[Marxism] Indo-US Nuclear 'Deal': Fallout and Prospects

Sukla Sen suklasenp at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Oct 22 10:45:53 MDT 2007


Nuclear plants shut down for want of fuel: Nuclear
Power Corp.
Mumbai, Oct 21 (PTI) Five of the 17 nuclear power
plants in the country had been shut down and the
remaining are operating at an average of less than 50
per cent capacity for want of fuel, a top official of
the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited said.
Two units at Narora atomic power plant in Uttar
Pradesh are shut down for annual maintenance work
while the newly commissioned Kaiga unit 3 in Karnataka
and one unit of Kalpakkam atomic power plant near
Chennai are facing closure for want of fuel, Chairman
and Managing Director of NPCIL S K Jain said.

Two units of Rajasthan Atomic Power plants are shut
down as feeder pipe replacement is taking place, Jain
said, adding all these may get started immediately as
there was a mismatch of uranium fuel in the country.

Rest of the 12 plants which had an established 95 per
cent capacity are now running between 50-70 per cent
making the average capacity of nuclear power
production in the country less than 50 per cent, he

The Nuclear Fuel Complex Chief Executive R N Jairaj
said his company was able to make use of only 30 per
cent of the total capacity and is being under-utilised
due to the "mismatch" of fuel.

The fuel "mismatch" situation has started affecting
the performance of the Nuclear Power Corporation of
India Ltd (NPCIL).

Currently operating nuclear power stations with a
capacity of around 4,000 MWe, NPCIL has been forced to
slash power production levels. PTI

http://www.ft. com/cms/s/ 0/fa63a0c2- 8003-11dc-
b075-0000779fd2a c.html?nclick_ check=1

US-India fallout [Editorial]

Published: October 21 2007 19:43 | Last updated:
October 21 2007 19:43

Strangers to Indian politics can be forgiven if they
find the apparent collapse – or at any rate the
postponement – of the US-India deal on nuclear
co-operation hard to credit.

The agreement was a triumph for Manmohan Singh, the
prime minister. It ended a 30-year ban on nuclear
commerce and held out the promise of nuclear fuel and
technology from the US and others. India has not
signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and has no
intention of doing so. Regardless, the pact, announced
this summer after two years of talks, granted the
country wide exemptions from existing nuclear
safeguards – enough to undermine the global
non-proliferation regime. Many governments regretted
that India had secured what they believed were
indefensibly generous terms. Now India itself is
walking away.

The reasons are a blend of antique ideology and
cynical opportunism. Mr Singh’s coalition needs the
support of communist allies. The left parties say the
deal attacks Indian sovereignty and affirms American
leadership. They recoil at the pact’s demands, minimal
as they may be, for India to accept International
Atomic Energy Agency inspections of some (not all) of
its nuclear installations. As talks with the IAEA
approached, the left threatened to withdraw its
support from the coalition and force an election the
government is not ready to fight. Meanwhile, the
opposition Bharatiya Janata party has also attacked
the pact, even though the agreement builds on earlier
detailed understandings bequeathed by the previous BJP

India needs access to foreign nuclear fuel and
equipment to address its chronic energy shortages.
Better terms than those granted in this agreement are
difficult to imagine. In due course, even in India,
this irresistible logic is likely to prevail and
resistance to the pact will subside. The question is:
should India’s hesitation be greeted by other
countries as an opportunity to re-examine the deal?

The US is not so inclined. It wants India as a
partner. This is partly a geostrategic calculation,
but not only that: the Bush administration looks
fondly on India’s secular democracy as a kind of
model. Other countries reacted coolly to the pact,
however, and now have a chance to press those concerns
anew. They should do so. It is in the interests of all
nations – in the end, including India and the US –
that the hard-won non-proliferation rules are affirmed
and upheld. The best outcome would be for this deal to
collapse, and for a new one, conforming to the rules
imposed on others, eventually to take its place.


Manmohan refuses to budge further 
Times Now.tv 10/22/2007 4:58:12 PM

The Indo-US nuke deal has once again become the bone
of contention between the UPA and its allies. It has
been a day of dramatic development on the issue of
Indo-US nuke deal. The UPA's key constituents met for
an unscheduled meeting at the Prime Minister's
residence on Monday morning (Oct 22) to thrash out the
government's position on the controversial Indo-US
nuke deal.

Interestingly, the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh has reportedly toughened his stand on Indo-US
nuke deal issue. Singh has categorically told the UPA
allies that he is unwilling to budge any further on
the issue of nuclear deal and that he would be willing
to opt out, if allies refuse to support him on the
N-deal issue.

Sources have told TIMES NOW that the Indian Prime
Minister has also reiterated that he is unwilling to
lead a 'lame-duck government', if the UPA gives in to
Left's demands.

The UPA's key allies -- the RJD, the DMK and the NCP 
-- are eager to avoid an early election on the issue
and met for an emergency meeting. It's the first time
that the UPA's constituents met formally on the issue,
 although they had been party to the cabinet decision
that formally approved the agreement with the United
States .

The meeting was called after PM Manmohan Singh met
Congress President Sonia Gandhi over the weekend.

The RJD and the DMK have recently questioned the
political wisdom of risking an election on the deal
but the PM has pointed out that the allies were
present at all the Cabinet meetings that discussed the
N-deal, and nobody had raised opposition to the deal
at that point in time.

Accordign to the sources, the Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh has told the UPA allies -- DMK, RJD and NCP --
that he is willing to opt out, if the allies back out
of supporting him on the issue of Indo-US nuke deal.

Elaborating on the issue of Indo-US nuke deal, senior
CPM leader, Sitaram Yechury said:"Issues are there
before the government and we have both agreed that
once the committee's findings are available, they will
be taken into account before the government will
proceed to operationalise the deal." Talking about the
Left's future course of action, Yechury said:"Once we
know formally about their take on the issue of nuke
deal, we will decide our future course of action."

While, Abhishek Singhvi, spokesperson, Congress
said:"Internal meetings, inputs are an ongoing process
to get the best view out on the issue of the nuke
deal. In democracy, there are no deadlines, neither is
there a prescribed formula for Left or for the
Congress or even for the Prime Minister. PM is the
head of the executive and he will finally decide on
the issue."

UPA-Left meeting ends

The meeting between the Left and the UPA leaders,
which was underway on Monday afternoon at External
Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherejee's residence (Oct
22), has ended after 2 hours of intense discussions.
The Left has already indicated that there will be no
compromise on the issue of nuclear deal, and with the
Prime Minister now taking a tough stand on the issue,
the tension between the Left and the government have
flared up once again.

The Left reportedly also stuck to its ground and
maintained its stand on the issue of nuke deal. The
next meeting between the UPA and the Left is scheduled
on 16 Nov wherein the issues raised by the Left during
the 2-hour meet on Monday (Oct 22) will be discussed.
The Left reportedly raised issue on the
operationalisation of the nuke deal, the Hyde Act and
the implication of the Hyde Act on 123 agreement,
among others.

After the conclusion of the meeting, the Union
External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherjee addressed
the media and said:"No decision has been taken on the
operationalisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal. The
deliberations were held in a constructive environment
and the issue will be discussed in the next meeting,
which is scheduled on Nov 16."
Meanwhile, senior CPM leader Sitaram Yechury has said
that the Left's final decision will be taken after
Diwali after the government conveys its future course
of action on the issue of nuke deal.


U.S. still hopes for India deal by 2008
Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:14pm EDT

By Sue Pleming

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said on
Tuesday that it was still hopeful of clinching a
nuclear cooperation deal with India by the end of 2008
even though many experts predict the landmark
agreement is all but dead.

State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the deal was
in the best interests of both nations and despite
"internal discussions" in India, he was optimistic it
would go through before the end of the Bush
administration in January 2009.

"We do hope though that India will decide to move
forward with this agreement and we would like to see
it completed in 2008. This is an issue on which we
continue to have conversations with Indian government
officials," Casey told reporters.

The deal, which aims to give India access to
much-needed but long-denied U.S. nuclear fuel and
reactors, has pushed Indian Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh's fragile coalition close to collapse after its
communist allies rejected the agreement.

The communists have argued the deal would make India
subservient to U.S. interests.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto strongly rejected
the view of many experts that the deal is collapsing.

"We understand that all politics are local and that
India is a thriving democracy and they have work to do
and they may need some additional time on their end to
get their part of this deal done," Fratto told

"The president is willing, and is very understanding
that the Indians may need more time for this. But no,
it's not dead," he added.


But Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms
Control Association in Washington, disagreed.

"If it's not dead, it's definitely in the hospital and
it's going to have a long road to recovery," said
Kimball in an interview with Reuters TV.

All agree that both sides are hemmed in by the
political clock.

President George W. Bush has about 15 months left in
office and if debate drags on well into next year, the
political focus will be on the 2008 presidential and
congressional elections rather than on getting an
India deal through.

Bush spoke to Singh on Monday about the deal. Last
week, Singh said it would be a disappointment if the
deal did not go ahead but life would go on. His
government, he said, did not want an early election.

Rep. Howard Berman, a California Democrat and author
of an amendment to tighten the agreement, said a new
administration would be much more energetic in
promoting a non-proliferation agenda.

"I would hope in this period time, if in fact that
things are delayed, we would get a resolution of some
ambiguities in the interpretation of the 123
agreement," he said.

Experts predict that a Democrat in the White House is
less likely to push the deal through in its current
shape after the 2008 elections.

For the deal to ultimately go through, India still
needs clearance from the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog and
final approval from the U.S. Congress.

(Additional reporting by Paul Eckert, Deborah
Lutterbeck and Caren Bohan)

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