India nuclear news and discussion

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby sivab » 12 Sep 2008 04:40

http://news.oneindia.in/2008/09/11/123- ... 09457.html

Washington, Sep 11: The following is the text of the statement sent to the United States Congress for approval: I am pleased to transmit to the Congress, pursuant to section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2153) (AEA), the text of a proposed Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of India Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.

I am also pleased to transmit my written determination concerning the Agreement, including my approval of the Agreement and my authorisation to execute the Agreement, and an unclassified Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement (NPAS) concerning the Agreement.

(In accordance with section 123 of the AEA, as amended by title XII of the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-277), a classified annex to the NPAS, prepared by the Secretary of State in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, summarising relevant classified information, will be submitted to the Congress separately). The joint memorandum submitted to me by the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Energy and a letter from the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission stating the views of the Commission are also enclosed.

The proposed Agreement has been negotiated in accordance with the AEA and other applicable law. In my judgment, it meets all applicable statutory requirements except for section 123 a(2) of the AEA, from which I have exempted it as described below.

The proposed Agreement provides a comprehensive framework for US peaceful nuclear cooperation with India. It permits the transfer of information, non-nuclear material, nuclear material, equipment (including reactors) and components for nuclear research and nuclear power production.

It does not permit transfers of any restricted data. Sensitive nuclear technology, heavy-water production technology and production facilities, sensitive nuclear facilities, and major critical components of such facilities may not be transferred under the Agreement unless the Agreement is amended.

The Agreement permits the enrichment of uranium subject to it up to 20 per cent in the isotope 235. It permits reprocessing and other alterations in form or content of nuclear material subject to it; however, in the case of such activities in India, these rights will not come into effect until India establishes a new national reprocessing facility dedicated to reprocessing under IAEA safeguards and both parties agree on arrangements and procedures under which the reprocessing or other alteration in form or content will take place.

In Article 5(6) the Agreement records certain political commitments concerning reliable supply of nuclear fuel given to India Agreement does not, however, transform these political commitments into legally binding commitments because the Agreement, like other US agreements of its type, is intended as a framework agreement.


The Agreement will remain in force for a period of 40 years and will continue in force thereafter for additional periods of 10 years each unless either party gives notice to terminate it 6 months before the end of a period. Moreover, either party has the right to terminate the Agreement prior to its expiration on 1 year's written notice to the other party. A party seeking early termination of the Agreement has the right immediately to cease cooperation under the Agreement, prior to termination, if it determines that a mutually acceptable resolution of outstanding issues cannot be achieved through consultations.

In any case the Agreement, as noted, is a framework or enabling agreement that does not compel any specific nuclear cooperative activity. In the event of termination of the Agreement, key nonproliferation conditions and controls would continue with respect to material and equipment subject to the Agreement.

An extensive discussion of India's civil nuclear program, military nuclear program, and nuclear nonproliferation policies and practices is provided in the Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement (NPAS) and in a classified annex to the NPAS submitted to the Congress separately.


The AEA establishes the requirements for agreements for nuclear cooperation, some of which apply only to non-nuclear-weapon states (see AEA, section 123 a). The AEA incorporates the definition of 'nuclear-weapon state' from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which defines it to mean a state that has manufactured and exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device prior to January 1, 1967.

Therefore India is a non-nuclear-weapon state for NPT and AEA purposes, even though it possesses nuclear weapons. The Agreement satisfies all requirements set forth in section 123 a of the AEA except the requirement of section 123 a(2) that, as a condition of continued US nuclear supply under the Agreement, IAEA safeguards be maintained in India with respect to all nuclear materials in all peaceful nuclear activities within its territory, under its jurisdiction, or carried out under its control anywhere (ie, 'full-scope' or 'comprehensive' safeguards). :?: :roll:

The Henry J Hyde United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act of 2006 (the 'Hyde Act') established authority to exempt the Agreement from the full-scope safeguards requirement of section 123 a.(2) of the AEA, as well as certain other provisions of the AEA relating to supply under such an agreement, provided that the President makes certain determinations and transmits them to the Congress together with a report detailing the basis for the determinations. I have made those determinations, and I am submitting them together with the required report as an enclosure to this transmittal.

Approval of the Agreement, followed by its signature and entry into force, will permit the United States and India to move forward on the US-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative, which Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and I announced on July 18, 2005, and reaffirmed on March 2, 2006. Civil nuclear cooperation between the United States and India pursuant to the Agreement will offer major strategic and economic benefits to both countries, including enhanced energy security, an ability to rely more extensively on an environmentally friendly energy source, greater economic opportunities, and more robust nonproliferation efforts.

The Agreement will reinforce the growing bilateral relationship between two vibrant democracies. The United States is committed to a strategic partnership with India, the Agreement promises to be a major milestone in achieving and sustaining that goal.

In reviewing the proposed Agreement I have considered the views and recommendations of interested agencies. I have determined that its performance will promote, and will not constitute an unreasonable risk to, the common defense and security. Accordingly, I have approved it and I urge that the Congress also approve it this year.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Sanjay M » 12 Sep 2008 04:56

ramana wrote:The waiver cant be revoked at NSG. Recall it has to be by consensus. And after NATO expansion this will be difficult.Yes they can invoke all their Hyde act and what not. But they wont have the force of intl cooperation behind them if they do that.


So if they cannot recall the waiver, then how could even the harshest interpretations of the Hyde Act have any teeth against us?

Sure, we will have gone in for big-ticket reactor deals with the US, with high capital exposure. But eventually, as our energy-unshackled economy picks up, we could go in for a variety of powerplants -- even coal, oil, solar, wind, etc, just as China is doing. This will dilute the threat of any nuclear cutoff. The Sword of Damocles can be dulled.

Meanwhile, as our market grows larger, I'm wondering how this will affect the US hold over Japan? The USA's main hold over Japan is the fact that it's Japan's largest customer, and thus the Japanese are captives of the US market. So the Japanese have always had to do what the Americans tell them to. You could argue that China is a large market too, but it still has much hostility lurking beneath the surface. But in India's case, we are the perfect alternative for the Japanese, to loosen them from the US grasp. We don't have the historical animosities and hangups that the Chinese have, and we don't have the Atlanticist tendencies that the Americans have, which results in their taking Japan for granted.

The Japanese now quietly boast that with their leading edge in solar, fuel cells, wind, etc, they are becoming an energy superpower -- an alternative-energy version of Saudi Arabia.
This will be useful to us in the long run.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Gerard » 12 Sep 2008 04:59


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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Gerard » 12 Sep 2008 05:00


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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Rangudu » 12 Sep 2008 05:13

Good God! A week after the end of apartheid and we are all :(( again about FMCT now?!

India has been for a verifiable FMCT. Not verifiable = no India in FMCT. We all know that verifiable ain't happening with the P-5. There's no real danger here.

As far as fuel supply guarantees, India deserves to get its ass kicked if we believe them. Instead, we need to make our own guarantees by stockpiling on our own. Nothing stops us from doing that. To make things clear:

1. If x is the annual quantity of Uranium needed for all our power plants

2. India can pay ahead and get 3x today. It might even make sense as a hedging strategy against the price increase, given the way the Uranium forward curve looks today.

3. As long as all the 3x Uranium is kept in "safeguarded" facilities, we are okay

Should we test someday, then we have the 3x in the bank to ensure that we have a few years of uninterrupted supply till the tempers cool.

We have all the tools we need to ensure we can get our power and preserve our testing option.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Sanjay M » 12 Sep 2008 05:34

Okay, but what about the ultimate supply assurance -- the thorium program?
What happens to that?

Can we buy thorium-related technology from other countries, under the the waiver?

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Rangudu » 12 Sep 2008 05:47

Thorium is a possible long-term answer. You are not going to risk your house based on a Notes Payable 30 years out.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Arun_S » 12 Sep 2008 05:57

Here is the exact statement:
Q. What about our weapons programme? Would there be any changes?
A. The nuclear doctrine has been enumerated by the previous Vajpayee government and we are strictly adhering to it. We are not enhancing or reducing our programme. We must have a minimum credible nuclear deterrent, so that nobody will attack us with nuclear weapons because they know our retaliation would be unacceptable to them. We are not interested in stockpiling of nuclear weapons or a nuclear arms race. Our overall commitment to nuclear proliferation is there.


And I can't but come to same conclusion as Ramana.
Katare wrote:
ramana wrote:He is clearly stating that it has been capped at levels that the NDA set and we know NDA was just building up when it was not returned to power.

This will be the next set of controversies in India. Looks like left was more realistic than the UPA in the numbers.


Ramana,

I think you are reading it wrong. He is saying that the doctrine is frozen, the scope of it has neither enhanced nor reduced by UPA. They are implementing with the same commitment as envisioned and written in our national nuclear doctrine drafted by NDA govt.


I think we all understand that "doctrine" means "Policy", and "Programm" means a "sequence of activities". The terms doctrine and programme is not used interchangeably anywhere in India or W.Bengal.

The term "Non-Proliferation" means different things to different cultures. During 60' through 70's "Non-Proliferation" debate was primaily centered on "Vertical Non-Proliferation" and capping "Non-Proliferation" by the worst offenders the N-5 who were "vertically proliferating" their stockpile, and concern of nuclear DOOM before being salvage by "Dog".

To the Anglo-saxons today as in 70's they are still driven by need for "Vertical Non-Proliferation", and when they ask India to support "Non-Proliferation" they are NOT asking India help stop "Horizontal Proliferation" that Pakistan and China are Olympic champions, and US, France and UK close runners up. When they ask India to support "Non-Proliferation" they are asking India to help in its own "Vertical Non-Proliferation".

When FM Pranab Mukharjee says stockpiling and "Non-Proliferation" in the same breath, that rings alarm bells in my mind because it refers to classical "Vertical Non-Proliferation" context.
We are not interested in stockpiling of nuclear weapons or a nuclear arms race. Our overall commitment to nuclear proliferation is there.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Sanjay M » 12 Sep 2008 06:03

Rangudu wrote:Thorium is a possible long-term answer. You are not going to risk your house based on a Notes Payable 30 years out.


Well, we can build regular oil and coal plants in parallel to the nuclear plants we build. We'll just design them for high capacity but run them at low capacity, until the day we need them to do more.

There's nothing in the 123 deal that says we can't do that.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Katare » 12 Sep 2008 06:05

Yeah we have a program to make 220 LCA and the new govt has not reduced or enhanced it.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Victor » 12 Sep 2008 06:13

Arun_S wrote:
Q. Now even Pakistan wants a deal like this. What do you have to say?
A. Why should we object if others get it. It is for the international community to decide.


Classical chankian babuspeak. If clean-as-a-cucumber India has so much trouble squeezing though by the skin of its teeth, can you imagine what will happen to karela pakis with all their warts? It's a complete non-starter so there is no need for Pranab babu to state the obvious but it is a great opportunity to sound magnanimous :mrgreen: .

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Sanjay M » 12 Sep 2008 06:15

Rangudu wrote:Good God! A week after the end of apartheid and we are all :(( again about FMCT now?!

India has been for a verifiable FMCT. Not verifiable = no India in FMCT. We all know that verifiable ain't happening with the P-5. There's no real danger here.

As far as fuel supply guarantees, India deserves to get its ass kicked if we believe them. Instead, we need to make our own guarantees by stockpiling on our own. Nothing stops us from doing that. To make things clear:

1. If x is the annual quantity of Uranium needed for all our power plants

2. India can pay ahead and get 3x today. It might even make sense as a hedging strategy against the price increase, given the way the Uranium forward curve looks today.

3. As long as all the 3x Uranium is kept in "safeguarded" facilities, we are okay

Should we test someday, then we have the 3x in the bank to ensure that we have a few years of uninterrupted supply till the tempers cool.

We have all the tools we need to ensure we can get our power and preserve our testing option.



But in the event of a nuclear test, aren't we required to return all the foreign-sourced safeguarded material and equipment? So that's no reserve, then.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby sunilUpa » 12 Sep 2008 06:19

So FM is supposed to publicly declare that we are actively improving our Nuclear prohramme quantitatively and qualitatively? The 'programme' as defined by previous government has not been altered by this govt. either way, that's all he is trying to say.

Atleast that's what I understand. JMT

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Sanjay M » 12 Sep 2008 06:22

Victor wrote:
Arun_S wrote:
Q. Now even Pakistan wants a deal like this. What do you have to say?
A. Why should we object if others get it. It is for the international community to decide.


Classical chankian babuspeak. If clean-as-a-cucumber India has so much trouble squeezing though by the skin of its teeth, can you imagine what will happen to karela pakis with all their warts? It's a complete non-starter so there is no need for Pranab babu to state the obvious but it is a great opportunity to sound magnanimous :mrgreen: .


Litmus test is if the "Ayatollahs" suddenly start clamouring for Pak to be given a similar deal. That will again confirm to me that they aren't real anti-proliferationists, but merely Atlanticists wearing the anti-proliferationist/moralist sheepskin to peddle their slanted geo-political agenda.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Rangudu » 12 Sep 2008 06:24

Sanjay M wrote:But in the event of a nuclear test, aren't we required to return all the foreign-sourced safeguarded material and equipment? So that's no reserve, then.


Yeah, so who will pick up the equipment? The Marines? :roll:

The US has to this day not asked for stuff from Tarapur, dating from 1974.

We get the reserve, we keep the reserve. Anyone trying to take it out can talk to Mr.Agni.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Katare » 12 Sep 2008 06:42

Rangudu wrote:
Sanjay M wrote:But in the event of a nuclear test, aren't we required to return all the foreign-sourced safeguarded material and equipment? So that's no reserve, then.


Yeah, so who will pick up the equipment? The Marines? :roll:

The US has to this day not asked for stuff from Tarapur, dating from 1974.

We get the reserve, we keep the reserve. Anyone trying to take it out can talk to Mr.Agni.


No we are not required to return anything, USA has right to ask for consultations and than give us a one year notice to terminate the deal than pay for all the expanses and compensate the economic losses before it can take anything back. There is no automatic termination clause anywhere, the bilateral agreement with many countries may stand or break in case of our testing depending upon circumstances and interests of individual countries. NSG will have a meeting and it’ll take a consensus decision about continuing the waiver with India.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby svinayak » 12 Sep 2008 06:53

Olympic champions are not happy
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8a6ea2ac-7f4f ... 07658.html
Nuclear India must end its China-bashing

By Joe Leahy

Published: September 10 2008 19:17 | Last updated: September 10 2008 19:17

India’s success last week at the Nuclear Suppliers Group meeting in Vienna unleashed a wave of nationalist chest-beating greater even than a few weeks earlier when Abhinav Bindra, a shooter, became the nation’s first individual to win an Olympic gold medal.

The nation’s cable news channels dropped their usual fare of gory crime stories and political corruption scandals to provide blanket coverage of the intricate negotiations with the NSG, which eventually agreed to lift a global ban on nuclear trade with India, ending the country’s decades of nuclear pariah status.

But the media celebrations had an ugly side – China-bashing. Perceptions that Beijing had tried to block the deal from behind the scenes sparked outrage among commentators, who suspected China was championing the interests of its ally and India’s nuclear-armed rival, Pakistan.

“It is in times of adversity that one learns who one’s friends are,” the Indian Express wrote in a piece lambasting China. The main business daily, The Economic Times, went further. “Slimy dragon wants deal for mother of proliferators,” it said, referring to perceptions that China might call for an NSG waiver for Pakistan as well.

Rather than crowing about getting one up on the Chinese “dragon” and Islamabad, this should be a time of introspection for India. When the celebrations had died down, Mr Bindra’s medal prompted soul-searching on why the world’s second most populous nation had only just won its first individual Olympic gold. So, too, the nuclear deal should set Indians thinking about why their government has taken this long to tackle energy security, probably the country’s most critical long-term strategic challenge.

From the beginning, India’s civilian nuclear deal with the US has been as much about India’s arrival on the geopolitical grand stage as it has been about atomic energy. Not only does the NSG waiver allow India to emerge from the diplomatic nuclear winter stemming from its refusal to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty; it also gives it a seat at the elite club of nations that governs the use of the world’s most powerful technology.

The road to nuclear acceptance has been a long one for India since the deal was first proposed by the US and India in 2005. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had to brave a parliamentary vote of confidence to get the deal past domestic sceptics who believed it would compromise the nation’s sovereignty.

Next followed negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency on safeguards to ensure India’s intentions were peaceful. Then the US applied on India’s behalf to the 45-nation NSG to lift the ban on nuclear trade with New Delhi even though it has not signed the NPT and an agreement banning nuclear tests. Even now, the deal is not fully done. The Bush administration in its dying days must still win congressional approval for the pact.

The deal has been perceived in many quarters as good for India because it has got away without signing the NPT. But critics argue that it is a complex beast that brings India under the sphere of influence of the US in ways that New Delhi could find uncomfortable in the future.

Marie-Carine Lall, a south Asia specialist at the Institute of Education, University of London, argues that there is a dangerous gap between New Delhi and Washington in their views of what the deal means. The US sees it as bringing a maverick India into the non-proliferation framework. It also wants to use India as a counterweight to China and win Indian support for US objectives in the Middle East. India believes the deal will give it access not only to nuclear material and knowhow but also to sensitive technologies beyond the atomic arena. India also wants US support against the Pakistan-China axis, while maintaining independence in foreign policy. Professor Lall says tension may arise if the US tries to use its new nuclear partnership with India to put pressure on New Delhi on issues to do with Iran, for instance.

Despite the deal’s weaknesses, it is not as though India had much choice. India does not produce enough uranium to feed its existing reactors, let alone future capacity, and it imports about three-quarters of its crude oil, mostly from the Middle East. “We are 70 per cent dependent on Gulf oil and we don’t even have strategic reserves,” complained ambassador V.K. Grover, a member of the National Security Advisory Board.

India has been a laggard in securing alternative energy resources overseas. In the past four years, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, the state oil giant, has gone on a shopping spree. But, in countries from Burma to Angola, the Chinese have mostly got there first. The civilian nuclear deal will not solve this problem overnight. Nuclear energy accounts for barely 3 per cent of India’s power capacity now and it will take a generation to increase this to anything meaningful. But it does send a signal that India is finally getting more serious about solving its looming energy security crisis. If the US Congress approves the nuclear deal, India will be able to claim it now has a powerful friend to lend a hand in this quest.

As for China, Yang Jiechi, the foreign minister, declared his surprise at the accusations in the Indian media, saying Beijing played merely a “constructive” role in negotiations at the NSG. After all, why should Beijing be overly concerned about competition over energy from India when at this point, as at the Olympics, it is winning all the gold medals?

joseph.leahy@ftbombay.com

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby amit » 12 Sep 2008 06:57

sunilUpa wrote:So FM is supposed to publicly declare that we are actively improving our Nuclear prohramme quantitatively and qualitatively?



I'm afraid that's exactly what's being expected of the FM.

The logical fallacy (er, I mean non sequitur) of the FM mouthing off jingoistic claims in a press interview about bombs and our nuclear programme just when the NPAs are preparing for a last ditch stand at the US Congress seems to be totally lost.

Also being lost is that that would amount to shooting one's self in the foot right when we're about to cross the finishing line in a marathon.

JMHT

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby ramana » 12 Sep 2008 07:15

He could have said no comment to Sardesai. Its not like he is on Raja Harishchandra's satya peeth!

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Suppiah » 12 Sep 2008 07:21

We better rush to get some reactors because the vendors may not return our calls is these kind of numbers start becoming real..

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home

McCain wants to spend $315billions (that's more than three times the number we are talking about) on nuke stuff.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby amit » 12 Sep 2008 07:31

ramana wrote: Its not like he is on Raja Harishchandra's satya peeth!



We all know Pranab Mukherjee is not Raja Harishchandra - in fact you should talk to some old timers in the West Bengal Congress and see what exactly is the worth of Mr Mukherjee's word. :)

In that case what's the need to treat what he says as gospel truth and the same as a policy statement by the GoI regarding our Nuclear programme?

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Suppiah » 12 Sep 2008 07:38

I see a lot of "I" s in Pranab's interviews. This is exactly what got him into trouble around the time IG got killed, when he made some loose talk of being No.2. It took years of obedient display of loyalty and self effacing behaviour to get to where he is now. Yet he was not found 'safe' to be made President a job where you cant be sacked. Poor guy is now trying to pretend he is making policy. Let us give him that pleasure and ignore it.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby sunilUpa » 12 Sep 2008 07:48

ramana wrote:He could have said no comment to Sardesai. Its not like he is on Raja Harishchandra's satya peeth!


If he did that, how do you think NPA's would have interpreted his silence?

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby amit » 12 Sep 2008 07:55

sunilUpa wrote:
ramana wrote:He could have said no comment to Sardesai. Its not like he is on Raja Harishchandra's satya peeth!


If he did that, how do you think NPA's would have interpreted his silence?


I think considering the circumstances Pranab Da spoke exactly the way any seasoned Indian politician would do.

That is in a sufficiently vague manner so that his comments could be open to various interpretations.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Sanatanan » 12 Sep 2008 09:51

Raj Malhotra Ji (Page 17), wrote:I think that we should quickly enter into bi-lateral deals for nuke reactors so that they can come on stream between 2014-17,lets say:-

4x1000 Russians
3x1000 GE from USA\
3x1650 France

ramana Ji (Page 18), wrote:RM I worked for 15 years in nuke powers industry and dont like GE BWRS for the number of problems they have in plant design. The initial cost is lower than PWRs as the reactor vessel does not operate at high pressure. However to contain the accident products they have to dump the products in the after structure. All power reactors have to do it but due to the steam being generated as opposed to water the dumping is at high frequency. The net effect is to design the buildings to 200 hz(Eqk + high freq loads) while the PWR plants need to be designed for ~ 33hz (eqk loads). So buliding cost go up quite bit. Also the two suppliers you mention also produce PWRs so there will be consistency in the product. True there is nostalgia for GE as they supplied the BWRs for Tarapur.But they are nothing but trouble. One can look at US plants and see how many are GE type BWRs and others. In the end it will be political decision to award the GE contracts. Maybe throw in LCA engines!

Raj Malhotra Ji (Page 18), wrote:I am ignorant of these technical issues. But the point I was making that contract for 10 or so nuclear power plants should be given quickly by negotiated contracts. China I believe has given contracts for 4 plants to US and 4 to France, some to Russians. I think we should do the same, rather than dragging on the negotiations/tender for decades.

Incidently which per you is the best design to import in quantity?

While I am sure that it was never the intent of Raj Malhotra Ji and ramana Ji, the concept that reactors (LWRs, CANDU etc) need to be imported, conveys the impression that, in some manner or the other, Indian plants are inferior. Perhaps there is a powerful lobby in GoI / DAE which feels that Indian PHWRs are inferior when compared to the imported variety. I do not know whether this apprehension is safety-wise or economics-wise or schedule-of-completion-wise. Nevertheless I think this is bad for India from a strategic point of view (I do not mean defence related strategy here; but rather mean strategy for indigenous industrial technology development).

Considering the large amount of man-Million Units of electricity generation and safety evaluation experience India has built up all these years with its own PHWR systems, I would think that for India, in India, the Indian PHWR is the best suited. If speed of construction is the limitation (to meet some inspired Power-Point-projections of electricity needs) then, having taken the first bite of the forbidden fruit on the temptation and goading by the US [and to the consternation of the Government in the forbidden city], she (that is, India) can as well go ahead and eat it in full - namely, subcontract to foreign companies all those items for which the requisite schedules cannot supposedly be met by Indian manufacturers. This might be a cheaper alternative compared to wholesale import on turnkey basis. After all, US, France, Russia, etc are looking for manufacturing orders; can they not be just as well asked to supply only components / equipment as per our designs? Anyway the imported plants would have been safeguarded; so if really required (in order to keep up with the pretences of the recent past), import Nat U for the 'partially-made-abroad' PHWRs and place them under the snoopable category.
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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby ramana » 12 Sep 2008 10:21

I dont think the PHWRs will be supported with fuel.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Raj Malhotra » 12 Sep 2008 10:37

ramana wrote:The waiver cant be revoked at NSG. Recall it has to be by consensus. And after NATO expansion this will be difficult.Yes they can invoke all their Hyde act and what not. But they wont have the force of intl cooperation behind them if they do that.



But I understand there is clause, where it says that if any member states claims voilations then "pending" such consultations, other member states can take action.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Raj Malhotra » 12 Sep 2008 10:48

It has already been made clear in numerous interviews by NPICL that construction must start with lot of Indian content and progressively increase to 80% by the time 6th imported reactor is built. The present guess for indigenous content of imported reactor is 25% of reactor, 40% of turbines/generating equipment and 50% of ancillary plant. The same pattern was adopted for Russian LWR imports.Further I think that 8 (or 5?) indigenous PHWR for 700MW have also been ordered/planned.

Incidentaly my similar question to nuclear gurus, why not just make indigenous PHWRs with imported fuel? What special benefit does imported LW-PWR reactors bring?

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Neela » 12 Sep 2008 11:01

I doubt if the deal would have been passed if it had no business angle to it. That is, importing reactors from France, Russia etc.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Sanatanan » 12 Sep 2008 11:06

ramana Ji wrote:I dont think the PHWRs will be supported with fuel.


I believe at least part of the compulsion for India to get the NSG waiver is to enable import of Nat U for our PHWRs currently said to be starving for fuel. Weren't there recent reports in the media that with the NSG clearance, the 220 MWe PHWRs at Rajasthan [5 & 6 ?] will now be commissioned, and that the power level of the other reactors would be increased pronto? So, I feel there may not be hindrance to import of Nat U for future PHWRs too, as long as they are under safeguards. PHWRs at Rajasthan 1 &2 have been under safeguards for ages now without any issues regarding "safeguardability" or "proliferation resistance" although up to now they have used only indigenous Nat U. As I understand, in future, they will qualify for imported Nat U. Likewise, in the Separation Plan, some of the present India-built PHWRs have been included so as to enable them to use imported Nat U, hence forth.

An argument that I can foresee, against getting just the subcontracted parts from abroad for our future PHWRs and then placing them under safeguards (as indicated by me in my previous post), is one relating to possible compromise of India's PHWR-IPR. But we have anyway agreed to trade away that particular jewel in the case of future FBRs. Also, "family silver" is being sold in the case of India-built PHWRs too which have been identified in the Separation Plan to be under safeguards.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby amit » 12 Sep 2008 11:09

Raj Malhotra wrote:It has already been made clear in numerous interviews by NPICL that construction must start with lot of Indian content and progressively increase to 80% by the time 6th imported reactor is built. The present guess for indigenous content of imported reactor is 25% of reactor, 40% of turbines/generating equipment and 50% of ancillary plant. The same pattern was adopted for Russian LWR imports.Further I think that 8 (or 5?) indigenous PHWR for 700MW have also been ordered/planned.

Incidentaly my similar question to nuclear gurus, why not just make indigenous PHWRs with imported fuel? What special benefit does imported LW-PWR reactors bring?


Malhotra ji,

I'm no guru - and hence may be off track here - but I think there's a funding component involved.

Ideally India would like foreign funding to complement Indian funding for the ramp up of reactors that is being planned.

Foreign funding for mega infra projects - and these civilian plants are at the end of the day are infra projects despite all the strategic connotations - is usually tied to equipment purchases.

Methinks when deals are signed it will be a whole package, institutional funding, equipment, a requisite percentage of indigenization (via potential local partners) and fuel supplies

IMO local reactors programme will run in parallel to foreign reactors programme.

JMT, plse note

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Raj Malhotra » 12 Sep 2008 11:13

The only important reasons which I can think of for import of LWRs:-

Limited capacity to built PHWRs and heavy water plants & intention to build indigenous LWR after learning the tech from imports. This has to imply that "indigenous" LWRs would be cheaper than indigenous PHWRs.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Arun_S » 12 Sep 2008 11:21

Raj Malhotra wrote:Incidentaly my similar question to nuclear gurus, why not just make indigenous PHWRs with imported fuel? What special benefit does imported LW-PWR reactors bring?

Please don't take this cynical banter too seriously:
Electricity from imported reactors is better. Bulbs last longer, children in Leelavati and Kalavati's huts absorb the book better and complete their homework faster. But the more important aspect is that with imported LWR reactors desi/bidesi people who have worked and greased the skid for Nuclear deal to make India a power-full nation get some money-full ROI, and poor Indians become rich faster. Makes love grow between Yindia and USA/Europe/Russia, less need to staff indigenous foreign policy makers when Unkill offers to take that burden, cross dependence and other intangible benefits. Something that electricity from more of the same PHWR reactors leave much to be desired. Ducking for N-bunker.

Jokes apart, the serious answer is the deal was never about economics of electricity, take away LW-PWR reactors and there is no fuel for the engine that drive this deal to move forward.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Sanatanan » 12 Sep 2008 11:22

Raj Malhotra Ji wrote:It has already been made clear in numerous interviews by NPICL that construction must start with lot of Indian content and progressively increase to 80% by the time 6th imported reactor is built. The present guess for indigenous content of imported reactor is 25% of reactor, 40% of turbines/generating equipment and 50% of ancillary plant. The same pattern was adopted for Russian LWR imports.Further I think that 8 (or 5?) indigenous PHWR for 700MW have also been ordered/planned.

I believe that as per various claims made by Goi / DAE, nearly 80% of PHWR components are, even as of now, being manufactured (may be through import of raw matrials such as big forgings etc) in India. So, why start now with an alien imported system (LWR) and then try to indigenise it subsequently?

Incidentaly my similar question to nuclear gurus, why not just make indigenous PHWRs with imported fuel? What special benefit does imported LW-PWR reactors bring?


Yes Sir. I had tried to indicate in my earlier post, this same concept.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Sanatanan » 12 Sep 2008 11:31

Neela Ji wrote:I doubt if the deal would have been passed if it had no business angle to it. That is, importing reactors from France, Russia etc.


Yes. And that is one of the reasons why I look at this deal as a sellout, in the sense, I think, it disadvantages indigenous technology development.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Philip » 12 Sep 2008 12:06

http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnist1. ... iter=mitra

Anatomy of servitude
Chandan Mitra

Either Manmohan Singh believes Indians are the most gullible people on the face of the Earth or his spin doctors have convinced him that repeating a lie a thousand times over will metamorphose into truth. There can be no other explanations for the orchestrated claim of India having wrested a "historic" deal at Vienna, a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group that will allegedly end the country's 34-year-long nuclear isolation, permit unrestricted flow of dual-use technology and also enable import of unlimited quantities of uranium to fuel nuclear power plants. If the Congress Party's propagandists are to be believed, all this will happen even as India retains its right to test nuclear devices and develop its strategic weapons programme. Admittedly, the Government has succeeded in propagating this package of lies through servile sections of the media, thereby sowing seeds of doubt even among those who are convinced that India has supinely pawned its nuclear sovereignty at the altar of non-proliferation Ayatollahs. In return for surrendering its claim to being a nuclear weapons state, all the country has been granted are a few paltry tonnes of uranium, which can be used only under strict international supervision.

For more than three decades, successive Prime Ministers -- Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee -- held the banner of national esteem high, refusing to sign the highly discriminatory Non-Proliferation Treaty and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. They rightly argued that the treaties legitimised the division of countries into nuclear haves and have-nots. Pokhran I in 1974 and, more pertinently, the series of tests conducted during Pokhran II in 1998 decisively proclaimed India's arrival on the world stage as an independent, self-respecting nuclear weapons state. Every Indian walked a few inches taller after May 11, 1998, and the world started to see India in a new light. The nuclear haves were obviously shaken by this development. And thereafter began a long-drawn conspiracy to de-fang India by tempting us with dubious offers of technology. The aim was to make India voluntarily accept the status of a nuclear have-not, get New Delhi to relinquish its Big Power ambitions and revert to nuclear mendicancy. Tragically, the conspiracy has triumphed. India has willingly abandoned its dream; it has decided to settle for second-class status in the world's nuclear club.

