11 March 2006

Nuclear deal: The action now shifts to Washington

Following the March 2 agreement on the separation of India's military and civilian nuclear facilities, the United States is moving ahead with its obligation to amend domestic statutes in order to permit nuclear commerce with India. On March 9, the White House sent Capitol Hill the proposed text of an amendment to the Atomic Energy Act that it would like Congress to enact.

Basically, the U.S. President wants the authority to waive certain provisions of the AEA so that the U.S. can conclude a nuclear cooperation agreement with India. The text of the proposed changes can be accessed here.

But if the administration is hoping to get the AEA amended before the May plenary meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, critics of the deal within the U.S. are also sharpening their swords. David Albright and Susan Basu of the Institute for Science and International Security have just released an 11-page report alleging that India Rare Earths (IRE), an undertaking of the Department of Atomic Energy, has been resorting to clandestine acquisitions for the Rare Materials Plant (RMP) enrichment project at Rattehalli. The Arms Control Association has also come up with a number of objections.

In a subsequent post, I will analyse Albright's claims about IRE.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where Bribery is the Action of the day, even from defence ministry level, Any nuclear material to India is definitely going to proliferate. Whatever they may project on papers , cannot be trusted in India.
Remember there is no social security concept in India.

One Airport security told me, " Dake mar ke jao" Just push them and go... thats life in India.