Indian Nuclear News & Discussion - 25 Jul 2007

ramana
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Indian Nuclear News & Discussion - 25 Jul 2007

Postby ramana » 26 Jul 2007 00:01

Wow this thread got to page 8 in 3 days !! I have split it peeling with it the last ~30 posts for continuity.
Link to previous Thread:
Jai Hind-Arun_S {Admin hat on}
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vsudhir wrote:
John Snow wrote:Walker is no good talker, who is Peter Iyengar?

Is walker an evaglist who converts people?


Walker's talkers are full of bloopers.

He refers to the 1998 N-tests as India's first, for one. Hard 2 take his spiel seriously after blatancies like that.


1974 was a PNE.

Try to get beyond the mis-statements. There is a message or a version of the events.

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Postby bala » 26 Jul 2007 00:57

The nuclear deal and a Russian initiative

By becoming a partner in Russia’s Angarsk fuel services project, India could have assured supply for its imported as well as indigenous safeguarded reactors. the Global Nuclear Power Infrastructure (GNPI), a Russian initiative mooted by President Vladimir Putin in January 2006. An important element of the GNPI is the establishment of a network of International Nuclear Fu el Cycle Centres (INFCCs) to provide services including enrichment, under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The first one will be the International Uranium Enrichment Centre (IUEC) at Angarsk in the Irkutsk region of southeastern Siberia, based at the enrichment plant there called the Angarsk Electrolysis Chemical Complex. Russia has volunteered to put the complex under IAEA safeguards towards establishing it as a multilaterally operated pilot project for enrichment services.

Conceived in the backdrop of Russia’s negotiations with Iran in the context of its controversial nuclear programme — Tehran, however, rejected the idea — Mr. Putin, by proposing it as a global utility, would seem to have perceived that his initiative could benefit other countries that lacked enrichment capability and, in general, have positive implications for the global nuclear revival that is very much evident today. In fact, using the vast natural uranium reserves of Kazakhstan, Russia hopes to increase its share in the world nuclear fuel market from the current six per cent to 25 per cent.

President Bush had invited India to become a GNEP partner but not as a “supplierâ€

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Postby Rye » 26 Jul 2007 01:36

Indian Express Link

Op-ed by Mr. Kasturirangan, former head of ISRO

‘123 Agreement preserves India’s right to reprocess spent fuel... should set at rest concerns of political & scientific communities’

Posted online: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 at 0000 hrs IST


The finalisation of the 123 Agreement between India and the United States marks the culmination of a two year intense effort to structurally transform the relationship between the two countries. Though the finer details of the agreement are still not clear, it appears that most of the outstanding issues have been resolved. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President George W. Bush have shown extraordinary courage of conviction in going ahead with the historic accord in spite of innumerable obstacles in their domestic constituencies. This entire process was made possible because of the initiative taken by the former prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who in a joint statement with President Bush in 2001 expressed the intention to cooperate in areas of energy and space.

Since the joint statement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Bush on June 18, 2005, the progress on the deal has had its share of ups and downs. With different constituencies in both countries working hard to sabotage the deal, there was always the real possibility that it would fall by the wayside. Nuclear power has civilian, strategic and geo-political elements built into it. The two-line statement by Vajpayee and Bush in 2001 had to be converted into a full-fledged technically, politically, and legally binding 123 Agreement. This has taken place largely due to efforts made over the last two years.

From the available news reports, India’s right to test nuclear weapons, guarantees of lifetime fuel supply and India’s right to reprocess the spent fuel have all been covered in the finalised agreement. This should set at rest any concerns raised by the political and scientific communities in India. It should also allay public fears about US intentions with respect to the Indian nuclear programme. Given the constraints of international non-proliferation regimes, the finalisation of the 123 Agreement provides concrete evidence of US resolve to deliver on the promises it made in the joint statement.

India has been one of the pioneering countries in applications of nuclear technology for power production. However, in spite of nearly five decades of effort in this area, the share of nuclear power in the energy mix of the country is less than 3 per cent. Amongst the 30 countries in the world that use nuclear power, India’s rank at 27 is one of the lowest. The circumstances that have led to this state of affairs are a matter of historical record.

India’s economic growth rate of 8 to 9 per cent in its GDP would require a significant enhancement of its power production. Fossil fuel and hydro-based power will certainly remain important components in India’s energy mix. However, they are not without their share of problems. Global warming considerations and the immediate availability of clean coal technologies may constrain the coal route at least in the short term. Hydropower may also face constraints that arise from changes in the hydrological cycle triggered by long term climatic change.

In view of these factors, retaining a fairly large component of nuclear power in its energy portfolio is crucial for preserving India’s energy security. The 123 Agreement promises to enhance the role of nuclear power in several ways in the Indian energy mix that would not have been possible earlier. A major benefit arising out of the nuclear deal would be a significant easing of the uranium shortage in the country. This will ensure that current plants of the Department of Atomic Energy that are placed under safeguards will be able to operate without any shortfalls in fuel supply leading to an improvement in their plant load factors.

