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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid