is the nuclear agreement about? It is all about widening our development
options, promoting energy security in a manner which will not hurt
our precious environment and which will not contribute to pollution
and global warming,”
Minister Manmohan Singh at a meeting with Senior Journalists on
July 15, 2008)
nuclear deal in its present form is unacceptable to the country
because the Hyde Act passed by the US Congress, which governs the
123 Agreement, undermines India’s nuclear autonomy and imposes
curbs on our strategic programme. I had suggested to him that Parliament
should consider passing a suitable amendment to the Atomic Energy
Act to insulate India from the negative effects of the Hyde Act."
(Opposition Leader L. K. Advani at a meeting with the Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh in December 2007)
is clear that the IAEA Safeguards Agreement does not address the
fundamental problems in the Hyde Act and the 123 Agreement."
Prakash Karat, General Secretary, CPI(M), on Safeguards Agreement)
exerting all pulls and pressure wanted to get it through during his
reign of the world’s oldest democracy.
Prime Minister Dr
even risking his party’s political stake at home turf wanted to see
India does not fall behind in the global race for nuclear cooperation
for peaceful purposes. They made it happen. The signing of the US-India
Civil Nulcear Cooperation Agreement popularly known as 123 Agreement on
October 10, 2008 by
US Secretary of
State Dr. Condoleezza Rice
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee,
one of the architects of the Agreement, was the culmination of a highly
debated process initiated on July 18, 2005 in Washington during Indian
Prime Minister's visit for talks with the US President 123 Agreement is
now operatinalized and “legally binding” on both the countries.
This marks the end of “34 years of a ‘technology denial regime’ imposed
against India, opening a wide vista of opportunity for U.S.-India
collaboration in commerce, civil nuclear research, technology transfer and
nuclear fuel supply – essential inputs to power India’s dynamic,
fast-growing economy, as termed by the
after the passage of the Agreement in the House of Congress on Oct.1, 2008.
A wide vista of opportunity is opened for U.S.-India collaboration in
commerce, civil nuclear research, technology transfer and nuclear fuel
supply – essential inputs to power India’s dynamic, fast-growing economy.
“By enabling U.S.-India civil nuclear cooperation, India not only joins the
international nuclear non-proliferation mainstream, but now has the
opportunity to achieve energy security, while protecting the global
environment. A massive scope for commercial opportunity between U.S. and
Indian companies will also be the result, valued at more than $150 billion
over the next 30 years, spurring a revival of the nuclear power industries
of both countries that will create as many as a quarter million high-tech
U.S. jobs for generations to come,” said USIBC President Ron Somers.
The Agreement will
provide India with access to U.S.
reactors and technology to generate power for its more than 1.1 billion
people. India’s powerful industry lobby Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
expects about $27 billion investment in 18 to 20 nuclear plants in India
over the next 15 years.
“Let no one assume,
though, that our work is now finished. Indeed, what is most valuable about
this agreement is how it unlocks a new and far broader world of potential
for our strategic partnership in the 21st century, not just on
nuclear cooperation but on every area of national endeavor,” said
Dr. Condoleezza Rice
before signing the agreement. In response, Indian External Affairs Minister
Pranab Mukherjee said: “The significance of the agreement is that it is the
first step to civil nuclear cooperation and trade between India and the U.S.
This is an agreement about civil nuclear cooperation, and reflects a careful
balance of rights and obligations.”
remain committed to a voluntary, unilateral moratorium on nuclear
testing. We do not subscribe to any arms race, including a nuclear arms
race. We have always tempered the exercise of our strategic autonomy
with a sense of global responsibility. We affirm our policy of
no-first-use of nuclear weapons," Indian External Affairs Minister
had said in a
on the eve of the
Nuclear Suppliers Group's meeting that followed the meeting of
the Board of Governors of the International Atomic
Energey Agency (IAEA) on August 1, 2008 which adopted by
consensus the agreement calling for application of IAEA safeguards to
Indian civilian nuclear facilities.
At its meeting on September 6, 2008 NSG has approved a full-scope
waiver for India, as a step toward operationalizing the US-India
nuclear deal (123
and allowing India to enter the international mainstream for civil
nuclear power. Close on the
heels of the US Congressional approval on October 1, Bush signed the Act
on October 8, 2008.
statement Mukherjee had said that the NSG decision "will
enable India to resume full civil nuclear cooperation with the international
community to meet its energy and developmental requirements."
The four-party Left alliance that had been supporting
the Congress(I)-led UPA government for last four years withdrew its support
apprehending that the Safeguards
Agreement with IAEA would threaten India's sovereignty. The Prime
Minister will have to burry the Left apprehension in due course
making all the Civilian Nuclear agreement related issues more transparent
statement during consideration of the U.S. India Nuclear Cooperation
Agreement by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican
Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) had said: "The U.S.-India
nuclear cooperation agreement is not one that we would offer to just
any nation. It is a venture we would enter into only with our most trusted
democratic allies. I believe that stronger economic, scientific,
diplomatic, and military cooperation between the U.S. and India is in the
national interest of both countries and that our increasingly close
relationship will be one of the central factors determining the course of
global events in this century. This peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement
will prove to be an essential component in broadening and strengthening
that strategic partnership and in ensuring that India is able to address
the rapidly growing energy needs of its population, as its economy
continues to expand.
Among the most important elements of this new relationship is India's
commitment to cooperate with the U.S. on major issues such as halting the
spread of nuclear weapons material and technology to groups and countries
of concern. In particular, this nuclear cooperation agreement is essential
in continuing to ensure India's active involvement in
dissuading, isolating, and if necessary, sanctioning and containing Iran
for its efforts to acquire chemical, biological and nuclear weapons
capability and the means to deliver those deadly weapons. It will also
help secure India's full participation in the Proliferation Security
Initiative, including a formal commitment to the Statement of
Interdiction Principles. And it will be a major step forward in achieving
a moratorium by India, Pakistan, and China on the production of fissile
materials for nuclear explosives.
India’s growing role in global
to inform this august House about recent developments in our
civil nuclear initiative. In the three months since this matter
was last considered in Parliament, we have made considerable
India-specific Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA was approved
unanimously by the IAEA Board of Governors on 1st August 2008.
As approved, the Safeguards Agreement reflects the key understandings
upon which our civil nuclear initiative is based and enables
their implementation. We will bring the agreement into force
and offer facilities for safeguards in a phased manner in
accordance with the provisions of the Safeguards Agreement
and in keeping with our Separation Plan.
6th September 2008
the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) adopted a decision by consensus
which enables its members to engage in full civil nuclear
cooperation with India. This decision opens the door for India
to resume civil nuclear cooperation with the international
community to meet its energy and development requirements.
As I had mentioned in my statement in this House last July,
the IAEA approval and the NSG decision provide us the passport
which allows us to engage in civil nuclear cooperation with
our international partners. We are now in the process of getting
visas by engaging with our international partners to negotiate
and finalise bilateral cooperation agreements.
September 30, 2008 we signed an Agreement for Cooperation
in Civil Nuclear Energy with France during PM’s visit to France.
On October 10, 2008 I signed the Agreement for Cooperation
between the Government of India and the Government of the
United States of America concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear
Energy (also known as the 123 Agreement), with the US Secretary
of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice in Washington. We hope to sign
a cooperation agreement with Russia when President Medvedev
visits India in December later this year.
agreements represent a careful balance of rights and obligations.
Cooperation with our international partners will be carried
out on the basis of the terms and provisions of these agreements.
The agreements that we have signed with the US
and France and will be signing with Russia provide for cooperation
in various aspects of nuclear fuel cycle. They include the
fuel supply assurances which are the basis of our civil nuclear
initiative as well as our right to build our strategic fuel
reserves, to ensure the uninterrupted operation of our civil
nuclear reactors under IAEA safeguards. These Agreements and
the India-specific safeguards Agreement also provide for India
to take corrective measures if necessary. These are interlocking
provisions which protect our rights fully.
has also been ensured in these agreements that we have the
right to reprocess the nuclear material that we obtain from
our international partners. We will also be setting up a new
national reprocessing facility and taking other steps necessary
to operationalise these agreements and realize the full potential
of the civil nuclear initiative.
these agreements are fully consistent with India’s national
interest, with the assurances that PM had given to Parliament
and that Government has made to the people of India.
Taken together the India-specific Safeguards Agreement, the
NSG decision and the bilateral cooperation agreements provide
the basis for us to engage in international cooperation in
civil nuclear energy on a long term and sustainable basis
with interested international partners. We regard these decisions
as a vindication and recognition of India’s
impeccable non-proliferation credentials. When the enabling
bilateral cooperation agreements are brought into force they
will provide the legal framework to negotiate and finalise
commercial arrangements to source nuclear fuel for our strategic
fuel reserve as well as other nuclear equipment and technologies
covering the nuclear fuel cycle. We will honour our commitments
and implement these agreements in good faith and in accordance
with the principles of international law and have no doubt
that our partners will similarly discharge their commitments
achieving this result the Government has ensured that they
only relate to cooperation in civilian nuclear energy and
that our strategic programme and our indigenous research are
not affected. Our three stage indigenous nuclear programme
will continue as envisaged by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr.
Homi Bhabha. The bilateral cooperation agreements that we
have signed with the US and France as well as the India-specific
Safeguards Agreement include specific provisions which ensure
that there will be no hindrance to our strategic programme
and that we retain the freedom to take action with regard
to our strategic programme even as we engage in international
cooperation in civil nuclear energy.
Hon’ble Speaker Sir,
me to use this opportunity to elaborate why Government considers
this initiative a historic contribution to our nation building
effort, in respect of energy, sustainable development, technology
and other aspects.
First, it enhances our development options. We are all aware
that the availability of clean, affordable and sustainable
sources of energy is a critical requirement if we hope to
maintain healthy economic growth and abolish poverty. Today,
the shortage of energy hampers our efforts to rapidly develop
our economy. Hon’ble members are well aware of the strain
put on our economy and on the daily lives of the people by
the rise in the global prices of crude oil earlier this year.
We must develop and utilize energy sources which are clean
and do not contribute to climate change or global warming.
We are and will continue to develop renewable sources of energy
such as bio-fuels, solar and wind energy as well as other
sources like hydel power. Nuclear energy offers us an economically
and environmentally viable alternative. With the international
cooperation that is now available, we will be in a position
to bring additional generating capacity through nuclear power
into our energy mix. It will also help our indigenous nuclear
programme to grow rapidly. Today we have about 4000 MW of
installed capacity in nuclear power. Even the existing plants
are operating at a much lower level than their capacity due
to a shortage of uranium. With the opening up of international
nuclear trade and commerce we will have new opportunities
to expand our nuclear power capacity.
our total power generation capacity is about 1,45,000 megawatts.
If we wish to sustain an annual GDP growth rate of 9-10%,
then by 2030, our projected energy deficit would be 1,50,000
megawatts. If we go a little more in future, that is by
2050, our energy deficit would be 4,12,000 megawatts. In
working out these figures, we have taken into account thermal
power, coal, petrol and diesel, hydel power, and non-conventional
energy sources like wind, solar, etc. Even after their fullest
exploitation, the projected deficit would remain. Nuclear
power is the only effective way to bridge this gap. As per
some studies, if we start work today on nuclear power, to
produce 40,000 megawatts of energy in the period of eight
years from 2012 to 2020, then within 22 years, that is by
2030, we will be able to reduce the deficit to only 50,000
megawatts as against the deficit of 1,50,000 megawatts.
Thereafter, we will be able to reduce the energy deficit
in 2050 from 4,12,000 megawatts to only 7,000 megawatts.
Second, this initiative marks the end of the technology-denial
regimes which have restricted India for over three decades.
These developments are the beginning of a new chapter for
India - of engagement as equal partners in civil nuclear
energy cooperation with other countries. As we move forward
it will help us to expand high technology trade with technologically
it is an acknowledgement of the scientific and technological
achievements of our scientists whose tireless efforts in
the face of adverse conditions laid the basis for this initiative.
