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To say No to Indo-US Nuclear Deals

Thursday 16 October 2008, by CND

Recently, while New Delhi was experiencing serial bombings Prime Minister and Defence Minister of India were in Washington and Paris signing the Nuclear deals that ended Indian « isolation and sanctions. »

Strong opposition by the Communist Party notwithstanding, most Scientists in India observed discreet silence. But according to Dr. Dale Klein, Chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), to revive the dormant ’Nuclear sector in the US have to rebuilt supply networks, craft workers and welders to be recruited and trained, component manufacturing shops to be built, and industrial infrastructures reinforced to revive the (US) Nuclear Power programme.’ Mr. Lothar Wedekind – Editor-in-Chief and Head of the IAEA News and Information Section, Vienna, supported Klein’s view that Challenges are formidable, the future of Nuclear Power is uncertain. But One thing looks clear –’ the next generation of (nuclear) plants will not be made in the USA.’

Indo-US Nuclear deal had been presented as an attractive offer to help India meet its high-energy demands in 2025. Nuclear power is capital-intensive requires high funding before construction, during operation and after de-commissioning of nuclear plants. In the US, 48 reactors are nearing or waiting decommissioning. The cost of decommissioning is estimated roughly $40 billions and no State government in the US is willing to bear the cost of decommissioning and pay for the long-term waste management.

From the hustings it is clear that George Bush is out-sourcing nuclear business to India. In order to overcome its financial difficulties, the US embarked on massive arms sale to Georgia, Taiwan, Pakistan, Libya, and to oil-rich Arab countries. Washington is negotiating advanced war systems sale to India and make New Delhi its strategic partner.

We do not doubt high caliber of Indian scientists but since Chernobyl accident (1986), sufficient data is available indicative of long-lasting hazards of radiation. The Kyoto Protocol had, therefore, not included nuclear power enlisting Clean Development Mechanism and excluded it from the climate change mitigation energy options.

Therefore, it is incumbent on the government of India to consider the long-term social and political implications of the N-Deals. Designed life of a reactor is about 40-50 years. There is no roadmap of economic and political organization necessary for maintenance of decommissioned reactors. NO government is likely to divest millions of public funds for protection of useless nuclear burial sites. But unguarded they would endanger life and liberty of future generations. India still has time to rethink its nuclear policy.

Concerned Scientists and Philosophers :
Signatories include :

Tony Benn. Former Energy Minister, London (UK).

Balwant Bhaneja. Former Canadian Science Councilor, Ottowa (Canada).

Noam Chomsky. Linguists, Social Philospher, MIT. (USA).

David Krieger. President : Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Santa Barbara , California (USA ).

Dr. Dhirendra Sharma, Director, Centre for Science Policy, Dehradun 248009. (India)

Convenor : Concerned Scientists & Philosophers.

The Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) Demands Parliamentary Review before Signing of 123 Agreement
The Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) notes with great concern various reports to the effect that the government of India is to sign the « 123 Agreement » with the US as regards civilian nuclear trade between the two countries anytime now. In fact the signing of the agreement appears to be overdue in that it has reportedly already been twice postponed for certain reasons. And a similar agreement has already been signed with the French government.

This does clearly contradict the solemn promise made by the Indian Prime Minister on the floor of the parliament on July 22 last in his concluding reply to the debate on the confidence motion moved by him a day earlier. He then had categorically assured : « I have said on several occasions that our nuclear agreement after being endorsed by the IAEA and the Nuclear Suppliers Group would be submitted to this august House for expressing its view. »

While the CNDP desists from speculating whether going ahead with signing of bilateral agreements with foreign nations pursuant to the waivers granted by the NSG and the IAEA constitutes a breach of parliamentary privilege, it emphatically demands that before taking up any such bilateral agreement the GoI must come back to the parliament to obtain its view on the whole gamut of issues and the momentous developments since July 22 as per the solemn commitment made by the Indian Prime Minister.

The CNDP takes this opportunity also to reiterate its firm, consistent and principled opposition to the « nuclear deal » as it surely undermines the prospects of global nuclear disarmament, promotes the cause of nuclear militarism and nuclear-weapon build-up in India, threatens to intensify the arms race between India and Pakistan , carries forward the perilous US-India « strategic partnership », and seriously distorts India’s energy priorities.

Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace – CNDP

Collective, CNDP (India)