Tuesday, February 28, 2006

With U.S. President George W Bush preparing for a March 2 visit to India, the two countries' diplomatic teams are pressing hard to reach agreement on a landmark nuclear fuel agreement. India's booming economy, with 8% annual growth, has led to large expenditures to both its civilian and military infrastructure but few of those contracts have fallen to U.S. firms. The U.S. trade deficit with India nearly doubled between 2001 and 2005, to $10 billion. A trade agreement between India and the United States regarding nuclear fuel, a key for India's rapidly expanding economy and for U.S. corporations - the deal would pave the way for expanded high-tech trade - appears to be stalled over agreement as to which of India's reactors are civilian and which are military. "We are doing very hard bargaining," Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran told reporters on Monday. The agreement aims to reassure the U.S. Congress that nuclear technology sharing will not be used to produce nuclear weapons. The two parties have been working to separate India's civilian and military nuclear programs. "The decision of what facilities may be identified as civilian will be made by India alone and not by anyone else," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told lawmakers Monday. DNA India reports a late-night call between India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday night may have carried information the Indian administration was waiting for; their government sources indicate a declaration of intent will be signed by Mr. Singh and Mr. Bush, who will arrive in India on Wednesday.

further complicating the relationship.” says Charles D.Indian-U. “If you look at the three countries outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)— Israel. India. applied economic sanctions.S. undermine attempts to prevent states like Iran and North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons.S. nonproliferation efforts.S. 2005.S. relations have been poor throughout the cold war period and up to present. moratorium on nuclear trade with India. India and the United States reached a bilateral agreement on civilian nuclear cooperation as envisioned in the joint statement released by President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 18. An agreement signed in July 2005 on nuclear technology sharing laid the groundwork for the accord being worked on now.-India relations. Ferguson. and Pakistan—this stands to be a unique deal. The current accord has the support of Mohamed ElBaradei. the NATO head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.-Indian cooperation in energy and satellite technology. The deal. assistance to India's civilian nuclear energy program. “It's an unprecedented deal for India. science and technology fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. When India detonated a nuclear device in 1998.S. India has never been known to have sold or traded nuclear technology. and potentially contribute to a nuclear arms race in Asia.S. Sources In August 2007. effectively announcing it was a nuclear power. This helped begin new dialogues between New Delhi and Washington. would lift the U. which marks a notable warming of U. sanctions were lifted in 2001 when the White House searched for partnerships following the 9/11 attacks. But critics in the United States say the deal fundamentally reverses half a century of U. provide U.S. and expand U.” . the U.S. The U.

India also promised that all future civilian thermal and breeder reactors shall be placed under IAEA safeguards permanently. dual-use nuclear technology. the United Nations' nuclear watchdog group. India promised to place fourteen of its twenty-two power reactors under IAEA safeguards permanently. Q) What kind of technology would India receive in return? India would be eligible to buy U. U. By March 2006.Q) What are the terms of the deal? The details of the deal include the following: o India agrees to allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA). India commits to signing an Additional Protocol (PDF)—which allows more intrusive IAEA inspections—or its civilian facilities. India commits to strengthening the security of its nuclear arsenals. says these will now include domestically built plants. India agrees to continue its moratorium on nuclear weapons testing. India works toward negotiating a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) with the United States banning the production of fissile material for weapons purposes. Military facilities—and stockpiles of nuclear fuel that India has produced up to now—will be exempt from inspections or safeguards.S. including materials and equipment that could be used to enrich uranium or reprocess . But India would decide which of its many nuclear facilities to classify as civilian. Teresita Schaffer.India agrees to prevent the spread of enrichment and reprocessing technologies to states that don't possess them and to support international nonproliferation efforts. access to its civilian nuclear program.S. companies will be allowed to build nuclear reactors in India and provide nuclear fuel for its civilian energy program. director of the South Asia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. which India has not been willing to safeguard before now.

