Monday, 6 October 2008

Indo-US nuclear deal : What does it mean?

WHAT IS THE PACT?

* The legislation amends Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. It lets the US make a one-time exception for India to keep its nuclear weapons without signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).


 

* The amendment overturns a 30-year-old US ban on supplying India with nuclear fuel and technology, implemented after India's first nuclear test in 1974.


 

* Under the amendment, India must separate its civilian and military nuclear facilities, and submit civilian facilities to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


 

WHY IS IT CONTROVERSIAL?

* Critics say it undermines the NPT, which holds that only countries which renounce nuclear weapons qualify for civilian nuclear assistance.


 

* The accord sends the wrong message: it could undercut a US-led campaign to curtail Iran's nuclear program, and open the way for a potential arms race in South Asia.


 

* India says 14 of its 22 nuclear facilities are civilian. Critics say the pact could make bomb making at the other eight easier, as civilian nuclear fuel needs will be met by the US


 

WHAT DO THE DEAL'S SUPPORTERS SAY?

* US President George Bush calls the deal necessary to reflect the countries' improved relations. It strengthens international security by tightening US ties to ally India, the world's biggest democracy. It also ensures some of its nuclear industry will undergo international inspection.


 

* New Delhi, which relies on imported oil for some 70 per cent of its energy needs, says nuclear power will help feed its rapidly expanding economy.


 

* France, which signed a similar deal with India in February 2006, says the move will help fight climate change and aid non-proliferation efforts.


 

HOW IS PAKISTAN INVOLVED?

* Pakistan sought a similar civilian technology deal with the US but was refused last in March. It is the only other confirmed nuclear power not to have signed the NPT - saying it will join after India does.


 

* Pakistan's own expanding nuclear program could fan the rivalry between India and Pakistan.


 

INTERNATIONAL RIVALRIES?

* China is said to have supported Pakistan's nuclear weapons program since the 1980s. Some analysts see the Indo-US deal as part of attempts by larger powers, the US and China, to shore up influence in South Asia by building up rival arsenals.


 

* The IAEA said in 2004 that Libya and Iran's nuclear programs were based on Chinese technology provided by Pakistan.

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1 comments:

Renjith Nair said...

http://renjithmn.wordpress.com/category/current-affairs/a-camouflage-nuclear-deal/