless policies of the neo-conservatives. The collapse of the Soviet Union persuaded them that history had come to an end with this triumph of Western political and economic values over communist ideology. With no countervailing power left, they set about reshaping the world according to their wishes, attempting to consolidate their strategic advantage over others durably, with accompanying doctrines like that of regime change.

The arms control agenda with Russia was dropped and the anti-ballistic missile treaty was abrogated. A Nato expansion eastwards began, and this policy continues despite Russian objections. September 11, 2001 traumatized the US, strengthening the proclivities of the administration to act unilaterally to protect US interests. The invasion of Iraq epitomized the neo-conservative agenda in its counter-proliferation, regime change, democracy promotion, pro-Israeli and hydrocarbon dimensions.

Iraq has been a quagmire, decisively shattering US unipolar ambitions. Afghanistan is in turmoil with the resuscitation of the Taliban threat, demonstrating again that the US cannot handle such problems alone. The combat against terrorism requires, in any case, collective international action to be successful. North Korea’s decision to repudiate the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and its announcement that it had tested and now possesses nuclear weapons have shown the US’s incapacity to deal with this problem on its own and the critical need to obtain China’s cooperation. Iran’s defiance of the international community on the uranium enrichment issue has also proved the limits of the US’s counter-proliferation doctrines and policies of regime change. If Iran cannot eventually be deterred from mastering the technology and accumulating the ingredients to make nuclear weapons, while legally staying within the NPT provisions, the danger of the NPT regime collapsing would be real.

As it is, the NPT regime is in serious trouble. It was extended permanently without amendment in 1995 through high-pressure tactics by the US and other Western nuclear weapon states (NWS). The non-nuclear weapon states (NNWS) increasingly accuse the NWS of not honouring their part of the grand bargain by not fulfilling their obligations under Article 6 to move towards nuclear disarmament while, at the same time, demanding that the NNWS submit themselves to ever more stringent non-proliferation conditions for obtaining entitled civilian nuclear energy cooperation under the treaty. The earlier Iraqi case and now the Iranian case have mobilized the US and others to seek a tightening of the safeguards regime of the International Atomic Energy Authority and, more important, propose denying to the NNWS not already possessing such facilities, the right to set up national facilities to manufacture nuclear fuel.

Both the US and Russia advocate the creation of multilateral facilities to provide nuclear fuel to those countries desirous to build nuclear power reactors. With the oil and gas prices shooting up to unaffordable heights and with shortages looming ahead, besides climate change reasons strongly favouring clean energy, many countries, even those rich in hydrocarbons, have ambitions to develop nuclear grids, raising concerns about runaway proliferation in the years ahead.

Work in the conference on disarmament in Geneva is effectively at a standstill since many years because of unresolved differences over the negotiating agendas. The US presses for negotiations on the fissile material control treaty to begin, but without any verification provisions, which is opposed by many, including India. The Chinese have blocked these negotiations, linking them to those on the issue of weaponization of outer space, which the US opposes. China fears the vulnerability of its nuclear deterrent to the American space-based weaponry, which is precisely the area of the US’s superiority.

The comprehensive test ban treaty has not come into force so far because some critical states like the US and China have not ratified it. The US has periodically spoken about developing new nuclear weapons. Russia is developing new missiles and submarines to penetrate US ballistic missile defences so that the deterrent value of its nuclear panoply can be preserved. China, too, is developing upgraded intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarines to bolster its deterrent. Neither the US nor Russia is ready to support moves in favour of no-first-use of nuclear weapons as a confidence-building measure, or removing hundreds of weapons still on hair-trigger alert on both sides.

So, where does the new initiative to eliminate nuclear weapons fit in? In actual fact, at the bilateral US-Russia level, mutually assured destruction remains the operative security framework despite the end of the Cold War. Russia suspects that the elimination initiative is a ploy by the US to perpetuate its military domination because of its overwhelming conventional superiority. Russia foresees the possibility of further reductions in the nuclear arsenals of the two principal nuclear powers, but is very skeptical about the possibility of total elimination. Because 95 per cent of the existing nuclear weapons are in the hands of the US and Russia, it is recognized that the other three NWS will not join the process even of reductions, much less elimination, unless there are further substantial cuts in the American and Russian arsenals. The first need therefore is to revive the US-Russia arms-control agenda.

