22 July 2009

Has Hillary really disowned U.S. policy on ENR sales to India?

One stand in Delhi, another at NSG...

22 July 2009
The Hindu

Has Clinton really disowned U.S. policy on ENR sales to India?
One stand in Delhi, another at NSG

Siddharth Varadarajan

NEW DELHI: On November 20, 2008, the U.S. threw its full weight behind new draft rules at the Nuclear Suppliers Group that ban the sale of enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) items to India. The NSG draft, ‘Revised Paragraph 6 and 7 of INFCIRC 254/Part I,’ lists seven criteria that must be fulfilled before an NSG member authorises the supply of ENR facilities, equipment and technology.

According to a copy of the text obtained by the Arms Control Association (ACA) and accessed by The Hindu, the very first of these criteria, numbered 6(a)(i), is that the recipient must be “a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and is in full compliance with its obligations under the Treaty.” The second is that it has “signed, ratified and is implementing a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the IAEA,” something India cannot do because it has nuclear weapons.

Only four countries are not party to the NPT: India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. But since the existing NSG guidelines prohibiting nuclear transfers to non-NPT members have been waived only for India, the proposed restriction directly targets New Delhi.

Though the draft was introduced by the Bush administration, the Obama administration got the G-8 to begin implementing it on a national basis this month. If approved by the 45-nation cartel, the clean waiver India got last September would apply only to nuclear reactors, components and fuel and no longer to ENR items. It would be, in the words of Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar, a “breach of trust” and “contrary to the spirit” of the Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement.

When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked on Monday whether the U.S.-sponsored NSG move undermined the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal, her answer took everyone by surprise. “As I understand [the] question, it was whether we oppose the transfer of processing and enrichment technology, well, clearly we do not,” she said. “We have just completed a civil nuclear deal with India. So if it is done within the appropriate channels and carefully safeguarded, as it is in the case of India, then that is appropriate.”

“Ms. Clinton either misspoke or was badly advised about U.S. policy on the transfer of sensitive ENR technology,” ACA director Daryl Kimball told The Hindu. “The purpose and intent of the G-8 policy — and the pending November 2008 NSG proposal — is indeed to bar ENR technologies to states [like India] that have not signed the NPT …”

At an off-the-record interaction with Indian analysts here on Tuesday, a senior U.S. official initially said “India won’t be affected” by the draft NSG rules. But he added he was on “thin ground” and that Bob Einhorn, Ms. Clinton’s special adviser on non-proliferation, was better placed to clarify U.S. policy.

While Indian officials, who say they still have not seen the NSG draft, suspect Ms. Clinton misspoke, they believe India should hold her to the position. Indian analysts, however, see her remarks as aimed at buying time. “It would have been very inopportune for Clinton to rule out ENR transfers while in Delhi. That would have injected a note of controversy just as the PM was earmarking two sites for U.S.-supplied nuclear reactors to India,” said the former Foreign Secretary, Kanwal Sibal. “The U.S. will continue to obfuscate the issue so that the prospects of the U.S. nuclear industry in India are not hurt. The line would be that we are not ruling out anything and that after the reprocessing negotiations are completed, other issues will be taken up.”

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Clinton’s passage to India

U.S. nuclear deals are still some way off

Even if the legal issues were resolved, it isn’t clear building and operating U.S, reactors would reap profits for American shareholders. India’s transmission and distribution infrastructure is a patchwork and theft of electrical service is a national pastime. Another challenge is getting state-owned utilities to charge rates-of-return that will insure profits over the lifetime of the reactors.

http://djysrv.blogspot.com/2009/07/clintons-passage-to-india.html


Are these going to be private run reactors?

OSAI Chella said...

Read the article in the morning news paper. Time delaying tactic by Mrs Clinton it seems!

Osai Chella..
Founder: BlogChai.com
"your daily cup of blog chai!"

smita said...

is the US obfuscating or hillary doing it deliberately? or is that taking the conspiracy theory too far? she is being referred to as apologiser in chief in some sections of the media. Smita

I, Me, Myself ! said...

Hillary's answer went over my head!

I am actually curious to know what your take on the recent military co-operation deal we made with US, which allows them to inspect facilities using their equipment (or something like that)

- Sudhir

Anonymous said...

In fact, there is a perfectly good reason developing countries are unwilling to act on climate change: What they are being asked to do is more awful than climate change's implications--even if one accepts all the alarmist predictions.

Consider what would be necessary to slash global greenhouse-gas emissions just 50% below 2000 levels by 2050--a far less aggressive goal than what the enviros say is necessary to avert climate catastrophe. According to U.S. Chamber of Commerce calculations, even if the West reduced its emissions by 80% below 2000 levels, developing countries would still have to return their emissions to 2000 levels to meet the 50% target. However, Indians currently consume roughly 15 times less energy per capita than Americans--and Chinese consume seven times less. Asking them, along with the rest of the developing world, to go back to 2000 emission levels with a 2050 population would mean putting them on a very drastic energy diet.

The human toll of this is unfathomable: It would require these countries to abandon plans to ever conquer poverty, of course. But beyond that it would require a major scaling back of living standards under which their middle classes--for whom three square meals, cars and air-conditioning are only now beginning to come within reach--would have to go back to subsistence living, and the hundreds of millions who are at subsistence would have to accept starvation.

In short, the choice for developing countries is between mass death due to the consequences of an overheated planet sometime in the distant future, and mass suicide due to imposed instant starvation right now. Is it any surprise that they are reluctant to jump on the global-warming bandwagon?

http://www.forbes.com/2009/07/14/g8-climate-change-india-opinions-columnists-shikha-dalmia_print.html

Anonymous said...

In fact, there is a perfectly good reason developing countries are unwilling to act on climate change: What they are being asked to do is more awful than climate change's implications--even if one accepts all the alarmist predictions.

Consider what would be necessary to slash global greenhouse-gas emissions just 50% below 2000 levels by 2050--a far less aggressive goal than what the enviros say is necessary to avert climate catastrophe. According to U.S. Chamber of Commerce calculations, even if the West reduced its emissions by 80% below 2000 levels, developing countries would still have to return their emissions to 2000 levels to meet the 50% target. However, Indians currently consume roughly 15 times less energy per capita than Americans--and Chinese consume seven times less. Asking them, along with the rest of the developing world, to go back to 2000 emission levels with a 2050 population would mean putting them on a very drastic energy diet.

The human toll of this is unfathomable: It would require these countries to abandon plans to ever conquer poverty, of course. But beyond that it would require a major scaling back of living standards under which their middle classes--for whom three square meals, cars and air-conditioning are only now beginning to come within reach--would have to go back to subsistence living, and the hundreds of millions who are at subsistence would have to accept starvation.

In short, the choice for developing countries is between mass death due to the consequences of an overheated planet sometime in the distant future, and mass suicide due to imposed instant starvation right now. Is it any surprise that they are reluctant to jump on the global-warming bandwagon?




http://www.forbes.com/2009/07/14/g8-climate-change-india-opinions-columnists-shikha-dalmia_print.html

Balveer said...

Are we any closer to the answer to the question you pose? Is she smart, incompetent or devious? BA.

Anonymous said...

Thorium Power and the Nuclear Renaissance

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9Nzk3M3xDaGlsZElEPS0xfFR5cGU9Mw==&t=1

Anonymous said...

Should go for Thorium based Nuclear Power

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/24/AR2009072401847_pf.html

Elli said...

is there just an answer to your question???

Transcultura said...

Is she just plain touchy?