News

India Releases Text of Civilian Nuclear Accord With US

The text of a historic civilian nuclear agreement between India and the United States has been released, a week after the deal was announced. As VOA's Steve Herman reports from the Indian capital, the document skirts the delicate issue of what would happen if India conducted another nuclear weapons test.

As expected, the 22-page agreement spells out how the two countries will share nuclear fuel and technology, but avoids any mention of what would happen if India were to carry out another atomic weapons test.

The United States originally sought a specific ban on further Indian tests, but the Indians rejected that as an infringement on their sovereignty.

The text does, however, provide for termination of the agreement with one year's notice. It says "consultations" would have to be held first to discuss the reasons for the termination, which could include what it calls a "changed security environment."

This appears to be a reference to the possibility that Indian might resume testing if it feels threatened by a neighbor.

The text says the United States would help India obtain fuel from other nations if the U.S. supply of nuclear fuel to India is cut off - something that would presumably happen if New Delhi did conduct another nuclear test.

Research analyst Reshmi Kazi at New Delhi's Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies doubts the Indian government will violate the terms of the agreement. She points out that India has agreed to oversight by the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, to allay concerns about diversion of U.S. materials to India's military nuclear program.

"India's definitely going to be a reliable partner, with the fact that we have agreed to put forth 65 percent of our nuclear facilities under safeguards," she said. "In addition to that, we have also agreed to put a reprocessing facility under IAEA safeguards. It's definitely going to make a major breakthrough within the non-proliferation world."

The text shows that after two years of intense technical negotiations, India won the right to stockpile and reprocess fuel, which could be used to make nuclear weapons.

The agreement still requires approval by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group, along with ratification by the U.S. Congress.


Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs