Indo Us Nuclear Deal
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Indo Us Nuclear Deal Indo Us Nuclear Deal Document Transcript

  • Issue needs to be discuss: 1. Strategic sadvantage for India: UN seat 2. SWOT analysis Smarter use of nuclear waste Waste utilization: wastes (by reduction of oxides from thermal reactors and chopped up metallic fuel elements from fast breeders) are subjected to electrolysis. The partly separated metal mixture deposited at the cathode, mostly free from cadmium (and, presumably, other fission products that can absorb neutrons), is further subjected to hightemperature purification and cast into new fuel rods suitable for bombardment by fast neutrons; fast neutron reactors cannot use water as a coolant and must depend on liquid metal (sodium already in such use as a heat transfer agent). I believe that a cycle similar to that described for uranium can be operated with thorium of which, as everybody knows, we have abundant sources. If the technology is mastered, India need not really depend on the US or the Nuclear Suppliers Group for uranium supplies and all its energy needs can be met for a long time to come. Weak point instrumentation and control systems on external supplierrs, a weak point. fast reactors to use uranium more efficiently than is possible in thermal neutron reactors.and minimize the waste problem. India’s interest in fast reactors is because it opens a way of utilizing the energy potential of thorium. India’s interest in fast reactors is because it opens a way of utilizing the energy potential of thorium. However substantial quantities of plutonium are required to start off the fast reactors. This plutonium can come from natural uranium heavy water reactors (such as the ones we have built and are building) or from low enriched uranium light water reactors. The need to import natural uranium arises because the total amount of uranium available in India, as of now, is not large. Our presently known ores are of low grade and price of uranium produced in India is more than five times the international price. If we depended only on our own resources of uranium, we can only have a slow growth of nuclear power capacity. Given the constraints on expanding coal based power (through CO2 burden in the atmosphere), on gas (due to limited availability and imported LNG prices being linked to crude oil price) and on hydro electricity (due to opposition against dams because of rehabilitation and submergence questions), India needs to rely more on nuclear energy to enlarge the electrical generation capacity almost immediately. While the initial fast reactors India will build, will use mixed oxide fuel (i.e. mixture of uranium oxide and plutonium oxide), a second phase would use uranium and plutonium metal alloy. The metallic fuel promises higher breeding gain (i.e. an increase in the production of new fissile material). At that stage, we shall have to use
  • pyrochemical processing of spent fuel, possibly using molten salts. Our scientists are studying these questions actively. On the question of burning nuclear waste, an approach India is pursuing is the use of accelerator- driven-systems (ADS) for using thorium. In this scheme, high-energy protons from an accelerator impinge a target, such as lead, releasing a lot of neutrons in what is known as a spallation reaction. These neutrons can then initiate fission in a sub-critical assembly with thorium. India may use this route as an additional route to use thorium. These systems can also burn some of the nuclear waste and thus minimize the waste management problems in the longer run. Indian scientists have been engaged instudying the ADS route also. Centre looks up to Indo-US nuclear deal for powering India NEW DELHI, Nov. 11: As coal could exhaust in coming decades, the Union power ministry believes that the initiatives like the Indo-US nuclear deal could significantly help India achieve its power requirements and targets for the growing country’s needs. India’s current level of energy consumption is extremely low, but its energy requirement, meant to fuel its booming economy, is expected to grow at over 7 per cent every year, which would mean a four fold increase in India’s energy requirement over the next 25 years. It is expected that private participation in nuclear energy would be allowed as and when the Indo- US nuclear deal goes through. Even the report titled “India Energy Outlook 2007”, released by the KPMG, a leading global audit and financial services firm earlier, notes the recent efforts by the Indian government in recognising the need for private participation in the energy sector and in ensuring that policies to promote investments are implemented. The KPMG study has also revealed that the coal reserves in India ~ depending on the quantum of its present extraction ~ will exhaust in next 45 years. If Union power ministry is to be believed, India’s power and upstream energy sectors such as coal, oil and gas would need investments to the tune of a $120-150 billion over the next five years. Also with a targeted GDP growth rate of over 8 per cent and an estimated energy elasticity of 0.75, the energy requirement is likely to grow at over 6.4 per cent every year over the medium to long term. According to coal ministry officials, private participation in coal mining for captive use, in oil & gas exploration and in the power sector is already seeing significant progress. On the other hand, the Atomic Energy Act is expected to be modified shortly allowing private participation, and anticipating this, many large Indian and international energy players have started making moves for possible tie-ups. The proposed diversification of the fuel resource basket includes the shares of natural gas, hydro power and nuclear energy too. The government as well as the country’s private companies are looking at acquiring equity in energy assets abroad as witnessed recently in the oil, gas and coal sectors.
  • Coal ministry officials said India plans to increase nuclear-energy production by more than 9 per cent a year through 2050. Seven new nuclear reactors are already under construction and more are planned despite political hurdles that threaten to derail the Indo-US civilian nuclear energy pact. While China draws fire over its energy production from “unclean” sources, half of United States power is generated by coal, with atomic energy accounting for only 16 per cent of its total electricity generation. A careful reading of the articles in this collection serves to expose thoroughly the groundless demonisation of the CPI(M) and the Left in general, and Karat in particular, that has been the stock-in-trade of much of both print and electronic journalism over recent months. While the collection includes a couple of articles presenting precise critical observations on the proposed India-U.S. civilian nuclear cooperation agreement, its unifying theme is the dangerous continuity in the foreign policies of both the BJP-led NDA and the Congress-led UPA, especially in relation to India-U.S. ties. In fact, the continuity in some respects even predates the formation of the BJP regime in 1998. Following the collapse of the USSR in 1991 and its own emergence as the sole superpower, the U.S. initiated steps for bringing India into its strategic plans and framework. The P.V. Narasimha Rao-led minority Congress government began the process of India-U.S. military collaboration in 1992. However, it was the NDA regime, which as Karat puts it tellingly, that was most craven in its attitude to the U.S. It is precisely the desperate efforts of the BJP-RSS combine when in power from 1998 to 2004 to seek the status of a junior ally of the U.S. that make a mockery of its oppositional posturing in the context of the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal currently under the scanner. Dimensions Karat traces the several steps in the process of successive Indian governments trying to forge a strategic relationship with the U.S. The relationship has military, political and economic dimensions. Military collaboration with the U.S. began in 1992 with the setting up of the India-U.S. Army Executive Steering Committee, followed by the setting up of the Joint Steering Committees of the two countries’ Navies (1992) and Air Forces (1994). The India-U.S. Military Cooperation Agreement followed in 1995. The BJP, with A.B.Vajpayee declaring the U.S. a natural ally of India and L.K.Advani becoming the first Home Minister of India to pay a visit to the CIA
  • headquarters, “took the military collaboration to the level of a strategic alliance.” After a brief setback caused by the Pokhran explosion and the consequent sanctions, the BJP redoubled its efforts to curry favour with the U.S. It resumed the International Military Exchange and Training programme with the U.S. and offered port and airport facilities for U.S. forces when they intervened militarily in Afghanistan. It allowed the FBI to set up an office in New Delhi, welcomed the National Missile Defence programme of President Bush, and allowed use of Indian naval ships to escort the U.S. ships through the Malacca Straits. In January 2004, talks on the next steps in strategic partnership (NSSP) with the U.S. were started. But before the BJP could complete its work of making India a junior partner of the U.S., the elections of 2004 came, and the BJP-led combine was unseated by the Indian voters. Foreign policy The National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) adopted by the new UPA government in 2004 stated that “The UPA government will pursue an independent foreign policy keeping in mind its past traditions. This policy will seek to promote multi-polarity in world relations and oppose all attempts at unilateralism.” However, in practice, the foreign policy of the UPA has also been largely one of seeking a strategic relationship with the U.S., with India as a junior partner. The New Framework for U.S.-India Defence Relationship signed in late June 2005 and the Indo-U.S. Joint Statement of July 18, 2005 signalled the eagerness of the UPA government to enter into a strategic relationship with the U.S., despite the NCMP excluding it. Soon, by voting against Iran twice in the IAEA, the UPA government demonstrated its willingness to abandon the time-tested foreign policy of non-alignment to secure the status of a subordinate ally of the U.S. The Indo-U.S. nuclear deal has to be understood and examined in this context, and not evaluated as a standalone text. The dangers Karat makes a convincing case for India not choosing to embrace the U.S. as a strategic partner by reminding us graphically of U.S. shenanigans across the world in the name of ‘democracy’ and its open espousal of ‘regime change’ in various parts of the world in complete disregard of principles of national sovereignty and independence. Now that the UPA government seems to have resiled from its earlier obdurate stand on the nuclear deal, public debate should take on board the substantive points made by Karat on the dangers of a strategic partnership with the U.S. and of the associated pressures on economic policy as well in such areas as financial liberalisation, FDI in retail, the Indo-U.S. Agricultural Knowledge Initiative dominated by agribusiness and retail trade multinationals. The importance of a sensible energy policy which
  • requires India to keep its international options open also needs to be underlined, and the very modest contribution of nuclear energy in this regard under even the most optimistic scenario understood. The level of media and public discourse on the nuclear deal and on foreign policy will be greatly enhanced if some of the print media contributors and the television anchors take the trouble to read and understand Karat’s book, instead of dismissing the Left as “irrationally anti-American”. But that may be too much to hope for. is the US suddenly trying to be so nice to India? What is the basis for USA’s new found love for India? Background tale of NPT India has not signed the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which recognizes only those countries that have conducted nuclear test before 1967 as nuclear powers! Every sovereign nation has the right to acquire nuclear weapons and the attempt to eliminate all nuclear weapons out of the world should be a global effort, where as an agreement like NPT only creates an elite nuclear club of few nations that have done tests before 1967! NPT is like saying only 5-6 countries can have nuclear weapons and all other countries should not have them. Utter nonsense and childish. India has rightly maintained that it will not sign NPT. As usual Pakistan has said that it will not sign NPT till India signs it!! There is no other logical basis for Pakistani stand. Like India, even Israel has rejected NPT on similar grounds. Read my on Indo-US nuclear deal. Hyde Act
  • The Uranium resources available in India are not adequate to power our nuclear plants. Since India is not a signatory to NPT, the NSG i.e Nuclear Suppliers Group (a group of nations with natural Uranium resources) will not supply Uranium to India. So US has gone out of its way and created an act called Hyde Act, to allow US to supply Uranium fuel to even those countries which are not signatories to NPT! All this just to enable US to supply nuclear fuel to India. Hyde Act provides a legal basis to the 123 agreement between India and US. Why is US doing all this? The Reason The reason US gives is that it will help solve India’s rising energy needs! From when did US start having such a great concern for India and its needs? It was the same US which refused to abide by its contractual obligations of supplying nuclear fuel to India in 1974 after India conducted its first nuclear test. US was then supplying fuel to India’s Tarapur nuclear power plant TAPS, and after the Indian tests it simply refused to supply!! And do we have to trust US again? What is the guarantee that US won’t repeat this in the future? And this time there are also legal provisions in the Hyde Act for US to do so! US itself generates only about 16% of its power requirements using nuclear fuel. Why? If nuclear power is so viable then why not take it to 40-50%? Depending on nuclear reactors is not a joke. A small accident can leave the entire region uninhabitable to years to come. What about terrorist attacks on nuclear plants?
  • It was the same US which under Richard Nixon sent arms supplies to Pakistan in 1971 via Iran in direct violation of the US laws that had imposed sanctions on Pakistan then. US sent its aircraft carrier USS enterprise to scare India during the Indo-Pak war of 1971, and when India did not care about any possible US intervention, Nixon called the Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi a ‘witch’! The then US national security adviser, Henry Kissinger went even further and called Indira Gandhi a ‘bitch’ and said ‘the Indians are bastards anyway’! See related info about these derogatory comments used by the top US administration against India and Indians Who knows, there might be similar comments used even by the current US administration about India (especially about the left parties of India which are against the deal, or even about BJP/NDA for conducting the 1998 nuclear tests), which might get revealed 2-3 decades later! It was the same US which encouraged China to sell arms to Pakistan! Note that during the cold war Pakistan was an US ally, and the US could not bear the closeness of Indian ties with USSR. And today the same US is saying that Pakistan cannot be considered for a similar nuclear deal like the one with India? Why? Pakistan on the other hand is justified (from its point of view) in feeling betrayed by the US, in spite of them supporting US in the war on terror and during the cold war. It was for the same Pakistan which was an US ally once, that US officials told after 9/11 attacks that ‘be prepared to be bombed back to stone age’!
  • But again, it was the same US which turned a blind eye towards Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions. And now its making all the hue and cry about the Pakistani run nuclear black market! In other words, all I am trying to say is that there is no true concern about India in this US-Indo nuclear deal. Its again all about US interests. This is bloody international politics, no place for words like emotions, love, respect here. Its all about safeguarding one’s national interests. So India should not be carried away. US is just redefining the playground of international politics. US is aware that India is becoming a major world power, a stable democracy of over 1 billion people cannot be ignored, and more than anything else it is the foreign policy and economics that matters. US wants to contain China which it perceives to be a threat to US interests in the future. So US wants to use democratic India as a base against the communist China, the same way it once used Pakistan against India! It is no surprise that immediately after the 123 agreement was announced, Japanese premier Shinzo Abe visited India, stressing the need for a broader alliance of the democracies of Asia (so obviously excluding China)! US wants a US-Indo- Japanese-Austrialian nexus in the region to contain China. Next US wants India to play second fiddle to its foreign policies like that on Iran. US is at unease with Indian relations with Iran, and wants to use deals like these to dictate Indian foreign policy in tune with its own. And finally the economic boom of India. Who doesn’t wants money. The Indo US nuclear deal will allow legal framework for contract worth over 150 billion
  • US dollars to american companies! Look at the amount of money India will be spending on American companies. Can’t we save this huge amount of money? A lot of money India is earning due to its economic boom is going back to these countries in this way! Just yesterday India has invited RFP for a global defence tender worth over 42000 crore rupees!! Every time India buys a commercial aircraft from Boeing or Airbus, every time India buys fighter aircrafts like F-16s, Sukhois, etc spending billions of dollars on them, I would be wondering can’t we build these things on our own and save the huge money and use it for other developmental activities within the country? These spendings are like, not cooking food at home, and instead going to hotel everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner, both waste of money and spoiled health The Nuclear Way I strongly believe that nuclear energy based on fission elements should NOT be a major source of power generation for the world in the future, because of the resulting radioactive pollution and waste problem. We should concentrate on renewable energy resources like solar, water, wind, lava/magma, etc. Instead of depending on one single source as an answer to all our energy requirements, we should follow a distributed and localized approach, like the example mentioned here. But more importantly nuclear fusion based technology when invented could provide a better answer to world power shortage. Fusion does not leave long term radioactive waste unlike nuclear fission. India is already a member of ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project to build an
  • experimental reactor based on nuclear fusion, along with the EU, US, Japan, Russia, China and South Korea. Look at the roles of each country in this project here. Having said this, India has world’s second largest reserves of Thorium and efforts are on to develop Thorium based fast breeder reactors in India. India would not have required the nuclear deal if we had enough Uranium available. Now that we have Thorium, why not concentrate on it instead and develop Thorium based reactors? Indian Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) went critical (i.e started power generation) in 1995. FBTR uses indigenously developed plutonium-uranium mixed carbide fuel. All that is left is to succeed in, using depleted Thorium (available abundantly in India) to create Uranium-233, i.e India can still produce Uranium using its available Thorium resources, even if Uranium is not available naturally in India in large amounts! Once we are able to convert our Thorium into Uranium, why do we need this nuclear deal at all? Remember that from an Indian point of view, nuclear deal is all about getting Uranium to be used as fuel to power its nuclear plants. If people are thinking that the Indo-US nuclear deal is going to solve all our power problems, let there be no illusion about it. Even if we implement the Indo-US nuclear deal today, by 2020 we will be at the most generating 20000 Mega Watt of power using nuclear power, where as the power requirement of India by then would be about 2,50,000 Mega Watt. What a massive compromise for less than 10% of our power needs!! India will become just
  • another country playing second fiddle to the US if we go ahead with this deal. And US foreign policy will dictate what Indian foreign policy would be. So all I am saying is, lets be practical. There is no rediscovered great friendship and love of US to India here. US is just continuing to play and redefine the game and re-identify its partners and adversaries based on its national interests. India should also look only at its national interests. Remember that, when US refused to sell Supercomputers to India in the 1980s, Rajiv Gandhi setup C-DAC to build our own indigenous super computers. The result is that today India with its PARAM series of super computers developed by C-DAC, is among the only three countries in the world which have developed their own teraflop super computers (The other two are US and Japan, the Indian version being lot more cheaper in terms of manufacturing cost than those of US and Japan). So India has the proven track records not just in software, but also in hardware. Moser baer is another Indian success story in the hardware field. If we are to become a future super power, we should remove all kind of dependencies which would come on the way of our independent foreign policies, we should become technologically self sufficient, concentrate on emerging as a third alternative to US and China instead of playing second fiddle to US. That’s the way ahead for a super power India. When I say super power India, I dont mean a super power like USA, I mean much more and much beyond than that! A world leader which treats all other countries on par with it, a world leader which other countries look at not out of fear, but with a feeling of trust.