News / Asia

US, India Reach Reprocessing Agreement as Part of Civil Nuclear Deal

The U.S. State Department says negotiations have been "finalized" with India on the procedures for the reprocessing of spent atomic fuel - one of the last unsettled elements of the landmark 2008 civil nuclear energy deal between the two countries.

Despite the nuclear cooperation deal, approved by the U.S. Congress in October, 2008, there have been some loose ends to bundle before American companies can start building nuclear power plants in India.

One of them involved permission for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel that originated in the United States.  This was complicated by the fact that India, which has nuclear weapons, has never signed international nuclear non-proliferation treaties.

No specifics have, so far, been revealed about the reprocessing arrangements and there has been no immediate comment from the Indian government.

The pact between Washington and New Delhi mandates India establish, under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, a dedicated reprocessing facility for the spent fuel.

Nuclear expert Reshmi Kazi, at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, funded by the India's Defense Ministry, tells VOA News the reprocessing agreement means India has overcome a huge diplomatic hurdle.

Nuclear expert Reshmi Kazi of the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, 2007 (file photo)
Nuclear expert Reshmi Kazi of the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, 2007 (file photo)

"It is important for us because it is a 30-year-old technology denial regime that we were going on with," she said.  "And now this denial regime has been lifted.  It is a huge victory for us."

The agreement lifts a three-decade U.S. moratorium on nuclear trade with India.

Kazi says despite opposition party concerns that India was somehow ceding nuclear sovereignty to the United States there is really no downside for New Delhi in finalizing the pact with Washington.

"This is really going to help us in a lot of way, in terms of energy, in terms of global recognition, in terms of the market we are going to have in India now," she added.  "Because of the deal there is going to be a $150 billion market which is going to attract a lot of investors."

Leftist parties in India had strongly opposed the deal firmly pushed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the leader of the governing coalition.

A statement from U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer says the reprocessing arrangements will clear the way for the creation of thousands of jobs in both countries.

There is still one more major sticking point.  India's Parliament needs to approve legislation granting civil liability protection to U.S. energy companies.  The political opposition here is against this, noting that similar nuclear deals made with Russia and France do not entail such conditions.


Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid