US helping India become a Nuclear Fiendish Country

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Indian PM feels political heat

By Sanjeev Srivastava

BBC News, Delhi

For the first time since his government came to power in May last year, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh finds himself under attack from all sides.

As the monsoon session of the national parliament begins in Delhi, Mr Singh must be finding his seat a little too hot for comfort.

The shy and soft-spoken economist-turned-politician has in a matter of a few weeks become the favourite target of everybody.

The opposition is gunning for him. So are the Communists who have not joined the Congress-led coalition government but are lending it crucial support from the outside.

Symbol of honesty

Even many senior Congress leaders, including some ministers, have begun to criticise him none too discreetly.

It is not an easy position to be in, especially for someone like Mr Singh, a reluctant politician who has always been seen as a scholar first.

Critics say this image has in fact been assiduously cultivated by the prime minister himself.

But others argue that such a conclusion may be a little too harsh a judgment on someone who is seen by many as a symbol of honesty in what's widely regarded as a corrupt political system.

So why is Mr Singh under fire?

According to the detractors - who include opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwarts like the former Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee - the prime minister is compromising national interest.

It all started with Mr Singh's speech at Oxford earlier this month where his opponents say he lavished needless praise on the days of the British Raj.

'Confidence of present'

His remarks praising the British for their good governance, and their legacy of a judiciary, police force and the civil services all attracted severe criticism from a wide cross-section of political foes and friends.

They accused the prime minister of glorifying the Raj and insulting the entire freedom movement, including those who sacrificed their lives trying to oust the British from India.

Mr Singh's close aides however deny that he got carried away by the occasion and made a mistake.

They argue that his comments should be seen in the context of India-UK relations of the present, not of the past, and were made at the time he was receiving an honorary degree.

Mr Singh's defenders point out that the Raj left India with the English language and helped to inspire the writing of the Indian constitution.

"We should be comfortable with our past because we now have the confidence of our present," an official in the prime minister's office said.

But it is unlikely the opposition will be so easily convinced.

They do not think his case is strengthened by the fact that he quoted the greatest freedom fighter of them all - Mahatma Gandhi - in his speech as well as mentioning his successor, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Nuclear row

The other issue on which Mr Singh is under attack - from both his Communist allies as well as the BJP - is last week's Indo-US agreement on nuclear energy.

Mr Singh's political enemies are now trying to inflict maximum embarrassment on him

The Communists - who see red every time Delhi is perceived as getting too close to the US - have already dubbed the deal a "sell-out" by India.

But sources close to the prime minister told the BBC that the BJP government had in fact been trying to work out the same agreement with the US for the past three years.

The official defended the deal and said it was beneficial for both the US and India.

"The truth is we were desperate. We have nuclear fuel to last only till the end of 2006. If this agreement had not come through we might have as well closed down our nuclear reactors and by extension our nuclear programme," he said.

The official also said that in the event of the US congress still blocking the sale of nuclear fuel to India, Delhi will now stand a better chance of getting the same from either France or Russia.

'Capitulation'

The prime minister is also under fire for his comments on the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.

His remarks in Washington that the pipeline project was fraught with risks was seen by many in Delhi as another example of his capitulation before the Americans, who have already indicated their opposition to the gas pipeline project.

Here again the prime minister's aide told the BBC that he had only stated the obvious.

"The truth is that we are discussing the security implications of the project with Pakistani officials right now."

The official added that Tehran was also reconsidering the project in the light of recent incidents on the Iran-Pakistan border.

But the impression has stuck that there's a question mark over the ambitious pipeline project only because of pressure from the US.

And Mr Singh's political enemies are now trying to inflict maximum embarrassment on him over these issues.

While the opposition is certain to make the going rough for the prime minister in the parliament session, the biggest threat he faces comes from within the ranks of his own party.

While those close to the prime minister deny any differences between Mr Singh and the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, the political grapevine in Delhi is rife with rumours of discord between the two.

There are many Congress leaders - particularly those who want to step into Mr Singh's shoes - who hope that recent events may cause the Manmohan-Sonia relationship to sour.

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/south_asia/4715797.stm

Published: 2005/07/25 18:04:01 GMT

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Posted · Report post

I think Pakistan should offer to sell them some fuel pellets as we are self sufficient in reactor fuel.

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Posted · Report post

I think Pakistan should offer to sell them some fuel pellets as we are self sufficient in reactor fuel.

What an excellent idea Boota Masih sahib! maybe that could also be a part of the confidence building measures :)

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I think Pakistan should offer to sell them some fuel pellets as we are self sufficient in reactor fuel.

I suggest a Uranium rod :D

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But guys arent we talking self-destruction :(.. :eek:

Give them the fuel to make weapons which might end up being used against us.... :rolleyes:

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I suggest a Uranium rod :D

I second that

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Aoa

no need to give them any things guys .we r really foolish if we do so .....remember india is our enemy and to arm the enemy is foolishness and nothing else .in the the near past , pakistani minister said that pakistan would take interest in the pipeline project if india dosent.i ask why ?? if now they are lacking interest in the priject why should we offer them? we have to gaurd this pipeline all from irinian border upto indian border.it will be difficult for us as we have many other issues to look upon.

