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By: Dr.Dipak Basu
July 04, 2007
expressed here are author"s own and not of this website. Full disclaimer
is at the bottom.
(The author is a Professor in International Economics in Nagasaki
Nuclear issue: Indian media is silent about it
End of The Indo-US Nuke Deal?
What If India-US Nuclear Deal Fails
USA"s nuclear design on India
Discord on Indo–US Nuclear Deal
Indo-US nuclear Deal and its consequences
N-Deal: Plan B if the Deal Fails
US Legislative Process: Indo-US N-Deal
N-deal: Economic, Political and
Indo-American Nuclear Pact - Rationales
India"s Nuclear Surrender to USA
P-6 and The Nuclear Truth
India's Options to Pakistan's Nuclear Threat
Cost Pakistan Incurred to Build the Nuclear Bomb
Nuclear Black Market in Pakistan
Has America Gained Control of Their Nuclear Weapons?
Russia has proposed as an alternative to the Indo-US deal but the Indian
news media is silent about it.
Indo-US nuclear deal will not supply India with the fuel cycle, enrichment
plants for uranium and reprocessing plants of spent fuel, as the U.S.
Atomic Energy Act of 1954 specifically forbids export of these
technologies, as also heavy water production technology, to other
countries. Section 103 of the Hyde Act suggests that the US would oppose
development of a capability to produce nuclear weapons by any non-nuclear
weapon state within or outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
regime. Section 104(d) (2) stipulates that transfers to India cannot begin
without suitable changes in NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) guidelines.
About 90 percent of all nuclear facilities, including the Russian built
Fast Breeder Reactors which can produce plutonium for nuclear weapons,
will be included in the civilian sector according to the Indo-US Nuclear
Deal and there will be regular inspection by the IAEA and the US authority
to make sure that these facilities will not be used to produce nuclear
In the case of nuclear deal with the US, the result will make Pakistan
much stronger than India in very near future. That serves the
geo-political interest of the United States with Pakistan as the bridge to
the Islamic world. China has already supplied Pakistan enrichment plants
and heavy water plants, and nuclear weapons as well. Chinese nuclear
plants offered to Pakistan will not be under the control of the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Thus, Pakistan can very well
use these to produce nuclear weapons but India cannot.
In 1974, USA has imposed sanctions so that India cannot get any nuclear
related materials or technology. After 1998 USA has imposed more sanctions
on India so that it cannot get any defense related technology or materials
at all. However, India since 1974 has received every nuclear technology,
and materials including conventional nuclear power plants, Fast Breeder
reactors, reprocessing and enrichment plants and heavy water plants from
the Soviet Union and Russia without any restrictions attached to these. As
a result, India is nearly self-sufficient regarding nuclear technology.
India decided on a three-stage nuclear program back in the 1950s, when
India"s nuclear power generation program was set up. In the first stage,
natural uranium (U-238) was used in pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs).
In the second stage, the plutonium extracted through reprocessing from the
used fuel of the PHWRs was scheduled to be used to run fast-breeder
reactors (FBRs) built by the Soviet Union and Russia in India.
In the final stage, the FBRs use thorium and produce uranium-233 for use
in the third stage reactors. India began the construction of the Advanced
Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) in 2005 with the help from Russia. Russian
built FBRs will be ready by 2009.
The reason for India"s commitment to switch over to thorium, is its large
estimated thorium reserves of some 290,000 tons, it ranks second only to
Australia. This would help India to bring independence from overseas
uranium sources and India would be in liberty to produce as many nuclear
weapons as India likes if India would accept the Russian proposal and
reject the Indo-US nuclear deal immediately.
The real issue is whether India needs any US assistance at all regarding
its nuclear energy sector. Only for the last two years, because of its
membership of the NSG, Russia now wants to supply on-shore nuclear power
plants with added safeguards that the plants cannot be used to produce any
nuclear weapons. However, at the same time, it has offered offshore
nuclear plants to India, which would be outside the jurisdiction of any
restrictions of the NSG or IAEA. India can have both or either of the
on-shore or offshore nuclear power plants from Russia. Even if India needs
nuclear power plants to supplement it energy requirement in future, India
does not need nuclear power plants from USA. Russia can still supply
whatever India needs at a much lower price.
Without the nuclear deal India would be able to maintain its nuclear
plants by using reprocessed plutonium as a fuel and using its own uranium
in the conventional plants. It will continue to get offshore nuclear
plants from Russia. In that case it will be at liberty to test further
nuclear weapons in future. This is exactly what President Putin has
suggested but India so far is not interested.
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