It is their efforts that have made it possible for the world
today to recognize India as a state with advanced nuclear
technology. Hon’ble members are aware that the embargoes
in the nuclear field that were in place against us had hampered
the efforts of our scientists to fully participate in international
exchanges. With this initiative they will be able to engage
with their counterparts in exchange of scientific ideas
and technical know-how and contribute to the global effort
to deal with the world-wide challenges of energy security
and climate change; and
Finally, the initiative is an acknowledgement of India’s
role as a responsible power in international affairs on
global stage. It is for us to utilize this opportunity with
confidence as we pursue our national interests.
Hon’ble Speaker Sir,
the course of negotiations on the civil nuclear initiative
questions were raised whether we would be able to maintain
the independence of our foreign policy. As I have said on
earlier occasions, let me reiterate once again that we will
never compromise on our independent foreign policy. Our foreign
policy will be determined at all times by our own assessment
of our national interest. This initiative in no way constrains
our ability to pursue an independent foreign policy. It does
not in any way affects our strategic autonomy. In fact it
does the opposite by increasing our foreign policy options.
The NSG decision by opening up the possibility for us to engage
in civil nuclear cooperation with other countries actually
enhances our choices to engage as an equal partner with the
international community. The ultimate objective of our foreign
policy is to create conditions conducive to our growth so
that we can meet our developmental objectives. In this respect
I can say emphatically that this initiative creates more space
for us to pursue a foreign policy which serves our national
the civil nuclear initiative is a landmark achievement which
not only allows us to meet our future energy requirements in
a sustainable manner but is also one which acknowledges India’s
growing role in global affairs. I am sure that you all will
agree with me that it is time for us to look ahead and move
forward with confidence to occupy our new and well deserved
position in the Comity of Nations.
*Suo-Motu Statement by Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of External Affairs,
on “India’s Civil Nuclear Energy Initiative” in Parliament on October
THE LEFT ANGLE
is about to bind its entire civilian nuclear energy programme into
IAEA safeguards in perpetuity without getting concrete assurances
for uninterrupted fuel supply, right to build strategic reserves
and right to take corrective steps in case fuel supplies are stopped.
Safeguards in Perpetuity without Concrete Fuel Supply Assurance
text of the draft “Agreement Between the Government of India
and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the Application of
Safeguards to Civilian Nuclear Facilities”; the so-called
‘India-specific Safeguards’ agreement sent to the IAEA
Board of Governors on July 9, 2008, makes it clear that the repeated
assurances made by the UPA Government in Parliament and outside,
on securing uninterrupted fuel supply assurances and strategic fuel
reserves have not been fulfilled. There are no concrete corrective
measures in the main enforceable body of the Agreement, only a vague
mention of “corrective measures” in the preamble.
the Hyde Act, IAEA safeguards are to be imposed on India’s
civilian nuclear facilities in perpetuity. The UPA government had
repeatedly claimed that India would put its civilian reactors under
safeguards under the strictly reciprocal condition of assured fuel
supply. If fuel supply was disrupted, as happened in Tarapur, India
would have the right to take corrective measures, including taking
reactors out of IAEA safeguards.
key question therefore with respect to IAEA safeguards is: how to
ensure that once India’s civilian reactors go under safeguards
in perpetuity, the country would not be blackmailed by the withholding
of nuclear fuel supplies, as the United States did in Tarapur following
preamble to the Safeguards Agreement notes that India is offering
its civilian nuclear facilities for IAEA safeguards on the “essential
basis” of “the conclusion of international cooperation
arrangements creating the necessary conditions for India to obtain
access to the international fuel market, including reliable, uninterrupted
and continuous access to fuel supplies from companies in several
nations, as well as support for an Indian effort to develop a strategic
reserve of nuclear fuel to guard against any disruption of supply
over the lifetime of India’s reactors.” The real point
is that the preamble merely ‘notes’ India’s intentions
in these respects. IAEA has neither any obligation regarding
fuel supplies or building strategic reserves nor does this noting
India’s basis for this offer give India any additional rights
through this agreement. Therefore to read into this clause either
a guarantee for fuel supplies or IAEA's support for building up
a strategic reserve is misleading the people.
Measures”: Vague and Ineffective
preamble of the IAEA Agreement notes: “India may take corrective
measures to ensure uninterrupted operation of its civilian nuclear
reactors in the event of disruption of foreign fuel supplies.”
Neither the “corrective measures” nor the precise relationship
between these “corrective measures” and the in-perpetuity
imposition is spelt out in any meaningful terms in the text. This
means that should India for any reason decide to take the items
subject to the Agreement out of IAEA safeguards on the contention
that the “essential basis” no longer applies, it will
open itself to the serious charge of violating an international
agreement. In this connection, it is worth remembering that although
India claims the right, under the provisions of the 1963 Indo-US
agreement on Tarapur, to reprocess the considerable quantities of
Tarapur spent fuel that have accumulated to India’s great
inconvenience and expense, it has not been able to enforce the claimed
right to reprocess, which has long been disputed by the United States.
against the vagueness of the “corrective measures” figuring
in the preamble, what is spelt out clearly in the body of the agreement
(Paragraph 32) is that India can withdraw its facilities from safeguards
only if it is (a) jointly agreed between India and IAEA, and (b)
if these facilities are no longer usable for any nuclear activity.
What does this mean? It can only mean that India can withdraw any
facility it wants out of IAEA safeguards only if it strips it of
all capability of producing nuclear energy and that too only after
the IAEA determines that “the facility is no longer usable
for any nuclear activity relevant from the point of view of safeguards.”
if the Agreement is terminated by mutual consent, the termination
of safeguards on the items subject to the Agreement [these are material
and facilities as defined in Paragraph 11(a)] would stay in place
in accordance with GOV/1621 till all the conditions of GOV/1621
are met. The conditions of GOV/1621 are so stringent that the rights
and obligations of the parties continue to apply on all nuclear
materials till they have been returned or all fissionable materials
supplied or produced goes out of the inventory – that is,
until all the facilities and material, nuclear or non-nuclear, supplied
to the country under these safeguards are either returned or consumed
or no longer usable for any nuclear activity. Therefore, this provision
will not allow a single reactor to be taken out of safeguards.
is well established in international law that the preamble is a
part of the treaty or international agreement and it can be used
to give colour and tone to the interpretation of the operative part
of the treaty/agreement. This does not however mean that it can
be used to create additional rights or obligations that are not
contained in the clauses of the Treaty/Agreement.
text of the IAEA Draft Agreement makes clear there are no corrective
measures identified in the operative of the clauses of the Agreement.
The mention of corrective measures is only in the preamble and here
too, no concrete corrective measures have been defined. Unless there
are specific provisions in the operative clauses, a phrase such
as “corrective measures” inserted in the preamble cannot
create either omnibus rights or obligations outside the text of
the treaty. A similar example is for instance the TRIPS Agreement
in WTO. The preamble states that it recognizes “the underlying
public policy objectives of national systems for the protection
of intellectual property, including developmental and technological
objectives”. However, can any country use the “public
policy objectives” to override, for instance, the need for
providing product patents as contained the body of the TRIPS agreement?
way a facility can be withdrawn from safeguards has been spelt out
in the main body of the draft agreement. Therefore, if the UPA government
is trying to argue that the preambular statement of “corrective
measures” gives India some kind of overriding right over all
clauses in the body of the Agreement, it is committing a deliberate
fraud on the people.
final arbiter with regards to any interpretation of the Agreement
and dispute settlement is the Board of Governors of IAEA. The Board
of Governors decision is final in this regard and if India is held
to be non-compliant, even though it is not so by its own interpretation,
India can be referred to the Security Council for action including
sanctions. The Iran case is an example. Though many countries including
India had publicly endorsed Iran’s right to the fuel cycle,
it was referred to the Security Council for violation of its Safeguards
Agreement by the Board of Governors at US’s instance.