The Hyde Act, which was sprung quietly on India in the run-up to the Washington-shepherded Indo-US deal, was bad enough as it contained provisions such as intrusive inspection of nuclear facilities and an annual certificate by the US President that India was a "good boy". Does the occupant of the White House do that with China, Russia, France or Britain? Or even Israel, for that matter? Will he dare do that with "stalwart non-NATO ally" Pakistan, surreptitiously supplied fuel and missile technology by China's surrogate North Korea? As if that patronising grip on our sovereignty was not enough, the NSG, taking an even tougher line, has now imposed multilateral conditionalities, whose slightest violation will invite a stringent response. What that response is apparent from the sanctions imposed on NPT-signatory Iran as soon as it decided to pursue enhanced nuclear ambitions. India is now at the mercy not only of the US but the entire bunch of NSG members whose antipathy was more than apparent during last week's meeting. We shall also be prevented from developing state-of-the-art missile technology. As everybody knows, missiles without nuclear warheads are equivalent to mechanical toys that pre-teens play with. In effect we have agreed to cap our nuclear weapons programme. This is the logical outcome of the NSG-imposed ban on further testing, which India acquiesced in by way of Pranab Mukherjee's Friday statement permanently extending the unilateral moratorium announced by Vajpayee after Pokhran II.

In the aftermath of the NSG meet, India's international stature is in tatters. It was sad to see officials and Ministers virtually grovelling before junior European bureaucrats, shifting and diluting self-declared "red lines" volubly asserted by the Indian Establishment prior to the meeting. The "clean and unconditional" waiver India insisted on getting from NSG was reduced to a joke as New Delhi, in a display of fawning desperation, agreed to a revised draft with added conditions and also appended Mukherjee's statement to the final document. At least our new-found American mentors cannot be accused of hiding the truth. As the leaked Berman letter showed, Manmohan Singh knew all along that the US will not help maintain uninterrupted fuel supplies if India happened to test a device again. But the Prime Minister willfully misled the nation, not adhering to his solemn pronouncements in Parliament.

The nuclear deal has become a saga of deceit and perjury. The world must be wondering what drove the UPA regime to such abject desperation. Even before the murky deal becomes law, India's national prestige has been irreparably compromised. We believed the 21st Century would be India's Century. Having throttled this dream of a billion people and a resurgent nation, the Government is making a mockery of whatever is left of India's honour by claiming the deal marks a "new dawn". Can the forces of deceit and darkness ever herald the dawn, any kind of dawn?

PS:As I said before,from Bhagat Singh to Man Mohan Singh.We have seen such a sorry decline in protecting the nation's interests,as our dearly beloved PM said that he had to "keep his promises" to Bush! If a foreign intel agency like the CIA,wanted an agent inside the PMO,they need not worry,for MMS had been truly conned and converted by Bush and his neo-cons.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby kshirin » 12 Sep 2008 12:20

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NSA_ ... 473585.cms

NSA confirms China's NSG hostility to govt12 Sep 2008, 0440 hrs IST, Rajeev Deshpande,TNN

NEW DELHI: While the Manmohan Singh government and Congress may consider it politik to wink at China's opposition to the nuclear waiver, India's giant neighbour poses a stiff geo-political challenge as it relentlessly seeks to contain and possibly cap the rise of a regional rival on the world map.

During his just-concluded visit, Chinese foreign minister Yang Jeichi had feigned surprise over reports of China trying to scuttle the waiver and the government — though conveying its displeasure in private — has taken the position that Beijing was part of the consensus at the Nuclear Suppliers Group meeting at Vienna.

But there was no such diplomatic niceties at work when National Security Advisor M K Narayanan reported to the Union Cabinet on Thursday that China was virtually the last man standing against India as all other objectors fell in line one by one. It required considerable effort by both New Delhi and Washington to get Beijing to change its position.

What perhaps forced China to withdraw the hand it had so impetuously shown was that it did not want to be seen as the only NSG member styming the waiver which would allow India to re-engage in nuclear cooperation with the rest of the world. Though China's support was never taken for granted, its decision to step out in the open had surprised the government.

The NSA has earlier made known the government's unhappiness with China's role at the NSG and his reporting to the Cabinet only confirmed this assessment. It's now quite clear that foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee's articulation that he would like to go by Yang's denial and China being part of the consensus at NSG is essentially a move to defuse tensions and look ahead.

Congress has also adopted a similar response to questions over whether Sonia Gandhi chose not to meet Yang, saying that the issue was best handled by the foreign ministry. The perils of Chinese double-speak seem to have sunk in even though some commentators had warned that Sonia's visit to Beijing, on the invitation of the Chinese government, for the Olympics could have been avoided.

It was the second time within a year that Sonia visited China where she also met senior Chinese leaders. Apart from her family, she was accompanied by minister of state for external affairs Anand Sharma. It was precisely because of the unpredictability over China's stance at NSG that the visit was seen to be fraught with risk even as Beijing chose to fete Sonia.

After the events at Vienna, it is evident that India will need to be wary of China's moves to keep it confined to a South Asia orbit. Here too, the advocacy of a waiver for Pakistan shows that Beijing feels the need to keep India check-mated in its immediate neighbourhood even as it views a burgeoning India-US partnership as an unwelcome development.

There is a reluctance to allow India, seen by China as a smaller neighbour with scruffy shoes, into the exclusive members only environs of the nuclear club. It spells enhanced rivalry while both nations aver that "the world is big enough for both of us". As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself told colleagues after a meeting with the Chinese leaders last year, the truth of the pudding lies in its eating.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby kshirin » 12 Sep 2008 12:23

India believes fuel assurances are binding
Siddharth Varadarajan

Bush message makes it clear that the U.S. is not legally bound even after the 123 agreement is approved

Sign of U.S. refusal came in answers provided by the State Department
Answers were provided to Congress on January 16 but made public only last week