Where should India position itself on the elimination issue? In 1988, India had presented a comprehensive proposal for a nuclear-weapon-free, non-violent world at the United Nations. India as a NNWS had reason and self-interest to propose such a plan. As a NWS now, although not officially recognized as such, its approach has to be different. In the background of the 1988 plan, we would be keen to have our ideas vindicated, but we should avoid putting ourselves in a position where our strong espousal of elimination generates pressure on us to take some intermediate steps, such as signing the CTBT and declaring a moratorium voluntarily on the production of fissile material as a gauge of our genuine commitment to a nuclear-weapon-free world.

Elimination of nuclear weapons will prove a proposition practically impossible to implement, given the inordinately complex nature of the issue. Ultimately it will get limited to an arms-control and non-proliferation agenda. We should neither get locked into arms-control arrangements prematurely nor allow ourselves to be subject to tighter nonproliferation restrictions applicable to NNWS. Our rhetoric on elimination should not compromise the substance of our as-yet-incomplete deterrent.

The author is former foreign secretary of India Sibalkanwal@gmail.com



So debate is going on internally in India between the experts with KS(Bhishma) on one side and other KS-Kanwal Sibal on the other side on the four authors' disarmament op-eds.

K Sibal was also Ambassodor in DC and knows the realpoliticks over there.

---------
This seeing NPA behind everymove even when its strategic is a non-sequitor. Look for quo bono before screaming NPA. That does not mean the NPA are not there but there are others too hiding in the bushes.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby ramana » 20 Jun 2008 02:19

Rye, You are right. A lot has to be done before that happens. A begining would be to have a technology and national security short course at the IITs for the politicians and general public. There is an urgent need to develop expertise outside the IAS folks and inside India. Maybe the original five IITs + IISC get together with the National Defence College in Delhi and develop modules so that there are regional centers that can quickly bring more people up to speed.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby enqyoobOLD » 20 Jun 2008 02:21

What's wrong with showing the full text of the agreement to elected representatives of the people - BUT under the same Classified Info rules as any other citizen?

They can decide whether to agree or oppose then, and they cannot say that they haven't seen the text. But they shouldn't be free to blurt it out.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby ramana » 20 Jun 2008 02:24

N^3 they plan to release it soon. Apparently the IAEA needs Indian permisson to release the text and India needs only its decision. From Hindu.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby Sridhar » 20 Jun 2008 03:30

Something that has been troubling me about this whole debate. Most former AEC chairmen and the current chairman all seem to agree that the deal is, despite reservations, worth pursuing. What explains this?

a. that they signed on to a different deal and this one is worse than what they were ok with. If so, why aren't they speaking against the modified deal now?
b. that they are also stooges of the US and/or China. If so, we don't really deserve to dream of preserving any strategic independence.
c. there is something else that makes the deal attractive on balance, despite things that are wrong with it. If so, what are these? Are these factors things that we have been seeing in the public sphere or is it something in the background? If so, why are they in the background and what are the consequences of that?
d. that they have bought into the "Economics first" story of MMS. If so, why? They did not buy into it all these years, so why now?

Any answers/speculations?

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby ramana » 20 Jun 2008 04:01

Resisted the bon mot.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby satyarthi » 20 Jun 2008 04:44

Sridhar,

Your questions have been asked in earlier avatars of this thread. But unfortunately there is not much that can be said. GOI has decided to not only keep the public in the dark, it has also kept main opposition out of the loop.

It is indeed remarkable that many influential voices including Dr. Kalam have come out in support of the deal. But what do they know which can't be shared with the BJP? I recall Advani had said that before considering supporting the deal BJP wants to be assured that whatever it had enacted during the NDA regime is intact. Evidently MMS couldn't or wouldn't assure him of that.

Best option from my point of view:
Let elections be called now. Whichever govt comes to power, can decide to sign the deal. If BJP comes to power and feels everything is alright, it can sign the deal and give due credit to MMS.

At present, I am extremely apprehensive of entering into such deals without having a broad national consensus.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby Sridhar » 20 Jun 2008 05:07

I agree that we should not go into a deal that does not have broad political consensus. The communists have always been spoilers at best and outright traitors at worst. But at least the major mainstream national-level parties have always had overall consensus on issues of such significance throughout our history. That system seems to have broken down and in such circumstances, it is not proper to commit the country to a deal with so many consequences. That said, I am still not clear why the scientists have signed on to the deal if it is so bad and constrains us so much.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby satyarthi » 20 Jun 2008 05:38

Sridhar wrote:I am still not clear why the scientists have signed on to the deal if it is so bad and constrains us so much.

Sridhar,
That question is on many minds. There are two possibilities:

1. As you mentioned, there may be a hidden aspect of the deal which makes it attractive to the scientists. Which may also explain dogged opposition to the deal from China (through its proxies in India). If true, then there may be a net benefit in the deal, but somehow powers that be, think, maintaining secrecy is important.

Even then it still leaves the bothersome question as to why BJP hasn't bought into it, or why BJP hasn't been brought on board by sharing of information.

2. The deal is very finely balanced like a cylindrical container filled with water exactly till the midpoint mark.

Optimists will see the glass half full and support the deal, pessimists will see it half empty and oppose it. Such a finely balanced deal also implies that in the long term India will have to pay commensurate price for every gain made through the deal. It won't be an outright net benefit. Optimists of course will see a "possible" net benefit in the future, while pessimists can continue to see a net loss in the future.

Without further info, it is hard to judge which of these is true.
Last edited by satyarthi on 20 Jun 2008 05:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby ShauryaT » 20 Jun 2008 05:44

Gerard wrote:The day Japan says a big sayonara to the NPT, the rest of the world will have to shout 'banzai' and pass around cigars to the expectant thermonuclear father because nobody will be able to do a damn thing otherwise.


[/quote]Japan will come out of its shell, only and only if a REAL alternative to the only hyper power combined with its allied base exists, in the form of Asian nations with a common value system. We are a long way off from that goal.

The strategic reduction of Japan, is a perfect example of what not to do, if you seek to retain your strategic independence. Japan may have tremendous capabilities but is unable to use these capabilities to further its interests. The resultant "influence" of Japan in the world order is visible to all. The second most powerful economy of the world, is nowhere close to the same corresponding rank, in strategic power.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby rocky » 20 Jun 2008 05:47

Sridhar, there is another angle to this problem, however. Most former AEC Chairmen have said something to the effect that translates to the fact that they don't oppose the deal. Kalam did the same thing.

What is it that this deal brings to India, that we already don't have, or really need badly? Nobody has answered this question so far.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby Gerard » 20 Jun 2008 05:51

The second most powerful economy of the world, is nowhere close to the same corresponding rank, in strategic power


Yet Japan's core interests are accommodated by the international system. It doesn't have to throw its military weight around. It doesn't have to brandish nukes. It retains those options however.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby enqyoobOLD » 20 Jun 2008 06:12

Any answers/speculations?


If you go back several millions of posts, and could dig out the arguments on BRF following the revelation of the 123 agreement text, you will see that all the concerns were quite thoroughly answered.

So the question to ask is: Why is BRF so negative on the deal? Answer is that the people who took the trouble to read, and argue and point out the fallacies in the opponents' arguments, are tired, know that the opponents know the truth, and that it makes absolutely no difference.

OF COURSE, those opposing it are doing so out of deep concern and honest, thoughtfully objective reasoning with ABSOLUTELY nooooo political bias or narrow, petty party hatreds. 8) :mrgreen:

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby John Snow » 20 Jun 2008 06:30

The economist(ry) PM one day asked his under seceretary Mr. Nimboo Pani, what do you think is the cost benefit ratio of funding this BARC and Anu Shakthi.
So Nimbu pani Yes Minister good question after all these years we are still slow breeding fuel !

Good point Nimbu pani, but the Aaj Kal ka problem jo hai is economy is growing fast inspite of my best efforts and coalition partners CPM. I can only do that much to revert to Hindu rate but we rushing along into christain rate of growth which is 8% and above, we need power right away, and now a days power grows out of barrel (of oil) we dont have that, so the only powerful nation is unkil land, this is big problem no?

Yes Minister, but what if we slowly close down BARC anyway, oops sorry Sirji rightsize BARC/AEC and use that funds to import new reactors there wont be much chain reaction at AEC, they have not much to show except some bums, even those are not really that maha bum according to unkil himself, the most experienced in bums!

So what is your point Nimboo pani?
Yes minister I think by going 123 and counting, we can easily right size our bums to fit our missiles which can easily reach Lahore, and that is good enough. No more missiles no more bums, all that budget is bachhat.

Brilliant Nimbo Pani, that is it then we will truly be a party of Gandhi, and I can get Nobel , peace to the world.
The covergence of Economics, Welfare, Warfare, and Glory.
Lets sign
Yes Minister better LTI, If anything goes wrong we can back track! If they ever middle finger us!
You are a genius Nimbo Pani no wonder you are a Oxphard graduate!
Nimbo pani to himself !hey Ram hope the PM was not finger printed on arrival at Kennedy air port!

Jai Hind

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby satyarthi » 20 Jun 2008 06:46

enqyoob,

It is not party-loyalty or politics per se. It is a conservative reflex against an unknown. It is a normal conservative response to keep shiny things appearing deep in a hole at a safe distance until you make sure they are gems and not the eyes of a cobra.
Last edited by satyarthi on 20 Jun 2008 07:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby shiv » 20 Jun 2008 06:50

John Snow wrote:The economist(ry) PM one day asked his under seceretary Mr. Nimboo Pani, what do you think is the cost benefit ratio of funding this BARC and Anu Shakthi.
So Nimbu pani Yes Minister good question after all these years we are still slow breeding fuel !

Good point Nimbu pani, but the Aaj Kal ka problem jo hai is economy is growing fast inspite of my best efforts and coalition partners CPM. I can only do that much to revert to Hindu rate but we rushing along into christain rate of growth which is 8% and above, we need power right away, and now a days power grows out of barrel (of oil) we dont have that, so the only powerful nation is unkil land, this is big problem no?

Yes Minister, but what if we slowly close down BARC anyway, and use that funds to import new reactors there wont be much chain reaction at AEC, they have not much to show except some bums, even those are not really that maha bum according unkil himself, the most experienced in bums!

So what is your point Nimboo pani?
Yes minister I think by going 123 we can easily right size our bums to fit our missiles which easily reach Lahore, and that is good enough. No more missiles no more bums, all that budget is bachhat.

Brilliant Nimbo Pani, that we will truly be a party of Gandhi, and I can get Nobel , peace to the world.
The covergence Economics, Welfare, Warfare, and Glory.
Lets sign
Yes Minister better LTI, If anything goes wrong we can back track! If they ever middle finger us!
You are a genius Nimbo Pani no wonder you are a Oxphard graduate!
hey Ram hope the PM was not finger printed on arrival at Kennedy air port!

Jai Hind


OK these are good arguments being made in favor of the deal.

Of course the Prime Minister of India is being lampooned in satire here , and while I pause for a breath while laughing, may I point out the irony?

We may live in India or outside India but we have the freedom to laugh, laugh at ourselves and others and be happy - because we are a happy people.

But note the lengths the happy people living in the land of freedom and advanced bums have to go to hide identities, use code words and and generally ensure that their words are not traceable back to them via Google when they have to speak of the heavy secrets that land of freedom carries? And direct lampooning of the el Prejidente Bush is a strict no no. Unkil's version of CBI is like Unkil's bums. Far reaching and powerful. Even the letter F comes later than the letter C - and so is more advanced "latest" technology

Maybe if India too made life difficult for people with a sense of humor, India would also get advanced technology? But happy people are happy to follow double standards and have humor about politicos in happy countries and avoid that about politicos in free countries.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby nkumar » 20 Jun 2008 07:07

Regarding Obama amendment not mentioned in the Hyde, sraj has already posted how it is embedded into Hyde. I posted the same article in the previous version of the thread.

US-China agreement explicitly recognizes the irrrelevance of domestic laws and thus shielding their agreement the Hyde type agreement.

Article 2(1) of US-China agreement says -
The parties shall cooperate in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in accordance with the provisions of this agreement. Each party shall implement this agreement in accordance with its respective applicable treaties, national laws, regulations and license requirements concerning the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The parties recognize, with respect to the observance of this agreement, the principle of international law that provides that a party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty.

The highlighted sentence is missing from the US-India 123 agreement. This has been highlighted many times before but if some folks believe that Hyde is not worth the paper it is written, then it becomes irrelevant to discuss it.

I see a quote from nkumar above:

strategic reserve has been carefully negated by obama amendment to Hyde. This is highlighted in the last 2 articles that I posted.


That's not what the deal(s) say. They do seem to say that the international agreements do not plan to PROVIDE TO THE GOI much more fuel than is reasonably explained by need to keep CIVILIAN reactors running.


This is what the article 5(6)(b)(iii) of 123 says -
The United States will support an Indian effort to develop a strategic reserve of nuclear fuel to guard against any disruption of supply over the lifetime of India's reactors.


I fail to understand how can the US support India in developing a strategic reserve of nuclear fuel when US is bound by Hyde. It will be great to see if Obama helps India in developing that strategic reserve to negate his own amendment to the Hyde Act! (assuming he becomes President).

Anyway, I hope whatever happens, happens in India's interest. No more posts from me on the deal.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby shiv » 20 Jun 2008 07:28

The "Obama" amendment, which is not specifically called the "Obama" amendment anywhere in any deal signed or to be signed is wholly consistent with the goals set forth in the 123 which India was happy with, and whose text was available long before Hyde.

Article 2.2.e of 123
2.2.e. Development of a strategic reserve of nuclear fuel to guard against any
disruption of supply over the lifetime of India’s reactors;


Article 9 of 123
ARTICLE 9 – PEACEFUL USE
Nuclear material, equipment and components transferred pursuant to this Agreement and
nuclear material and by-product material used in or produced through the use of any
nuclear material, equipment, and components so transferred shall not be used by the
recipient Party for any nuclear explosive device, for research on or development of any
nuclear explosive device or for any military purpose.


The article attributed to Obama: (Hyde act)

Section 103 b(10)Ensure that any nuclear power reactor fuel reserve
provided to the Government of India for use in safeguarded ci-
vilian nuclear facilities should be commensurate with reason-
able reactor operating requirements.


The implication is clear. India must not be given the opportunity to cheat and divert nuclear fuel for use in a military program. Why is the insertion of this clause causing any discomfort? Was someone planning to cheat after agreeing to the above two clauses of 123?

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby sraj » 20 Jun 2008 07:44

Sridhar wrote:Something that has been troubling me about this whole debate. Most former AEC chairmen and the current chairman all seem to agree that the deal is, despite reservations, worth pursuing. What explains this?
...................
Any answers/speculations?

PKI is vocally against the deal.
HN Sethna was against, and has now become neutral.
R Chidambaram has not said much one way or the other.
MR Srinivasan is supporting it vocally.
Anil Kakodkar would need to resign before he could publicly oppose GoI in this respect.

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Re: Indian Nuke News & Discussion Thread-June 18 2008

Postby enqyoobOLD » 20 Jun 2008 07:53

The thing that the agreements will not say, yet is the critical deal-making item, is that foreign fuel is being guaranteed to run Indian CIVILIAN reactors.

It is up to India to find fuel to run the MILITARY (I mean non-existent) reactors. This is where the SEPARATION between civilian and military becomes essential. So to supply fuel to the CIVILIAN side, the NSG incl. US must assure themselves that the fuel THEY PROVIDE is not used to make bums. Not even after they are reprocessed.

The important feature of the agreement, and what has changed after so many decades, is that they are willing to make this deal and supply fuel and technology for the civilian program, while turning a blind eye to the Indian military nuclear program. Don't expect SUPPORT for India's military nuke program from anyone - no nation supports or admires the military nuke program of another nation in public, except in the case of US-UQ and PRC-TSP.

Now India also agreed to bring several current reactors into the "safeguarded" civilian network. This means that they are also eligible to receive foreign fuel. They don't HAVE to use foreign fuel, but since the safeguards apply, if Indian fuel is used, that fuel is haraam for military purposes thereafter.

The NPAs yelled themselves hoarse that this arrangement means that now India can use 100% of domestic uranium production in the military program if India so wishes. But they failed AFAIK to put any clauses in, that did anything to hinder India doing so. Hyde paid some lip service to their concerns. Obama may take it further if he becomes President. For that matter, McCain may just order the B-2s to bomb all Indian nuclear facilities.

If India tests, then the NSG will feel extreme pressure at home to cut off all nuke cooperation with India. Whether this results in a cut-off of this of that, depends on the perception of interests, and pressures, by the particular NSG nations at that time. But I think this issue is better left quietly as far as possible.

If national security demands it, India will test. There will be costs, maybe. Or maybe not, if the US agrees (since the NSG will mostly do what the US says) that the test was necessary. Or if the NSG is so deeply invested in manufacturing etc. inside India that sanctions will hurt them too much.

In any event, yelling that no nuclear agreement is possible unless the world explicitly says: "India, please test, we all want to watch", is rather counterproductive, to put it mildly.

Concern in the Indian establishment is understandable. For the first time, there is going to be a "civilian" vs "military" nuke program, instead of one BARC running everything. So there will be new ppl with phoren affiliations stomping all over the civilian facilities, making bigger bucks than the loyal civil servants and scientists of the govt. nuclear facilities. No doubt there will be severe resentment. Soon there will also be a "whoosh" sound as many of them fly away to take up lucrative posts in the new companies. The military program will have trouble recruiting and keeping the best, until they hike the benefits to world class levels.

Change is very unsettling.


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