After the safeguards on the U. . Other experts say the deal lays out the requirements for India to be recognized as a responsible steward of nuclear power. This is a major step. "President Bush's bilateral deal correctly recognizes that it is far better for the nonproliferation community if India works with it rather than against it. Q) What do proponents say about the deal? Proponents of the agreement argue it will bring India closer to the United States at a time when the two countries are forging a strategic relationship to pursue their common interests in fighting terrorism. Recognizes India's history of imposing voluntary safeguards on its nuclear program." writes Seema Gahlaut of the University of Georgia's Center for International Trade and Security in a CSIS policy brief. because the existing nonproliferation regime has failed either to force India to give up its nuclear weapons or make it accept international inspections and restrictions on its nuclear facilities. IAEA Director-General Mohammed ElBaradei has strongly endorsed the deal.supplied Tarapur nuclear facility expired in 1993. Proponents of the deal say India has an excellent record of setting credible safeguards on its nuclear program for the last thirty years. for example. Ashley Tellis of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace—currently serving as an adviser to the State Department on Indian affairs—says in congressional testimony that the deal recognizes this growing relationship by engaging India. and preventing the domination of Asia by any single power. India voluntarily established a new agreement with the IAEA to continue the restrictions." Schaffer says. Other experts say the deal: o o Would encourage India to accept international safeguards on facilities it has not allowed to be inspected before. which has proven it is not a nuclear proliferation risk.S. calling it a pragmatic way to bring India into the nonproliferation community. experts say.plutonium. potentially creating the material for nuclear bombs. spreading democracy. It would also receive imported fuel for its nuclear reactors. "This is part of a process of making India a more durable and reliable nuclear partner.

unlike its nuclear neighbor Pakistan. "There are no measures in this global . against the demands of Indian hardliners who question what India gets out of placing such limits on itself. experts say India could use the imported nuclear fuel to feed its civilian energy program while diverting its own nuclear fuel to weapons production. Proponents of the deal say this restraint shows that India. Experts say if India chose to lift these voluntary restrictions. Q) What are the objections to the agreement? Critics call the terms of the agreement overly beneficial for India and lacking sufficient safeguards to prevent New Delhi from continuing to produce nuclear weapons. New Delhi has done similar things in the past. assistance to its civilian nuclear energy program will not benefit its nuclear weapons program. or allowing others to send. "We are going to be sending. which criminalizes the trade and brokering of sensitive technology. India has thus far chosen to abide by the strict export controls on nuclear technology set by the NSG. a group of forty-five nuclear-supplier states that voluntarily coordinates controls of nuclear exports to non-nuclear-weapon states.S. deal would reward the Indian government for its voluntary controls and give New Delhi incentive to continue them. In May 2005 India passed a law. While India has pledged that any U. is committed to responsible nuclear stewardship and fighting proliferation. executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center. Rewards India's decision to adopt similar nuclear export standards as those imposed by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)." says Henry Sokolski. The U. India has maintained strict controls on its nuclear technology and has not shared it with any other country. A Congressional Research Service report (PDF) on the agreement states. India claimed it was using nuclear technology for civilian purposes right up until its first nuclear weapons test in 1974. it could easily sell its technology to far less trustworthy countries around the world. a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving awareness of proliferation issues. Although it is not a signatory to the NPT.S. fresh fuel to India—including yellowcake and lightly enriched uraniumt—that will free up Indian domestic sources of fuel to be solely dedicated to making many more bombs than they would otherwise have been able to make.o o Recognizes that India has a good record on proliferation. the WMD Act.

or a clear plan for achieving its implementation. the significant engagement of many of the government's most senior nonproliferation experts. Britain. can provide adequate confidence that U. it bears all the signs of a top-down administrative directive specifically designed to circumvent the interagency review process and to minimize input from any remnants of the traditional 'nonproliferation lobby. The deal does not require India to restrict the number of nuclear weapons it plans to produce. This comes at a time when nearly all the major nuclear powers—including the United States. The agreement "appears to have been formulated without a comprehensive highlevel review of its potential impact on nonproliferation. and expanding the use of renewable energy sources. The bodies required to approve the deal include: . France. Potter. and therefore not convertible to nuclear weapons production. in the absence of full-scope safeguards. All these steps would involve much less dangerous transfers of technology that would not be dual-use. It doesn't cover the fissile material produced by India over the last several decades of nuclear activity.'" Q) Who needs to approve the agreement? The final terms of the nuclear deal need approval from several sources before they can be implemented." Other objections raised by experts include: o o o o o The safeguards apply only to facilities and material manufactured by India beginning when the agreement was reached. Sokolski said in congressional testimony. "A significant question is how India." writes William C. "Indeed. There are far more cost-efficient ways to improve India's energy and technology sectors. The CRS report says. restructuring the country's coal industry.S. These could include making India's existing electricity grid more efficient. and Russia—are moving to limit their production." The deal does not require India to cap or limit its fissile material production. in Nonproliferation Review.partnership to restrain India's nuclear weapons program. The agreement was rushed and takes unnecessary risks without adequate preparation or expert review. peaceful nuclear technology will not be diverted to nuclear weapons purposes. director of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

In addition. The NSG tries to restrict the spread of nuclear technology that could be used in weapons programs through export controls. it could lead other suppliers—including Russia and China—to bend the international rules so they can sell their own nuclear ." David Albright. India's Parliament. with some calling for India to commit to strict limits on its nuclear weapons program before the deal goes through. arguing it will limit India's sovereignty and hurt its security.S. Some Indian nuclear experts are protesting what they see as excessive U.-India deal have on the NPT? It could gut the agreement. "Congress needs to address the many troubling questions raised by this deal before it considers changing longstanding nonproliferation laws. Many parliamentarians oppose the deal. The Nuclear Suppliers Group. laws required for the nuclear deal to be implemented. Under the U. India has to sign a safeguards agreement with the IAEA under which all nuclear material and equipment transferred to it by the United States as a part of this deal shall be subject to safeguards. experts say. Members of Congress are showing resistance. said in congressional testimony (PDF) in October 2005. The Board of Governors of the IAEA has to approve this India-specific safeguards agreement. the coalition government has faced a confidence vote over it. In Febuary 2008.S. the agreement "could pose serious risks to the security of the United States" by potentially allowing Indian companies to proliferate banned nuclear technology around the world.S.S. Indian negotiators and IAEA officials met in Vienna discuss their differences and complete the agreement. Albright says that without additional measures to ensure a real barrier exists between India's military and civilian nuclear programs. While the deal does not require a formal vote by the parliament. president of the Institute for Science and International Security. participation in deciding which of India's nuclear facilities to define as civilian. Article 1 of the treaty says nations that possess nuclear weapons agree not to help states that do not possess weapons to acquire them. The United States will try to convince the group to make an exception for India.o o o o IAEA. Q) What effect will the U. which may be a difficult case to make when the United States is simultaneously trying to prevent Iran and North Korea from gaining similar access to nuclear fuel and technology. Atomic Energy Act. which regulates the trade of nuclear material. congressional approval is needed to pass the exemptions to U. and open to international inspections under the plan. Congress.

-Indian nuclear deal? It is a motivating factor in the deal. On the other hand. and their whole policy is to seek the best possible relationship with China. experts like Gahlaut argue the NPT was already failing in its mission to prevent proliferation. said at a Council meeting February 23. some of them hostile to the United States. "The United States is trying to cement its relationship with the world's largest democracy in order to counterbalance China.technology to other countries. has not received a similar deal on nuclear energy from Washington. who has suffered fierce criticism at home —and survived two assassination attempts—or his strong alliance with the United States since 9/11.S." Robert Blackwill.S." Sokolski says. Though India has a strong interest in building economic relations with China. "My impression is that . and Indian relations with Pakistan? Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf. The Bush administration is "hoping that latching onto India as the rising star of Asia could help them handle China. and potentially raise tensions in the already dangerous region. favoritism toward India could increase the nuclear rivalry between the intensely competitive nations. Some experts say this apparent U. Q) What effect will the deal have on U.S. But other experts say the growing economic relationship between China and India is so critical to New Delhi that its interests in China cannot be threatened or replaced by any agreement with the United States. Iran.S. She says many countries—including North Korea. nuclear aid to India could foster a dangerous nuclear rivalry between India and China. China's rise in the region is prompting the United States to seek a strategic relationship with India.S. Indians "have no interest whatsoever in trying to contain China because they believe this could be a selffulfilling prophesy. Q) What role does China play in the U. some experts say." Ferguson says. Libya. Other experts worry U. New Delhi is still wary of China's military rise in the region. a former U. ambassador to India. and Iraq—have cheated while being signatories of the NPT.

shocked the world with its brazen trade of nuclear technology.Q.[the Pakistanis] are worried this will feed the Indian nuclear weapons program and therefore weaken deterrence. Other experts say the two countries. the United States helped India develop nuclear energy under the Atoms for Peace program.S. In 1968. showing it could develop nuclear weapons with technology transferred for peaceful purposes. Khan's illicit nuclear network. revealed in 2004." Blackwill said. The United States built a nuclear reactor for India. India refused to sign the NPT. the United States isolated India for twenty-five years. All Rights Reserved. increasing cooperation in fields including spaceflight. both admittedly now nuclear. mited. Q) What’s the history of India’s nuclear program? In the 1950s. refusing nuclear cooperation and trying to convince other countries to do the same. nuclear laboratories. claiming it was biased.S. Pakistan is already a proliferation risk: Pakistani nuclear scientist A. Disclaimer | Feedback . and allowed Indian scientists study at U. India tested its first nuclear bomb. and missile defense. the United States has moved to build a "strategic partnership" with India. satellite technology. But since 2000. could be forced to deal more cautiously with each other. In 1974. As a result.-India deal could prompt Pakistan to go elsewhere for similar terms. Some experts worry the U. provided nuclear fuel for a time.

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