narayanan wrote:Rajesh, the right response to show our displeasure may be something like this:
1. Announce deal with Russia for 4 more reactors at Koodamkulam (that leaves only 36 more under what would have been the Civilian Nuke Deal)
2. Announce massive plan for investment in solar, wind and hydroelectric power, but announce formation of the Greater Asia Renewables Group (GARG), with membership limited to those nations which will conclude bilateral civilian nuclear energy and technology cooperation agreements with India under the terms of the IAEA agreement already formulated, but modified to reflect the terms applicable to a Nuclear Weapon State (like, see China IAEA agreement).
IOW, any nation that does not agree gets cut out of all energy-related contracts with India, period. No turbines, no instruments, no solar cells, no wind turbine blade, no nothing. The US may or may not join, since the US at least claims to have tried to bring about an improvement, depending on what the WHOTUS believes the COTUS will agree.
This way, Hyde becomes moot, the NSG should be ignored and allowed to collapse under the weight of its own baggage, and India should use those hajaar Billions of $$ that would have been spent on nuke energy, on renewables. Meanwhile, India will also freely trade nuclear materials with anyone India pleases to trade with - Lok Sabha should pass such a law right away.
3. Then start concluding bilateral agreements, as a weapon power, but completely independent of the NSG. At this point I think there will be more takers - first Russia, then maybe CHINA... then the rest will fall in place swiftly. Israel, Brazil, Venezuela, Vietnam.
Are they going to put "sanctions" on India for developing Renewable energy? Or for trading nuclear-related components outside the NPT? On what basis?
So now the issue becomes whether these nations want to deny nuclear cooperation to India so badly that they are willing to forego a fast-paced, lucrative development in Renewable Energy in the second decade of the 21st century.
I am a huuuge supporter of Renewables, so I would not really like to sound critical of your proposals here. I think the proposal is definitely creative. However as is tradition, every well-meant proposal first needs to be criticized and taken apart, because only a proposal which can hold up to rape and abuse, can make it to the finishing line and discussion table.
We Indians are like that onlee, you know. So I will try to do a little beta testing here.
The first criticism of any proposal sounds like, "There is nothing new in this, Yaar. Waatt a waste of time!". I'll break with this convention and state, that I do find much new in what you propose.
There are certain doubts:
1. You are saying we get our safeguards agreement with IAEA modified to better reflect us as a state with nuclear weapons. In fact the safeguards agreement should be similar to the ones NWSs have. For that we need a majority of 17 in the BoG. Our friends in the BoG will of course support us. However the names of these friends is a closely guarded state secret.
2. On the one hand, you call it Greater Asia group, on the other, they are all bound to nuclear deal with India. Country-specific rules do not enhance credence of a multilateral organization.
3. When we talk of Renewables, big projects are usually Hydel Power Stations, where the biggest investment is related to dam construction, which though challenging, is not really a question of high-tech. There are Indian Companies, which are up to the task. Giving foreign companies the contracts for these dams, would only be harmful to the local suppliers, especially as in the end, only a few Hydel Projects really get off the ground, and most remain bogged down due to concerns for environment and displacement of people. Wind Farms would probably be decided by State Govts, and they will go through the usual tender system. Solar Energy is used locally at the point of consumption. What I am saying is, it is an open market. Big projects will be far between. No real expensive high-tech is required. We have a local industry to think about. The inducements to foreign countries are minimal
. That is my intuition. I may be overlooking something.
4. It will not be the Central Govt. which will allot huge projects to some contractor, but would rather make money available to State Govts to plan their own projects or initiate their own programs of subventions for solar energy, etc. They will again get some local contractor or even foreign to undertake the project. The local companies might buy some components from abroad. I don't see any form of cartel being established here.
5. Russia could undertake those extra Koodamkulam projects, but would it be ready to go further than that. Why would any country want to go against the NSG consensus? We have nuclear station requirements, which no country is willing to fulfill. The question remains, does it pay for any country to go against NSG just for Indian nuclear contracts. This can happen only if that country (Russia) develops a new strategic outlook on its own and is in a position to withstand NSG pressure and blackmail. Putin has been unwilling to push India's case at the NSG and has often claimed powerlessness unless NSG changes its mind.
6. I did not understand how and for what Russia, China, Israel, Brazil, Venezuela, Vietnam will fall in place. If it is recognizing us as a nuclear weapons power, de-facto we are already one, and every body knows that. That is not the issue. The issue is the sanctions on nuclear and dual-use tech, and nuclear fuel for India by the major suppliers.
IMO, The Renewables Project does not ensure anything near to critical mass of temptations for NSG to break ranks.
However Narayanan Ji,
plz don't let my points of criticism discourage you. These are noble and creative ideas on your part.