Allah Hafiz

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Aoa

no need to give them any things guys .we r really foolish if we do so .....remember india is our enemy and to arm the enemy is foolishness and nothing else .in the the near past , pakistani minister said that pakistan would take interest in the pipeline project if india dosent.i ask why ?? if now they are lacking interest in the priject why should we offer them? we have to gaurd this pipeline all from irinian border upto indian border.it will be difficult for us as we have many other issues to look upon.

Allah Hafiz

Come on man, these posts are tongue in cheek. Do you want me to explain what is a Uranium rod that we intend to give them.

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I think Pakistan should offer to sell them some fuel pellets as we are self sufficient in reactor fuel.

Are we self-sufficient in reactor fuel ? I thought india was looking for new reactors than nuclear fuel.

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Are we self-sufficient in reactor fuel ? I thought india was looking for new reactors than nuclear fuel.

India is looking for both...

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Are we self-sufficient in reactor fuel ? I thought india was looking for new reactors than nuclear fuel.

Yes, we are. Our nuclear power plants are based on domestic fuel. When the Canadian embargoed KANUPP operations were never stopped.

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Salam Abbas Naqvi Sahib,

Pakistan has been self-sufficient in reactor fuel. How have we been feeding KANUPP despite sanctions for so long if we are not? PAEC has mastered the nuclear fuel cycle, and the PAEC has a fuel fabrication plant at Kundian. Pakistan is also self-sufficient in Heavy water production.

Regards.

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The report may well be an Indian ploy to get new technology from US. India has fairly advanced nuclear fuel cycle program to feed its dozen nuclear plants that produce 2400MW (roughly) although none of the plant has run over 60% capacity for various reasons. India also produces several hundred tons of fuel for its plants.

But in this matual "kiss ass environment", US may have thrown a bone to make sure India does not go any closer in its gas pipe line program with Iran.The measure of decibles from "Indian bark" would determine next US action But rest assure Indians are not going to get any US nuclear technology and Bania knows that US plants and technology is prohibitively expensive and do not fit Subcontinent environment.

Pakistan became self sufficient in nuclear fuel in late seventies or early eighties and produces atleast 60 tons of fuel for its Karachi plant. PAEC is reported to have plans to develop Thorium fuel cycle for its future "Advanced Heavy Water Moderator " (AHWMR) plants with help from China. PAEC mater plan to produce 8400MW from atom would bring true revolution, only condition is that Pakistan should stick to China and does miss another train in her quest to become truly self sufficient.

KS

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Mansoor and Sheikh how do you know all this? this has never been news stuff except for the issue of karachi power plant. (I am not from the field of nuclear engineering).

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Salam Abbas Naqvi Sahib,

The answer that how do we know that Pakistan is self-sufficient in nuclear fuel is here:

"How Pakistan Made Nuclear Fuel" by Munir Ahmad Khan, former chairperson of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission: Islamabad The Nation 7 February 1998.

It does not need specialization in nuclear engineering to know that Pakistan is self-sufficient in the nuclear fuel cycle. The nuclear fuel cycle is the backbone and foundation of any nuclear program, civilian or military.If Pakistan had not mastered the nuclear fuel cycle, then KANUPP would have ceased to function and no uranium enrichment or plutonium and heavy water production and reprocessing would have been possible, and Pakistan could not have become a nuclear power. I am sure you know much more than this.

Regards.

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I did see the 1998 article or anyother, a large part of 1998 i was'nt in pakistan. Although i am aware of the general facts. What future projects is PAEC working now beside new civilian reactors ?

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I did see the 1998 article or anyother, a large part of 1998 i was'nt in pakistan. Although i am aware of the general facts. What future projects is PAEC working now beside new civilian reactors ?

In this thread you can read about some of the things that PAEC is involved in:

http://www.pakdef.info/forum/showthread.php?t=7131

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Is ‘Thorium Breeder Reactor’ a legitimate technology to produce electricity or is India using this excuse to Import Plutonium from some ‘friendly’ countries?

Also, is it the Safest and Most Economical Reactor in the World; much better than what Americans and Europeans can produce? :)

India unveils design of thorium N-reactor:

NEW DELHI, Aug 25: India on Thursday unveiled its design of “a thorium breeder reactor (ATBR)” that can produce 600mw electricity for two years “with no refuelling and practically no control manoeuvres,” news reports said quoting senior officials.

Designed by scientists of Mumbai-based Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), ATBR is claimed to be far more economical and safer than any power reactor in the world.

ATBR does not require natural or enriched uranium which the country is finding difficult to import. It uses thorium — which India has in plenty — and only requires plutonium as “seed” to ignite the reactor core initially.

