New Delhi: Visiting US president George W Bush and prime minister Manmohan Sigh today announced at a joint press conference in New Delhi that the US and India had reached an agreement on implementing the civil nuclear co-operation the two had agreed on last year.
According to the agreement the US would share American nuclear know-how and fuel with India to help meet its energy security. According to reports, India would not sign the NPT. A deal emerged between negotiators of both countries on a mutually acceptable formula for the separation of India's civilian and nuclear programmes.
India agreed to open 14 of its civilian nuclear reactors to international safeguards in exchange for the fast breeder programme being kept out of international inspection. In addition, classification of nuclear reactors to be built in the future will be at India's sole discretion and there would be no room for discussion on it.
According to the broad terms of the agreement, in exchange for having permanent safeguards on its civilian nuclear reactors, India insisted on guarantees on supplies in perpetuity in view of past unreliability of the US as in the case of the Tarapur plant.
The separation of India's 22 nuclear reactors will take place in a phased manner and will be completed by 2014. India had refused to allow its fast breeder reactor programme to be brought under the civillian safeguards as demanded by the US negotiators. The signing of the deal marks a major shift in the US non-proliferation foreign policy and will an exception to ts policy
Minister of state of external affairs E Ahamed told the Rajya Sabha today that under the terms of the July 18, 2005 Indo-US Joint Statement, India and US are continuing their discussions to fully implement the 'understanding on cooperation in civil nuclear energy'.
Ahmed said that under the terms of this understanding, India would identify and separate its civilian and military nuclear facilities and programmes in a phased manner and would file a declaration regarding its civilians facilities with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and would place voluntarily its civilian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.
"The separation of the Indian nuclear facilities would be done voluntarily by us, based on India's national interest", the minister stated.
also see : Indo-US