A second, slightly longer term, benefit is that new imported plants can be set up by Indian companies in partnership with foreign companies. These plants can be much larger, ranging in size from 1,000 MWe to 1,600 MWe. Since nuclear plants enjoy significant economies of scale, larger plants will be able to produce power much more cheaply than smaller plants and make them more competitive with electricity produced from coal or natural gas.

Private investment, including FDI, will also ease the financial burden on the government. More efficient public private partnerships could also guarantee quality power at affordable prices. The private sector and foreign investment would also strengthen the industrial base in the country in the nuclear area.

These considerations are very important for decision-makers in India. If for some naive and sentimental reason, Indian decision-makers say ‘no’ to the agreement then they must also decide how they will produce 20,000 MWe of nuclear power by the year 2020 as envisaged by the current plans of the Department of Atomic Energy. With the 123 Agreement, however, it is possible that the share of nuclear power in the energy mix can comfortably reach 20,000 MWe by 2020. With wise planning and enabling legislation this target can also be easily exceeded. There is no doubt that saying ‘yes’ to the deal is important for the future of the Indian nuclear power industry.

While preserving and even growing the nuclear option is vital for India’s future energy security, nuclear power still has to compete with other sources in terms of economic costs. There are many well researched international studies that make these comparisons. However, there is a paucity of such sound techno-economic analyses of these various options in the Indian context. This sometimes makes it difficult for us to choose wisely.

One issue that should be of special concern to India from a perusal of the many international studies relates to the economics of reprocessing. International opinion on the economics of reprocessing is divided. There is no doubt that in an increasingly market driven world, costs and benefits should dictate the choice of whether one should reprocess or not. Reprocessing, therefore, would depend upon the price of uranium, the costs of setting up and operating a reprocessing plant, the benefits that one would get by selling or using the fuel and the savings from waste disposal. It is not an ideological or political issue but an economic issue and should be dealt with as such.

The 123 Agreement preserves India’s right to reprocess the spent fuel from civilian reactors producing commercial power. While this retains India’s options to reprocess the spent fuel this right should not transform itself into a mandatory policy that forces reprocessing on commercial entities that do not consider it economically viable to reprocess the spent fuel.

The signing of the 123 Agreement with the US is the first step in a fairly long process that requires various measures to be taken in order to transform the potential raised by the deal into tangible benefits for the country. The first and most important requirement is to follow up the 123 accord with the speedy and quick completion of the negotiations with the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (lAEA). The US inking its agreement with India should facilitate speedy resolution of any potential problems that could arise during these negotiations.

In order to facilitate the process of setting up new nuclear reactors within the country suitable changes in the legal regimes should be quickly made. The Indian Atomic Energy Act has to be amended in order to promote private participation in the nuclear power industry. This is a matter of some urgency.

While there are a number of Indian studies on the economics of electricity from various sources, there are still no independent evaluations of the overall economics of the Indian nuclear energy programme. There is absolutely no doubt that scientists from the Indian atomic energy establishment have carried out pathbreaking and pioneering work in creating the existing nuclear infrastructure and industrial capability in the country. The successful commissioning of many plants including the recent 500 MWe pressurised heavy water reactor (PWHR) is testimony to the outstanding calibre of our nuclear scientists and technologists. These achievements have been realised under the most stringent international sanction regimes against any country. These scientists have also contributed significantly to the successful conclusion of the 123 Agreement by taking a very principled stand on various issues that have enabled India to negotiate successfully with the US.

India’s three phase nuclear power programme that draws heavily on the large thorium base in the country is an important strategic option for the country. This option should be protected, safeguarded and strengthened even as we go ahead and open up the Indian nuclear industry to foreign collaboration with Indian companies. This is the core science and technology capability that should be protected.

If the nuclear programme expands in a big way in India and if India becomes a nuclear technology hub for the global nuclear industry, there is a major requirement for research, development and education in the nuclear arena. Currently there are hardly any institutions imparting specialised education and training in the various nuclear science and engineering disciplines. A major crash programme with suitable incentives for potential students to enter this field may also be needed as a human resource development initiative.

Global partnerships facilitating interaction between peers have been the hallmark of progress in any high technology endeavour. Space technology or nuclear power is no exception to this rule. In the case of space, such collaboration that benefited India more in the initial phases has blossomed into a full-fledged mutually beneficial relationship. US payloads flying on the Indian Chandrayan mission is an illustration of how such a transformation can be effected. Countries look forward to such opportunities as a means for enhancing their technology base. There is no doubt that the 123 Agreement represents such a window of opportunity for India in the nuclear area.

There is little doubt that the finalisation of the 123 Agreement by the Manmohan Singh government represents a major landmark in the history of Indo-US relations. The prime minister and his team have to be commended for their courage and foresight in building upon the foundations laid by the earlier government in making sure that this historic and path-breaking draft agreement that is in principle acceptable to both countries has been worked out.

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Postby ramana » 26 Jul 2007 01:52

But has he seen the agreement before he wrote this article for Indian Express? Its OK for the hoi polloi expert to say his piece without seeing the agreement but for Dr. Kasturirangan, due to his expert status, to do the same is infra dig.

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Postby ramana » 26 Jul 2007 01:56

K.P. Nayar in The Telegraph wrote:
So on Monday, Narayanan appropriately went to the strategic community in Washington within 40 minutes of his arrival here for his first interaction with them since becoming national security adviser three years ago.

For two full hours, he gave them his assessment of the security dimensions in India’s neighbourhood and listened to their response that obviously included the nuclear-armed status on India and Pakistan.



I and many Indians would like ot see that assessment that he shared with Washington DC strategic community.

Meanwhile Hindu reports, July 27 2007

[quote]
Union Cabinet nod for nuclear pact text


Special Correspondent


Statement to be made in Parliament
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Manmohan to hold talks with Left leaders

Condoleezza Rice coming soon to finalise deal



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


NEW DELHI: A joint meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) and the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Wednesday approved the text of the ‘123’ civilian nuclear cooperation agreement, arrived at between Indian and American negotiators last week in Washington.

[b]National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, who conducted the Washington talks, briefed the Cabinet members on the “deal.â€

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Postby Sanjay M » 26 Jul 2007 02:09

Rye wrote:Indian Express Link

Op-ed by Mr. Kasturirangan, former head of ISRO

‘123 Agreement preserves India’s right to reprocess spent fuel... should set at rest concerns of political & scientific communities’



But does it preserve the right to test? Reprocessing is not the only thing, here. I've a feeling that we're being led up a blind alley on the testing issue, just like that hear-no-evil, see-no-evil, speak-no-evil Oslo Peace Accord, which left all the thorny issues to blow up later on catastrophically.

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Postby ShibaPJ » 26 Jul 2007 02:11

SaiK,

Thanks. I didn't remember reading 't Obama's interest in FBR. Will try to find more on it.

Agreed that it is OUR stock and we can do whatever we want, but I assume we didn't reprocess that stock because of the perception that it will violate the treaty.

With this agreement, what happens to the stock considering that we are de-facto NWS. Does this mean that it is implicit that we can reprocess it ?

I was referring to the o/p from the unsafeguarded reactors. About the Tarapur spent fuel, I think we will have to wait for the fine print of 123; but I think we should get reproc right to it, if only for the civ reactors.

NRao,
Thanks for the GNEP link. So any kind of Pu enrichment is strictly outside GNEP.. Maybe we can push for GNEP-MKI down the line..

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Postby SaiK » 26 Jul 2007 03:14

per fas doc updated dec 2006, w.r.t reprocessing, :-
[quote]
Section 105 (6)
Specifies preventing spread “to
any state that does not already
possess full-scale, functioning
enrichment and reprocessing
plants.â€

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Postby NRao » 26 Jul 2007 04:45

Thanks for the GNEP link. So any kind of Pu enrichment is strictly outside GNEP.. Maybe we can push for GNEP-MKI down the line..


The more I read about GNEP, the more I am convinced that the Hyde Act is tailored with it in mind.

No, GNEP-MKI (actually GNEP-123, not another one). GNEP is meant to close any proliferation loops. MKI will be a loop, albeit a dependable one - from an Indian PoV of course.

GNEP, BTW, will employ - as you probably read - IAEA. So, the loop is closed. NSG should vanish after that.

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Postby Prem » 26 Jul 2007 04:54

BJP claims credit for 'better nuke deal'
26 Jul 2007, 0022 hrs IST,TNN

TOI Link

Given that these concerns have been addressed, the BJP, which had just about initiated the deal with the Bush administration during the NDA regime, feels its opposition to the formulations in the agreement had morally strengthened Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's hands in getting a better deal from the Americans since principally the party stands for better relations with the US. Taking credit for providing better bargaining points for the government, a BJP source said,

"The pressures from within, even as they came from the Opposition, could have only helped the Prime Minister negotiate better."

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Postby SaiK » 26 Jul 2007 05:08

jee.. bjp bandwagon jumping! hope people don't get perturbed.

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Postby Rye » 26 Jul 2007 05:20

link

Special AEC meet later this week
Press Trust of India
Wednesday, July 25, 2007 (New Delhi)
The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) will hold a special meeting on Friday to discuss ''threadbare'' the draft agreement reached with the United States to operationalise the civil nuclear deal.

Some members of the AEC, who were briefed informally by the government, said the draft 123 agreement clinched last week in Washington addressed the concerns raised by India.

''We will discuss threadbare the draft 123 agreement at the meeting on Friday,'' an AEC member said.

Certain nuances of the pact pertaining to reprocessing of spent fuel and perennial supply of fuel to atomic reactors to be set up under the Indo-US nuclear deal are expected to be discussed in detail at the meeting.

The country's negotiating team had held detailed discussions with some AEC members prior to its departure to Washington for the talks with the US administration to finalise the deal.

''We have got a fairly good agreement and the details would be made public shortly,'' said a member of the negotiating team that held talks with the US administration.

The AEC is headed by Anil Kakodkar, secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy. Its members include National Security Advisor M K Narayanan, Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar and noted scientists like C N R Rao and BARC Director S Banerjee.

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Postby ShauryaT » 26 Jul 2007 05:22

Prem wrote:BJP claims credit for 'better nuke deal'
26 Jul 2007, 0022 hrs IST,TNN

TOI Link

Given that these concerns have been addressed, the BJP, which had just about initiated the deal with the Bush administration during the NDA regime, feels its opposition to the formulations in the agreement had morally strengthened Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's hands in getting a better deal from the Americans since principally the party stands for better relations with the US. Taking credit for providing better bargaining points for the government, a BJP source said,

"The pressures from within, even as they came from the Opposition, could have only helped the Prime Minister negotiate better."
Oh come on, damn the DDM. Just about goes to show, Why I almost hate the TOI. Conjecture passed off as truth.

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Postby Prem » 26 Jul 2007 05:39

ShauryaT wrote:
Prem wrote:BJP claims credit for 'better nuke deal'
26 Jul 2007, 0022 hrs IST,TNN

TOI Link

Given that these concerns have been addressed, the BJP, which had just about initiated the deal with the Bush administration during the NDA regime, feels its opposition to the formulations in the agreement had morally strengthened Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's hands in getting a better deal from the Americans since principally the party stands for better relations with the US. Taking credit for providing better bargaining points for the government, a BJP source said,

"The pressures from within, even as they came from the Opposition, could have only helped the Prime Minister negotiate better."
Oh come on, damn the DDM. Just about goes to show, Why I almost hate the TOI. Conjecture passed off as truth.


Politician/elites Sirs, what is the Nuke deal, let Janta janardhan know . Dont hide it like a new wed bride in Ghoogant . We dont know if she is ugly, sundar,young , old or one eyed.

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Postby ShyamSP » 26 Jul 2007 06:01

ShauryaT wrote:
Prem wrote:BJP claims credit for 'better nuke deal'
26 Jul 2007, 0022 hrs IST,TNN

TOI Link

Given that these concerns have been addressed, the BJP, which had just about initiated the deal with the Bush administration during the NDA regime, feels its opposition to the formulations in the agreement had morally strengthened Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's hands in getting a better deal from the Americans since principally the party stands for better relations with the US. Taking credit for providing better bargaining points for the government, a BJP source said,

"The pressures from within, even as they came from the Opposition, could have only helped the Prime Minister negotiate better."
Oh come on, damn the DDM. Just about goes to show, Why I almost hate the TOI. Conjecture passed off as truth.

As somebody said post-deal psyops would be unleashed. Here they are slyly showing BJP jumping up and down for this deal. You might see another news article saying Communists forced US to back down and won against imperialists.

There is a Telugu expression meaning showing heaven in the palm ("Ara chethilo swargam chupinchadam"). Can we now say with this deal all the restrictions in Hyde Act can be tossed out once Senate okays the deal?

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Postby NRao » 26 Jul 2007 06:17

That they got what they wanted is great news.

The question, now, is, what did they have to give? Which is OK - they have to give something to get something I would imagine. The deal could not have come free of cost.

On the topic of victory, I would give it to the Scicom first.

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Postby Mort Walker » 26 Jul 2007 06:19

Looks like the NPAs are unhappy. :)

http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/

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Postby NRao » 26 Jul 2007 06:26


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Secret Clauses in the Deal?

Postby Sanatanan » 26 Jul 2007 07:26

Article published in the Times of India on 26 July, 2007:
US lawmakers question secretive US-India nuclear pact

WASHINGTON: US lawmakers have warned President George W. Bush of "inconsistencies" amid reports Washington has agreed in principle to allow India to reprocess spent nuclear fuel under a landmark deal.

The warning came after US and Indian officials finalised last week, the implementing agreement for Washington to provide nuclear technology and fuel to India under a deal agreed upon by Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh two years ago to highlight ties between the world's two biggest democracies.

Details of the so-called "123 agreement" has been kept under wraps but unconfirmed reports say the United States has agreed in principle to New Delhi's proposal to reprocess spent fuel in a dedicated national facility under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.

But Washington reportedly is reluctant to provide such reprocessing technology to India, which has been under three decades of US sanctions for nuclear tests. Nor is India a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

US laws ban export of reprocessing technology as it can be used for military purposes but Washington has reportedly made exemptions for key Asian ally Japan, for example.

The letter from 23 members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday warned: "Any inconsistencies between the so-called 123 agreement and US laws would put final Congressional approval of the deal in doubt.

"If the 123 agreement has been intentionally negotiated to side-step or bypass the law and the will of Congress, final approval for this deal will be jeopardized," said Edward Markey, co-chairman of the House Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation.

Based on details of the finalized implementing agreement that had been leaked, "three or four significant issues could be in conflict with US laws," Daryl Kimball, executive director of the US Arms Control Association said.

They pertain to reprocessing and safeguards, he said. The Indian Cabinet approved Wednesday the controversial agreement. "All concerns of India have been reflected and have been adequately addressed," Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee said after two cabinet committees both "approved the agreement."

The US State Department indicated that the Bush administration would consider the accord by the end of the week.

"I think the Indian government, based on discussions we had last week, are taking some positive steps," department spokesman Sean McCormack said without divulging details of the agreement.

But he vowed that the United States was "not going to agree to anything that is not in the United States' national interest.

"In terms of, quote, "needing agreements" we're certainly not going to do anything that we believe is harmful to either our national security or foreign policy interests," he said.

The critical aspects of the deal are India's request to reprocess spent nuclear fuel, which Kimball said could be risky as not all Indian nuclear facilities would come under international safeguards.

India also wants assurances that Washington will continue to supply fuel for its atomic plants in the event New Delhi conducts further nuclear weapons tests.

For the nuclear deal to be implemented, India should separate nuclear facilities for civilian and military use and set up a regime of international inspections to allay concerns that material and technology received are not diverted to boost its nuclear weapons arsenal.

McCormack said once the implementation agreement was adopted by the two governments, the Indians also needed to sign an additional IAEA protocol and win approval from the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group.

"I think once we have all these elements in place, we will go to the Congress with the full spectrum of what we are doing," he said. "That said, we are consulting every step along the way here with Congress, which is an important part of the process," he explained.

The Congress already approved the nuclear deal in principle last year and a bill to that effect was signed into law by Bush.


I wonder whether we will ever get to be sure that there are no secret giveaways (from an Indian perspective) in the 123 text just concluded.

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Postby kgoan » 26 Jul 2007 07:31

N:

Yes, I agree. Common sense certainly and no need for the rest. Thing is I was trying to let folks know what happened so that the usual heartfelt wails of "treason", "sell-out" etc, was curtailed a little.

It doesn't do BRs credibility any good if we miss what's slowly but surely turning out to be one of our finest diplomatic/strategic wins in a generation.

Folks, the BJP isn't "bandwagoning". They were never off the bandwagon in the first place. Real Earth-e-shaster chankian stuff, or so the rumours go. I don't expect the left to hop on so openly. Their job is to carp from the sidelines still.

So will the BJP later on. Remember, there's still a lot of hard bargaining and negotiations still to go. Many a slip between the cup and the lip etc.

Ramana: Sorry, give me a couple more days. Will send you that email. Use your judgement who you pass it around to. You'll understand when you read it.

Cheers, K.

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Postby milindc » 26 Jul 2007 08:08

NRao wrote:That they got what they wanted is great news.

The question, now, is, what did they have to give? Which is OK - they have to give something to get something I would imagine. The deal could not have come free of cost.

On the topic of victory, I would give it to the Scicom first.


I'm pondering as well on the "what did we give" part. My speculation is that Tarapur spent fuel will be reprocessed using the new IAEA safeguarded facility. If we agreed on 'spent fuel from other un-safe guarded reactors', then we have to declare most of the future FBRs civilian, sooner. This is definitely a big give away and will be leveraged to win over the COTUS.

I sincerely hope that I'm wrong.....

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Postby Sanjay M » 26 Jul 2007 08:45


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Postby Sparsh » 26 Jul 2007 09:48

Milind,

There will be no retrospective safeguards on any reactors as far as its spent fuel is concerned.

Whatever spent fuel has been accumulated so far from unsafeguarded reactors will remain on the military side even if those reactors are to be under safeguards in the future.

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Postby SaiK » 26 Jul 2007 09:51

N:?
--
If its secretive either way, then both indo-us legislators needs to be ready for wearing their pants tight.. they can't walk out without it, but they could still walk out of N deal.

Are the texts available onlee for the left or for the parliament?, i.e., for all members from all parties?

that should mean to get it more exposure and thus we are very near to know about the sell outs.

Image

btw, the wallabies would retract once they hear anything swinging outside, and called no ball.

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Postby sanjchopra » 26 Jul 2007 10:01

The ideal nuclear deal

Greg Sheridan's article in "The Australian"

This aussie is barracking for India so steadfastly.

I have met Sheridan a coupla times. He is a friend of India & is married an Indian girl.

A Sardarni, I think. But...

Labor Party's views on this are diametrically opposite to Liberals (nuclear deal and potential australian uranium exports to india), because of Peter Garrett's greenie views and/or China (Seems like Kevin Rudd has a soft spot for China).

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Postby Sparsh » 26 Jul 2007 10:20

NRao,

What we are giving up with this deal is the option to play the spoiler and throw a spanner into the GNEP framework that the Americans are going about creating.

That is fine with me. As long as we are left alone and unhindered in pursuing our own independent energy plans which is what we get in return from this deal, I don't see a reason why we should behave like that. That would be a very Pakistani thing to do and well, we are civilized people.

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Postby ramana » 26 Jul 2007 10:24

from K.P.Nayar and UPI'S Walker it was Dick Cheney who decided that the deal must go on and cut the Gordian knot that the Cold Warriors and the NPAs used to tie up India for last 33 years from POKI or ~40 years since NPT.

One cheer to him for this brave act.

The fact that he decided to get involved and how fast the ducks lined up shows that there is pressure on the US side also for the deal and not just India. From all accounts the US side was also surprised.

Another curious aspect is that on the US side the deal makers were politicians and officials and on Indian side the politicians totally stepped aside and let the officials take up the load. And the steel frame took it and served India when needed. I for one would treat with contempt anymore stories disparaging babus. So before on feels the urge to trash the babudom please think a moment about their shining hour.
An equal one cheer for the steelframe.

From the big picture point of view both sides needed this deal and made it happen.

Most likely there will be closed session of US congress and they will fall in line. Cheney will see to it.

There is one fly in the ointment. For NPA purist this deal shows the US blinked and agreed to India's breaching the 'norms'. And this could be misinterpreted. I worry about that as to its impact on US leadership on non-proliferation norms and world order.

I want to publicize the fact that India did accept some restraints on its program as quid pro quo and it was not an open ended runaway program.

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Postby Pulikeshi » 26 Jul 2007 10:28

Ain't over till the fat lady sings! :twisted:

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Postby ramana » 26 Jul 2007 10:30

I am not a lawyer but have a few questions. Walker writes that the US Admin found ways to bypass the watertight Hyde Act. What does he mean?

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Postby SaiK » 26 Jul 2007 10:39

US lawmakers issue warning over N-deal
Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington | July 26, 2007 09:49 IST
/rediff

US lawmakers have warned the Bush administration of "inconsistencies" in the 123 Agreement after reports that Washington has agreed to allow India to reprocess spent nuclear fuel under the civilian nuclear deal with New Delhi.

The warning came after the agreement between the US and India was finalised in extended talks in Washington last week.

In a letter to President George W Bush, as many as 23 Congressmen-led by Democratic lawmaker Edward Markey expressed their concern that perhaps Washington may have "capitulated" to India's demands on the agreement.

The Congress passed the Hyde Act less than a year ago, settling minimum conditions that must be met for nuclear cooperation with India, as well as the non-negotiable restrictions on such cooperation, Markey said.

Stating that these conditions and restrictions were not optional or advisory, Markey warned, "If the 123 Agreement has been intentionally negotiated to side-step or bypass the law and the will of Congress, final approval for this deal will be jeopardised."

In the letter, the lawmakers stressed "the necessity of abiding by the legal boundaries set by Congress" for nuclear cooperation.

"The Agreement for Nuclear Cooperation is subject to the approval of Congress, and any inconsistencies between the Agreement and the relevant US laws will call Congressional approval deeply into doubt," lawmakers told the White House.

They also picked upon India's growing economic and military ties to Iran as a factor which could imperil Congressional approval of the deal.

Among the bipartisan cosigners were Howard Berman (Senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee), Brad Sherman (chairman of the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee), Dan Burton (Senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee), Ellen Tauscher (chairwoman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee), Jeff Fortenberry, Henry Waxman and Republican Jane Harman (chairwoman of the Intelligence Subcommittee).

"The president cannot re-write laws during a closed-door negotiation session with a foreign government.

"Though some of us disagreed during last year's debate over nuclear cooperation with India, all of us are intent on defending the prerogatives of Congress and reinforcing that the law must be followed without exceptions," Markey said in a statement.

The Bush administration has to get Congressional approval on the bilateral deal before any nuclear cooperation can commence between the US and India.

The remaining steps include India negotiating a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the US obtaining consensus agreement from the Nuclear Suppliers Group to change its guidelines to allow transfers to India.

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Postby SaiK » 26 Jul 2007 10:43

N-deal with India complies with US law: Burns

Reuters
Posted online: Thursday, July 26, 2007 at 1032 hours IST
Updated: Thursday, July 26, 2007 at 1036 hours IST

Nicholas Burns Washington, July 26: Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said on Wednesday that a just-completed nuclear deal with India complies with US law, but some experts doubted that, and lawmakers said the agreement could face a rough road in the US Congress.

Congressional sources and other experts said the agreement reached last week appears to go a long way toward meeting the demands of India's nuclear establishment, giving New Delhi rights only accorded to key US allies Japan and the European Union.

"The administration is going to call this a success even though from policy and legal perspectives, there are major problems," said one congressional source, who spoke anonymously because he learned details of the deal on a confidential basis.

The pact, approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday, would allow India access to US nuclear fuel and equipment for the first time in 30 years, even though New Delhi refused to join non-proliferation pacts and tested nuclear weapons.

"We're very satisfied because we know the agreement is well within the bounds of the Hyde Act," said Burns after testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Hyde Act, approved by Congress in December, created a unique exception to US export law to allow nuclear cooperation with India. The just-completed agreement, called a 123 agreement after a section of the US Atomic Energy Act, spells out technical details for that nuclear cooperation.

Like the Hyde Act, the 123 agreement must be approved by Congress. But that cannot happen until India agrees on a program of inspections of its nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group changes its rules.

"None of this will happen this year," the congressional source said.

Friday Announcement

Specifics of the pact will not be publicly disclosed until Friday, but administration officials have telephoned some lawmakers to discuss the deal; more briefings are due Thursday.

In a letter to President George W Bush, 22 congressmen, including some who had voted for the nuclear deal, said a 123 agreement that does not meet the Hyde Act's minimal conditions "places congressional approval deeply into doubt."

The conditions include no nuclear testing, permanent unconditional IAEA inspections of declared Indian nuclear materials and facilities, and an end to nuclear cooperation if the agreement is violated.

Others are a ban on transferring enrichment and reprocessing technology to India and a requirement that the Washington give prior approval on a case-by-case basis before India reprocesses US origin nuclear material, the letter noted.


Said Democratic Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, who organized the letter: "These conditions and restrictions are not optional nor are they advisory. They were passed by the Congress and signed by the President."

"If the 123 agreement has been intentionally negotiated to side-step or bypass the law and the will of Congress, final approval for this deal will be jeopardized," Markey added.

Experts and congressional sources said the United States agreed to give India advance, long-term permission to reprocess US origin nuclear material once New Delhi builds a new reprocessing facility that would only use such material.

This is happening despite the fact that the Americans "do not give consent rights to reprocess except to our closest allies, Japan and Euratom," the European Atomic Energy Community, said Sharon Squassoni, a non-proliferation expert with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,

She expressed concern that with such an arrangement "there will never be a way for us to prevent the transfer of (US) know-how and technology to India's weapons program," as Washington promised in the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

The 123 agreement also says Washington has the right to have India return US-origin fuel and technology if New Delhi tests another nuclear device but stipulates "this will not undercut their fuel assurances," a congressional source said.

This apparently means that while the United States might cut off nuclear cooperation in the event of an Indian nuclear test, it will seek to ensure India continues receiving fuel from other sources, he and other experts said.

In New Delhi, an Indian official close to the negotiations said a complex process of consultations would be required before a US administration could penalize India by ending nuclear trade if it conducts another nuclear test.
http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=90014

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Postby SaiK » 26 Jul 2007 10:44

The 123 agreement also says Washington has the right to have India return US-origin fuel and technology if New Delhi tests another nuclear device but stipulates "this will not undercut their fuel assurances," a congressional source said.

This apparently means that while the United States might cut off nuclear cooperation in the event of an Indian nuclear test, it will seek to ensure India continues receiving fuel from other sources, he and other experts said.


thats good.. much to the dislike of obama!

Others are a ban on transferring enrichment and reprocessing technology to India and a requirement that the Washington give prior approval on a case-by-case basis before India reprocesses US origin nuclear material, the letter noted.


now, this will add complexity further for our side. what is a case? a facility in civlian nu zone ? or each time a certain amount of fuel is used, is a case?

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Postby ShyamSP » 26 Jul 2007 12:03

ramana wrote:I am not a lawyer but have a few questions. Walker writes that the US Admin found ways to bypass the watertight Hyde Act. What does he mean?

As mentioned in the same article, Presidential prerogative and foreign-affairs power can be used to trump that Hyde Act. I think Dick Cheney's touch at the end essentially is that. All those sticky points (fuel supply, reprocessing, nuclear test) are put under executive purview in the interest of US strategic interests (leverage against China, Asian ally, energy needs of US-bound businesses in India, Naval partnership, etc.)

Legislative branch has no power over those presidential powers except in the domestic sphere. Even in those cases of domestic spying, congress turned blind-eye when the President invoked presidential powers.

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Postby p_saggu » 26 Jul 2007 15:00

Oh ramanna,

Please remember that Our prime minister's been one of the Ultimate babus, shrewd enough to survive that trecherous political-mine infested trip to the top of RBI.

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Postby vsudhir » 26 Jul 2007 15:17

As to the question of what did we give up in return for the stuff we got in the N-deal, my 2 cents say it could have been a concession on the looming FMCO thing.

Somehow I also think Grover/AK would not have stood for any direct FMCO commitment though. So it must have been some halfway FMCO house. Perhaps.

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Postby NRao » 26 Jul 2007 15:32

ShyamSP wrote:
ramana wrote:I am not a lawyer but have a few questions. Walker writes that the US Admin found ways to bypass the watertight Hyde Act. What does he mean?

As mentioned in the same article, Presidential prerogative and foreign-affairs power can be used to trump that Hyde Act. I think Dick Cheney's touch at the end essentially is that. All those sticky points (fuel supply, reprocessing, nuclear test) are put under executive purview in the interest of US strategic interests (leverage against China, Asian ally, energy needs of US-bound businesses in India, Naval partnership, etc.)

Legislative branch has no power over those presidential powers except in the domestic sphere. Even in those cases of domestic spying, congress turned blind-eye when the President invoked presidential powers.


In addition, he mentions the tilt within the Supreme Court - indicator that it could reach to that level and the the Bush Admin will fight it to that level if need be.

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Postby SaiK » 26 Jul 2007 16:55

good point shyam, tha also reveals who gaad da real powers... it ain't "by george! ".. we gaad "dick"ed around this time!.

but..will it in the sense it has domestic supply chain that we would still need to work with, i.e., US congress can deny american cos. to deal with India with the current state of the indo-us deal, that they think is bypassed their laws.

can't get khan fuel nor the khan techs except for the IAEA inspectors being born citizens.

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Postby Kakkaji » 26 Jul 2007 17:25

My apologies if already posted:

US lawmakers threaten to block Indo-US N-deal

In a letter to President George W Bush, as many as 23 Congressmen-led by Democratic lawmaker Edward Markey expressed their concern that perhaps Washington may have ‘capitulated’ to India's demands on the agreement.

"The President cannot re-write laws during a closed-door negotiation session with a foreign government. Though some of us disagreed during last year's debate over nuclear cooperation with India, all of us are intent on defending the prerogatives of Congress and reinforcing that the law must be followed without exceptions," Markey said in a statement.

They also picked upon India's growing economic and military ties to Iran as a factor, which could imperil congressional approval of the deal.

Among the bipartisan cosigners were Howard Berman (Senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee), Brad Sherman (Chairman of the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee), Dan Burton (Senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee), Ellen Tauscher (Chairwoman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee), Jeff Fortenberry and Henry Waxman (Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee), and Republican Jane Harman (Chairwoman of the Intelligence Subcommittee).

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Postby Rye » 26 Jul 2007 17:31

Note really about the nuke deal, but I think it is related in some way.


Was the GNEP a feint for the IEP...or are they unrelated?

link

[quote]
India is open to strategic energy tie-up with US
Anupama Airy

New Delhi, Jul 25 New Delhi appears to be open to entering into a strategic energy partnership with Washington on the condition that India retains the right to decide when and how much of its upcoming strategic crude reserves it will release.

This comes in response to a proposal in the HR-6 energy legislation, passed by the US senate on July 21, to establish strategic energy partnerships with major energy producing and consuming countries.

The US also proposes to establish a Petroleum Crisis Response Mechanism (PCRM) with the governments of India and China to coordinate the draw down of strategic petroleum reserves with the US. The mechanism would also include emergency demand restraint measures, fuel-switching preparedness and demand intensity reduction.

Communicating its views in a letter to the ministry of external affairs (MEA), the petroleum ministry has suggested that any release from India’s strategic crude oil reserves should be strictly based on domestic assessments. “The decision to release or not or when and how much to release would rest solely with India. Further, the releases could be made even to modulate the impact of high oil prices, if found necessary, in our domestic consumption,â€

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Postby SaiK » 26 Jul 2007 17:54

Deccan Herald Link

No compromise on national interests: US govt
Washington, PTI:
State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said that the US government certainly is not going to do anything that is harmful to either our national security or foreign policy interests.

In the wake of concerns expressed by some Congress members over agreement on civilian nuclear deal with India, the United States has said that the Bush administration will not sign off on anything that is not in American interests.

"...we're not going to -- we're not going to agree to anything that is not in the US national interest. And in terms of 'needing agreements', we're certainly not going to do anything that we believe is harmful to either our national security or foreign policy interests," the State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said.

McCormack, in his regular briefing, was asked to comment on the status of the language pertaining to India conducting a nuclear test.

"As for the agreement with the Indians on the so-called 123 agreement, we had a statement out last Friday. There are some continuing discussions regarding that agreement. I would expect within the next couple of days we'll have more to say about it," he said.

"But at the end of the day, what we produce and what we may agree to is going to be something that is in the interest of this country from a variety of different perspectives, from helping to prevent the further spread of nuclear technologies and nuclear materials, and also in realising a different kind of relationship with India that President Bush has really made an important priority for the Administration going all the way back to the first term," he said.

"In the fullness of time we will have more to say about the details of what we've been talking to the Indians about. At this point, I am not at liberty to get into any more of the details," McCormack said.

A senior State Department official privy to the goings on told PTI that senior members of Congress in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate are being briefed on the substance of what negotiators from New Delhi and Washington had agreed upon with a formal and full scale briefing on the subject due to take place soon.


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