The reactor is being seen as a probable way before meeting India’s growing energy needs and to foil likely problems from depleting stock of standard nuclear fuel. The ATBR annually requires 2.2 tons of plutonium as “seed.” Although India has facilities to recover plutonium by reprocessing spent fuel, it requires plutonium for its fast breeder reactor programme as well. Nuclear analysts say that it may be possible for India to obtain plutonium from friendly countries wanting to dismantle their weapons or dispose of their stockpiled plutonium.

Dawn

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I agree, Pak should send fuel to India, but under one condition, that is that spent fuel and rods are sent back to Pakistan for re-processing :) Pak then can thank India for producing fuel to make bombs :D

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Naveed, are you responding to the question I asked in my post? I don’t see any relevance of your post here although I did find the following quite interesting:

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists:

Members:

Pervez Hoodbhoy

Professor of physics at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan; chairman of the nonprofit publishing organization, Mashal Books; recipient of the Abdus Salam Prize for Mathematics, 1984.

Members of 'Bulletin of Atomic Scientists'

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If we really send fuel rods then donot forget to label them size small :D

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India first chose heavy water rectors using natural uranium from Canada (CANDU type reactors) then put money in fast breeder reactor research that feeds on the plutonium generated in the first phase and their next endeavor are thorium reactors. The long and the short answer are technical difficulties and cost associated with Thorium fuel fabrication and reprocessing. Some technical difficulties were overcome in France fast breeder development, but France closed its fast breeder reactor project and so did Japan. The bottom line : the economics still (and will) remain prohibitive by Indian standards.

For the last fifty years Indian nuclear energy program has advanced at a snail’s pace largely due to sanctions and the access denied to build reactors through nuclear supplier group, a cartel of US and European companies. Only about 2800MWe or less than 2% of total power capacity is operational (today) against 10000MWe (that) was planned by 2000. Although India haslarge nuclear infrastructure with thousands of scientists and engineers (only behind US and Russia) it still cannot match with S.Korea (a late comer in nuclear power) produces 40 % of her electricity from atom. India’s other excuse is that she has limited domestic source of natural uranium (50000 tones) which is not sufficient even with fast breeder reactors ( even if) they can commission fast enough and run them safely. Opening Indian nuclear facilities can solve fuel problem but India wants to have the cake and eat it too.

India also claims to have large thorium deposits (350,000 tons) that may allow them Thorium fuel development but again $$ and the development cycle which would be very long would be the fundamental problem. Most advanced countries have abandoned fast breeder and high temperature reactor development in favor of light water reactors because of good availability of uranium in their respective countries or supply from other sources and relatively straight forward fabrication and development through consortium companies over the forty years like urenco who supplies fuel to European reactors as these reactors are under IAEA safegaurds and open to inspection where as "homegrown" Indian reactors are not.Development of nuclear power, research reactors or fuel fabrication is not like developing an IT industry where over in few years you can see some tangible results.

KS

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Congressmen seek blanket Indian support for US: Nuclear deal with New

Dawn 09 Sep 05

WASHINGTON, Sept 8: India on Thursday heard from members of the US Congress that there’s a prize tag for nuclear cooperation from Washington which includes supporting US policies across the board, from Iran to Iraq and beyond.

“India must decide where it will stand: with the ayatollahs of terror in Tehran or with the United States,” said Tom Lantos, a Democratic Congressman from California, as the House International Relations Committee began hearing the July 18 Indo-US deal that offers civilian nuclear cooperation to India and pledges to make it a “great power”.

“It is also important, if India is to assume truly the status of a great power, that it move beyond the confines of South Asia and support efforts to establish stability and democracy elsewhere -– for example, in Iraq,” said Mr Lantos, a pro-Indian lawmaker who not only supports the nuclear deal but said that he also favoured India becoming a full member of the UN Security Council.

Outlining what he expects India to do in return, Mr Lantos said: “That includes supporting our efforts to refer Iran’s 18 years of violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to the UN Security Council. Anything less than full support will imperil the expansion of US nuclear and security cooperation with New Delhi.”

Mr Lantos also felt that since signing the July 18 agreement, India has not done what the US had expected it to do. “There is a degree of reciprocity we expect of India which has not been forthcoming. The policy of India towards Iran is a matter of great concern to many of us.”

Reminding India that there’s “quid pro quo in international relations,” Congressman Lantos said that it would not be acceptable to the US that “we agree to undertake a tremendous range of path-breaking measures to accommodate India, while India blithely pursues what it sees should be its goal and policy vis-a-vis Iran.”

He added: “We have every right to expect that India will reciprocate in taking into account our concerns.”

The committee’s chairman Henry Hyde advised the Bush administration to seek guarantees from India to ensure that it would reciprocate the favour it was receiving from the US. “What assumptions are we making regarding the impact of this agreement on India’s perceptions and likely actions?” he asked.

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Hmmmm ... so who does uncle Sam wanna use as a condom now.

And the Indians were hoping for free meal ticket in all this. I wonder what strings US will attach to the sales of F16/18 etc. (maybe deploy them in the east/north against China, or military bases in eastern India).

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