New Delhi: Finalised in July 2007 after several months of difficult negotiations, the 123 agreement on civil nuclear cooperation with the United States was meant to pave the way for the actual import of nuclear material by India as broadly allowed by the Hyde Act of December 2006 but without any of its encumbrances.
If the Hyde Act embodied restrictions that India found offensive, Indian negotiators sought to create a legal framework for nuclear trade with the U.S. that would ensure two critical objectives: lifetime supply of fuel for any reactors India might import or place under safeguards, and the right to reprocess the spent fuel produced by U.S.-origin facilities.
Early in the negotiations, the Indian side pressed for the legal recognition of India’s rights rather than the mere assertion of a political commitment. And they were satisfied when the U.S. finally agreed to the incorporation of the fuel supply assurances contained in the March 2006 U.S.-India statement. And to upfront reprocessing consent rights with the proviso that these rights would take effect upon the establishment of a new, safeguarded reprocessing facility in India and the conclusion of an agreement on arrangements and procedures within a year of India making a formal request.
So confident was the United Progressive Alliance government of the ‘legal’ sanctity of these fuel assurances that, in its note of September 17, 2007, it told its erstwhile Left partners that “once the 123 agreement is approved by the U.S. Congress, it will become U.S. law, which as the U.S. Constitution expressly provides, ‘shall be the supreme Law of the Land.’ The U.S. commitment for assured fuel supplies for the lifetime of India’s safeguarded reactors should, therefore, be under no doubt.”
The government also argued that Article 5.6(a) of the 123 agreement was tantamount to “a U.S. commitment to amend its domestic laws should any law stand in the way of the U.S. fulfilling these fuel supply obligations.”
In its note of September 24, 2007 to the Left parties, the government amplified on this theme: “By its very nature as an enabling legislation, the Hyde Act is not required to include fuel supply assurances... The 123 agreement, which was negotiated thereafter, included them in toto. This validates our contention that it is the 123 agreement and not the Hyde Act that should be treated as governing the rights and obligations of the parties.”
The first clear sign of the U.S. refusing to treat the fuel assurances as legally binding came in the answers provided by the State Department to queries of the House Foreign Relations Committee (HFRC) about the 123 agreement. These answers were provided to Congress on January 16 but made public only last week.
In question 14, the HFRC asks: “Which of the commitments that the United States made in Article 5 are of a binding legal character? Does the Indian government agree?” The State Department’s reply was: “The question quotes paragraph 6 of Article 5, which contains certain fuel supply assurances that were repeated verbatim from the March 2006 separation plan. These are important Presidential commitments that the U.S. intends to uphold, consistent with U.S. law.”
Though Indian officials saw this answer as an attempt by the U.S. to duck what they saw as legal commitments, they assumed the administration would treat these commitments as legally binding once they had become part of the U.S. law following the passage of the 123 agreement in Congress.
But President Bush’s message clearly states that the U.S. does not believe the fuel supply assurances would become legally binding even after the 123 is approved.
Other answers in the State Department document sought to limit the kind of disruptions which would be covered by the fuel supply assurances to those which occurred due to circumstances beyond India’s control. This ruled out a nuclear detonation, it said, something India contests. But with the latest U.S. interpretation, it is clear that even in the event of disruptions caused by “market disruptions in the global supply of fuel; and the potential failure of an American company to fulfil any fuel supply contracts it may have signed with India” — two scenarios mentioned in the answer to question 15 — India cannot count on legally binding fuel supply assurances.
When the State Department’s answers were made public last week, senior officials warned the government of the urgent need to contest its most damaging interpretations. However, India kept its own counsel because it did not wish to do anything to compromise the campaign for the NSG waiver, which the U.S. was leading. But with the White House now literally rushing to secure legislative approval for the agreement before September 26, the Indian side is discovering that the time for it to press its case might already have run out.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby awagaman » 12 Sep 2008 12:31

The link to this in SV's blog seems not working so here is the full article on China, worth reading in full

China 'overestimated' the strength of India's critics at NSG
'Procedural procrastination' was Chinese strategy to delay India waiver, NSG diplomats say

Siddharth Varadarajan

New Delhi: Disputing official Chinese accounts of Beijing having played a "constructive" role in last week's Nuclear Suppliers Group meeting on India, diplomats from several NSG states say China stood by the handful of countries resisting approval of the India waiver and only backed off when it saw the opposition melt away on the morning of September 6.

At the same time, some diplomats questioned the suggestion that China was out to block the deal, with one European envoy who took part in the three day meeting describing the Chinese interventions in the plenary as "careful and moderate".

In multiple interviews conducted by this reporter with a number of diplomats who took part in the NSG's deliberations, the picture which emerges is one of a cautious Chinese strategy of remaining in the shadows going awry and eventually running aground on the second day of the three-day plenary meeting of the nuclear cartel. If China overestimated the capacity of the six-likeminded countries and Japan to resist the juggernaut of U.S. pressure in the eleventh hour, Beijing, say the diplomats, also erred in underestimating India's ability to hold firm to its demand for an unconditional waiver.

The accounts given by the participants provide a fascinating, if sometimes contradictory, ringside view of Chinese attitudes and actions at the NSG that the diplomats said were driven as much by a desire to condition or even block the India waiver as by resentment at Washington's attempt to change the rules of the international system without due consultation with Beijing.

In the early hours of September 6, India issued a demarche - diplomatese for a formal representation - asking China to back the consensus. The message was delivered by telephone to the Chinese ambassador to India. And after the waiver came through, the Indian government made its displeasure at Beijing's role publicly known as well.

In remarks at a public function in New Delhi on Tuesday, China's foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, said he was "shocked" at reports that his country had stood in the way of the NSG's decision. "Our policy was set from a long time", he said. "I can tell you that we conveyed to India in a certain way our support for the decision, period, before consensus was reached within the NSG".

Mr. Yang's statement was factually correct, in that consensus was established at 11:56 am, Central European Time, and China had already informed India that it was going to approve the waiver as finally tabled at the NSG plenary. But the Chinese decision only came at 1 p.m. China Standard Time, barely four hours before the final bell was sounded on the 45-nation supplier group's extraordinary proceedings.

Earlier on Friday, the unity of the Group of Six spearheading the opposition to the American proposal to allow nuclear commerce with India crumbled when Netherlands and Norway backed off following the incorporation of a reference to the Indian foreign minister's statement on nonproliferation in the waiver text. Switzerland, too, conveyed its assent to the U.S. by 1 a.m. on Saturday. But when the NSG adjourned for the night soon after, Austria, China, Ireland, Japan and New Zealand were still holding out. Tokyo was the first to come on board, followed by Beijing, and then the last three. The fact that the Chinese decision was so late coming is at variance with the idea that its policy had been set "from a long time". Unless, say diplomats, its policy itself was to play for time in the hope that the seven countries would do the heavy lifting. And face the maximum flak, in case the waiver was successfully blocked.

But if that was the strategy, it backfired badly. For even though China was not the only one holding out and was certainly not the last country to back off, it finds itself today standing alone in the dock as far as Indian public opinion and semi-official spin are concerned.

"It is my view that China was hoping the exemption would be delayed to such an extent that India might walk away", a diplomat from one of the G-6 countries told me in an email message. "They did not wish China to be blamed for doing this but hoped the group of six would do it for them. Ultimately, when it became clear that [we] would not block consensus on the exemption, they also made sure that they would not be blamed in any way for holding up progress". The diplomat, who represented his country in last week's NSG meeting, added: "Our group was always wary of China's role, knowing that their interests were very different to ours".

But if the G-6 was "wary" of China, diplomats from other countries say the group actively sought Beijing's help when it became clear on September 4 that the mood within the NSG was largely in favour of granting India the waiver. "The six approached a number of bigger countries", said one diplomat. And though Australia, Canada and Germany refused to be dragged in, China did step forward.

According to the diplomats, China acted in two distinct ways, though at least one of this reporter's sources admitted it was "hard to say what exactly China's strategy was". "The Chinese did maneuvers in a procedural way in order to support the six. But they didn't want to come out in the open. They wanted to remain in the bushes rather than come on to the battlefield", said one diplomat from a European country that backed the waiver with reservations. A G-6 diplomat described this phase as one where the Chinese "offered quiet but clear support for a number of proposals put forward by the like-minded group of six". This support, he said, continued "right up to the last moment". But when it seemed to China that the G-6 was standing resolute, the Chinese delegates also began putting forward amendments and sentences of their own. "They suggested a lot of minor changes to the text during last Friday, seemingly with the intention of delaying progress", the diplomat said.

Though these changes were more often than not unacceptable to India, the diplomats said the Chinese suggestion to include language which might open a door for "other states" (i.e. Pakistan) to seek a similar waiver met with stiff resistance by virtually all NSG members, including the G-6. This idea was a complete non-starter, said one diplomat. Another described it as part of a tactic of "procedural procrastination".

As the evening wore on Friday, the Chinese, by all accounts, grew increasingly impatient. The U.S. was running multiple consultations in parallel steering groups, which were yielding incremental changes in the draft language. After going through an Indian filter, these changes were then taken to the plenary and incorporated into the main text. Either irritated by the slow pace or by the fact that the redrafting process was making serious headway, the Chinese delegation began calling for an adjournment. "During the day, everyone's assessment was that we were going to be deadlocked", said an East European diplomat. "By the time it was apparent that there would be no deadlock, the Chinese started saying they had to wait for instructions from Beijing".

It was at this point, said many diplomats, that the U.S. started paying attention to the Chinese stand. The two countries went into consultation and remained closeted for a long time. One European diplomat recalled a conversation he had with another colleague that night when he was wondering whether he had time to slip outside for dinner. "Oh yes, he said, you have plenty of time. The Chinese are meeting with the Americans, mad that they were not consulted by them earlier and determined to let the U.S. pay the price - it will take at least two hours. We went down to eat, and he was right that several hours passed". It was this diplomat's assessment that the reason China held out for so long was because the U.S had not bothered consulting with it earlier in the day. And that the reason the U.S. delayed doing so was precisely because the Chinese had struck a more moderate tone throughout the day compared to the G-6.

Though the Chinese eventually yielded on the drafting language, they continued to hold out for more time. Most delegates did not find the Chinese plea for an adjournment to be credible. "When we broke at 2 a.m., it was already 8 in the morning in Beijing. There would have been no problem getting the requisite authorization", said a diplomat. Matters were further complicated by a semi-'walk-out' by the Chinese at midnight on September 5. Though some Chinese officials remained in the small consultations run by the U.S. till 01:30 am, its two senior diplomats in the plenary left the main room leaving behind only "a rather junior" official "presumably to pick up the final draft".

"Many delegates felt there was a certain gesture", a west European diplomat said. "It was not clear that it was a walkout, for that would have meant the NSG might have adopted the waiver without their presence. But it was more of a signal that we can't take this for much longer".

Seventy-two hours later, participants remain divided about what exactly China was trying to achieve. If the G-6 diplomats were clear the Chinese were firing from their shoulders, others without a dog in the fight tended not to see China as a country that was blocking consensus. "My sense is that they were balanced, and not in the limelight", said a diplomat from the former Soviet bloc.

"We believe China did not try to block the deal and never wanted to block it alone, although the opposition from the six and others may have suited them well… Certainly it would have been very late in the day for them to block the deal at the last minute given their earlier moderate posture", said a European diplomat who undertook to discuss this reporter's questions with his colleagues in order to get a more accurate assessment. "But that is speculation. We are pretty certain, though, that the Chinese were dissatisfied with the way the issue was handled at the meeting and made it clear in their own way to the U.S… Perhaps they just cooked the U.S. a little to teach them not to neglect China".

Asked whether he agreed with this assessment, one of the G-6 diplomats said no. "It is hard to decipher China's attitude at times, but I would be very certain that their behaviour was based on more than simply a desire to teach the U.S. a lesson not to neglect them," he said.

Either way, Indian officials feel it is significant that when China eventually came on board, it communicated its decision not to the United States but directly to India. The Manmohan Singh government's handling of an awkward situation was correct but firm. But having issued a demarche and secured the NSG waiver, it is important for the country to move on. Beijing -- and New Delhi -- are sure to have come away from this entire episode the wiser, and in diplomacy, that is ultimately what counts.

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Re: India nuclear news and discussion - 6 sep 2008

Postby Sean » 12 Sep 2008 12:51

kshirin wrote:India believes fuel assurances are binding
Siddharth Varadarajan

Bush message makes it clear that the U.S. is not legally bound even after the 123 agreement is approved

When the State Department’s answers were made public last week, senior officials warned the government of the urgent need to contest its most damaging interpretations. However, India kept its own counsel because it did not wish to do anything to compromise the campaign for the NSG waiver, which the U.S. was leading. But with the White House now literally rushing to secure legislative approval for the agreement before September 26, the Indian side is discovering that the time for it to press its case might already have run out.

The price of NSG waiver is purchase of 2 reactors from US at a cost of say $6-10 billion. In the event of a test, and subsequent cut-off in fuel supply, India ends up losing that investment if it is unable to line up alternative sources of fuel. It is not a bad bargain as long as India uses the next 10 years to stockpile natural uranium for its PHWR plants, current and future. The domestic natural uranium can then be used for the FTBR/thorium reactors and the weapons program.

Shouldn't India in its deals with France and Russia insist on ENR technology/equipment to enrich natural uranium? Why not set up a dedicated plant with Russian collobaration to produce enriched uranium for all imported Indian LWR plants?


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