July 09, 2011

NSG bid to force India to sign NPT, says Kakodkar

Anil Kakodkar
Anil Kakodkar

A key player behind the historic India-US civilian nuclear deal and former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Anil Kakodkar, said on Saturday that the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG), wants to amend its rules in an attempt to force India to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

“This is obviously their agenda,” said Kakodkar, after speaking to over 400 students and faculty members from 30 city colleges on Saturday at RD National College, Bandra.

The NSG, which currently has 46 countries as members, was set up after India exploded its first atomic device in Pokhran in 1974.

The latest guidelines state that only those countries which have signed the NPT will be entitled to obtain enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technologies. This has upset India because at a meeting of the NSG in September 2008, India had got an unprecedented “clean waiver” which allowed it to buy such technologies despite not being a NPT signatory.

Currently, India has four enrichment and reprocessing facilities, but it has to import these technologies for expansion of its nuclear programme. “India signing the NPT is out of question. We must ensure that whatever has been agreed upon, will only improve and not reverse the situation. We have to protect our interests. It’s a question of being a hard bargainer,” said Kakodkar.

Experts have already pointed out that if the NSG has its way, it will be a setback to the India-US nuclear deal, which allows India to participate in global nuclear trade. While the new rule does not bar India from getting foreign nuclear reactors, it will prohibit the transfer of critical ENR technologies.

No comments: