Saturday, September 6, 2008

N - Powered.............

The 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) has finally given its nod to the Indo-US nuclear deal in Vienna on Saturday.

Ending three decades of isolation, India has joined the elite nuclear club. The NSG waiver has come through on the third day of the crucial talks in Vienna after push from the highest political level, the opposing countries gave their nod.

Sources say apart from External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's statement, there is no reference to ban on tests or termination of deal if India tests.

US President George W Bush called Prime Minister Manmohan Singh soon after the waiver came through. Congress president Sonia Gandhi congratulated the PM.

Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon has told NDTV that the text permits full civil nuclear cooperation between India and the world.

Atomic Energy's chief negotiator in Vienna Ravi B Grover told NDTV that it's a clean waiver for India at the NSG, changes in the draft made have been mutually agreed upon.

"It's a clean waiver for India. Changes made in the draft is mutually agreed upon. We have no problem with the draft," said Ravi B Grover, Atomic Energy Negotiator.

And the prime minister hailed it as a landmark decision. In a statement after the waiver the PM said:

"This is a forward-looking and momentous decision. It marks the end of India's decades long isolation from the nuclear mainstream and of the technology denial regime. It is a recognition of India's impeccable non-proliferation credentials and its status as a state with advanced nuclear technology."

Welcoming the waiver External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said, "We welcome the decision and thank NSG countries and the final outcome fully meets our expectations. NSG waiver a unique development, it is in India's interest."

US Under Secretary, Arms and Control, John Roods has said that it is a historic moment for India and the decision will improve ties between India and the US.

Sources have told NDTV that the new draft, which got the go-ahead by the NSG, has no reference to testing, enrichment ban and preprocessing technology ban.

However, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said, "We have given up our right to test forever."

Criticising the NSG waiver CPI leader D Raja said that India has become a subject of US strategy.

He said, "India has become a subject of US strategy and our opposition to N-deal will continue."

Speaking about the development, Congress leader Digvijay Singh has said that it is a historic day for India and the Prime Minister and team has achieved an impossible task.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's statement on moratorium is a part of the N-waiver received by India.

As per reports, Pranab's statement on Friday over India's commitment for non-proliferation played a crucial role in changing Austria's mind. Austria said they were among the last to yield.

Meanwhile, China has stressed on balancing energy needs and non-proliferation.

So, what does this mean for India? Essentially, it's a victory for Indian diplomacy and it brings India into international nuclear club.

What it means for India

  • Access to nuclear technology without signing CTBT, NPT
  • India can buy nuclear reactors from US, Russia, France
  • India will get access to nuclear fuel from world market
  • India will have access to civilian space technology

In brief:

  • Could be a major contributor to our energy security
  • Will provide 20,000 mw of electricity by 2020
  • Opens door for nuclear cooperation with other countries
  • India will enter the global mainstream of N-power
  • Provides for full civil nuclear energy cooperation.
  • Provides for development of strategic reserve of nuclear fuel.
  • India doesn't have to sign NPT or CTBT.
  • Does not affect India's right to conduct nuclear tests.
  • Will provide access to high technology denied for 30 years.
  • Will spur high-end manufacturing.

India will get access to nuclear technology without having signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty or Non Proliferation Treaty. It opens up nuclear commerce for India and it can buy nuclear reactors from Russia, France and USA.

India will get access to nuclear fuel from the international market and also civilian space technology.

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