Parties’ Concerns Not Addressed
Left Parties, on July 8, 2008, asked the UPA government to spell
out the following:
case the US or other countries in the Nuclear Suppliers Group renege
on fuel supply assurances for imported reactors, will India have
the ability to withdraw these reactors from IAEA safeguards?
the US/NSG countries renege on fuel supply assurances, can we withdraw
our indigenous civilian reactors from IAEA safeguards?
we have to bring nuclear fuel from the non-safeguarded part of our
nuclear programme for these reactors in case of fuel supply assurances
not being fulfilled, will we have the ability to take it back again?
are the corrective steps India can take if fuel supplies are interrupted
by the US/NSG countries?
are the conditions that India must fulfill if the corrective steps
are to be put into operation?
is clear now is that every one of these concerns remains, and that
the unspecified “corrective measures” inserted in the
preamble of the Safeguards Agreement will not address any of them.
to be treated as a Non-Nuclear Weapons State for Safeguarded Facilities
for the preamble, which explains the context in which India is entering
this Safeguards Agreement and outlines the basis of India’s
concurrence, the main body of the Text is a true copy of INFCIRC-66/Rev.2
(1968), which is the standard agreement applicable to all Non-Nuclear
Weapon States of the NPT. The India-specific part comes not
from INFCIRC 66 but from the fact that India has kept a part of
its nuclear programme out of IAEA safeguards. But for the facilities
it proposes to put under IAEA safeguards, it will be treated as
a Non-Nuclear Weapon State. Clearly, India will not have any special
rights in its safeguarded facilities and this directly contradicts
the assurances given by the Prime Minister to Parliament. Nuclear
Weapon States, as defined in the NPT, have the right to take any
facility out of safeguards, a right India will not have for the
reactors it is offering to IAEA for safeguards.
is clear that the IAEA Safeguards Agreement does not address the
fundamental problems in the Hyde Act and the 123 Agreement. As a
result of operationalising the Indo-US Nuclear Deal, India will
place its costly imported reactors under perpetual IAEA safeguards and risk
their permanent shutdown in case it fails to toe the US
line on foreign policy issues. Thus going ahead with the Safeguards
Agreement will be harmful to India’s interests.”
of the Press statement signed and issued by the General Secretaries
of the four left parties –CPI(M), RSP, CPI & Forward Block
on July 11, 2008)
the other hand the Opposition Leader in Parliament L. K. Advani said "the
BJP wants to see friendly relations between India and the United States.
Indeed, as the world’s largest democracy and the world’s strongest
democracy, I believe that our two countries should forge a strategic partnership
to pursue common goals. It goes without saying that India should also
simultaneously deepen friendship and cooperation with all the other major
powers – Russia, Japan and others -- in today’s world, which
we want to see as a multi-polar world tomorrow. A multi-polar world in
which India itself becomes an important pole, working for the welfare
of the entire mankind.
want a strategic partnership with the US on equal terms. The BJP will
never support a relationship with any country, howsoever strong and powerful
it may be, in which India becomes its client or a subservient partner"
he said in Parliament on July 21.
Nuclear Deal in its present form is nothing but acceptance of severe curbs
on our strategic weapons programme. All the American interlocutors, whether
belong to the Republican Party or the Democratic Party or are independent
experts, have made it clear that, as far as their country is concerned,
their principal objective is to bring India into the Non-Proliferation
Regime. What they want fits in well with the critical stand that Dr. Manmohan
Singh took after Pokharan II in 1998. Both want India to come within the
Non-Proliferation Regime dictated by the US.
the Nuclear Deal in its present form means that India will not be allowed
to perform Pokharan III or Pokharan IV, without inviting termination of
the agreement and severe punitive action. This is unacceptable to my party,
to the NDA, to the majority of MPs in this House, and to the people at
large", Advani said.
on Indian Parliament’s clearance of the government’s move
to operatiolaize the nuke deal once it is through at IAEA and NSG levels
the US-India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) chairman
Sanjay Puri said: "As this is a truly historic accord, so
too this is a historic victory for the government of Prime Minister Singh
and all Indians. The agreement benefits both countries on several levels,
strategically, politically and economically, and it will usher in a new
positive era of broadened and deepened cooperation between the oldest
democracy and the largest democracy."
will rally the Indian-American community and engage all like-minded allies
to ensure this deal gets included in the US Congressional calendar for
this year. We look forward to the day that this important milestone in
US-India relations is finalized," he said.