India, US are close to sealing fuel reprocessing agreement

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India, US are close to sealing fuel reprocessing agreement

Washington: India and the United States have achieved a breakthrough in talks to finalise various details ahead of the implementation of the civilian nuclear deal. One of these is a pact allowing India to reprocess spent fuel in atomic power plants, officials sources said. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's state visit to the United States begins this week.Indian negotiators led by RB Grover, technical head in the department of atomic energy, huddled over the weekend in marathon talks with the American side headed by Richard Stratford, director of the office of nuclear energy. Negotiations on the reprocessing pact, which started in July, are in the home stretch and will allow full implementation of the nuclear deal.

Manmohan Singh, whose July 2005 summit with former president George Bush forged the deal, is keen to see the signature foreign-policy achievement of their governments fulfiled. "We hope the reprocessing part is done before the joint statement," said Indian officials. "There are only one-and-a-half steps left. We are finalising the last stage of the nuclear deal and what we are looking for are upfront reprocessing rights."

The pact will ease India's anxieties about Obama's commitment to the deal. India's alarm about the fate of the deal spiked in September after Obama called for universal adherence to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). He later assured the prime minister that the US was committed to the deal.

The reprocessing pact will finalise the procedures India should follow to reprocess spent fuel. In ongoing talks, both sides found more common ground on sticky issues, including US insistence on scrutinising the security of reprocessing facilities.

With this pact nearly done, the other big step left will be the approval of a civil liability legislation by India. Under this, India will seek to limit compensation by US companies in case of nuclear accidents. Negotiators told the US side that the civil liability bill is likely to come up for passage in the winter session of parliament.
New Delhi is also likely to provide an "assurance" sought by the US government that American nuclear technology given to India will not be passed on to a third country. US analysts say Obama is likely to press India

India, US are close to sealing fuel reprocessing agreement - dnaindia.com
 

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Indo-U.S. nuclear re-processing pact announcement likely on March 22

The pact on India’s right to re-process spent nuclear fuel of U.S. origin is likely to be announced by the two countries on March 22.

This is one of the few important steps left towards implementation of the historic Indo-U.S. civil nuclear deal which envisages a clearly defined accounting of reprocessing of nuclear material under international safeguards.

India and the U.S. had ironed out their differences and finalised the pact on the ‘arrangements and procedures’ for reprocessing U.S.-origin spent fuel in India during their final meeting on the subject in the first week of this month in New Delhi as per the 123 Agreement, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) sources said.

“Both countries had finalised the text of the accord early this month and are likely to make a formal announcement on Monday after obtaining approval of their political leadership,” sources said.

“Wait till the formal announcement for more details,” they said when asked about various other aspects of the pact.

The negotiations were held between a team of India’s Department of Atomic Energy officials led by it director, strategic planning group, R.B. Grover and Richard Stratford, the non-proliferation and disarmament expert in U.S. State Department.
 

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22 nd of march came and gone but there is no sign of indo-us reprocessing deal rather what we hear is us-pakistan nuclear deal.american know how to rub salt on wounds
thats coz india noway advances USA's interest.Pakistan does.and if pakistan does get green signal from usa about nuke deal then you will also see its implementation in record time not like india which wasted 5-6 years in negotiations for a deal which never was there at first place.
 

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The Obama Administration has been repeatedly kicking us in the back.It did so in respect of Afghanistan. It has done so in respect of Headley. Instead of having the courage and intellectual honesty to admit to our people that we have been let down nastily by the US, we are indulging in more spins to project the kicks as, in fact, boquets from Obama with love.
 

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U.S. makes new nuke concessions to India

Washington, Apr.21 (ANI): India will receive new concessions as part of its bilateral civilian nuclear agreement with the United States.

Buzz up!
In a move that has angered arms control advocates, Washington agreed to Indian demands to increase the number of plants allowed to reprocess U.S.-supplied nuclear fuel from one to two, with the option of another two if India's needs grow in the future, the Washington Times reports.


India has thus far failed to pass legislation that would release U.S. companies from liability in case of accidents related to equipment they have provided for two reactors to be built under the 2007 U.S.-Indian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.

That effectively prevents those firms from starting businesses in the South Asian country.

The U.S. government understands "the need for sufficient indigenous Indian capacity to reprocess or otherwise alter in form or content, under [International Atomic Energy Agency] safeguards, U.S.-obligated nuclear material," says the new document, which was released by the State Department.

In 2008, the Bush administration restricted Indian reprocessing to one plant in an effort to limit potential proliferation of dangerous dual-use technology, which could be used for military or civilian purposes. However, last month's agreement refers to "two new national reprocessing facilities established by the government of India."

It also says "the management of separated safeguarded plutonium ... shall take into account the need to avoid contributing to the risks of nuclear proliferation, the need to protect the environment, workers and the public."

Arms control experts denounced the new deal, saying it adds to the "damage" done by the original agreement.

"It will further undermine U.S. efforts to stop the spread of enrichment and reprocessing technologies," Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said of the March deal.

"It should be rejected by Congress because it is inconsistent with the terms outlined in" the original agreement, he added.

The new document does not need congressional approval and will go into force unless Congress stops it within 30 days. (ANI)
 

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'Cong approval of reprocessing agreement is a mere formality'

Noting that there is a bipartisan support to Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, the Obama Administration expressed hope that Congressional approval of the reprocessing agreement reached between the two countries is a "mere formality".
"The next step on the US side is the submission of the arrangements and procedures to Congress for a review period of 30 days of continuous session. The departments of Energy and State are currently preparing to make this submission," PJ Crowley Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs told PTI.
On March 23, India and US had announced the conclusion of reprocessing agreement to granting New Delhi advance consent to reprocess spent fuel of US origin and fuel burned in US reactors.
"We believe that there is bipartisan support for the 123 Agreement and we hope that this is a formality," he said when asked about Congressional approval of the reprocessing agreement reached between India and the US, which is a key component of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal.
As per the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Act, US President must transmit to the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee and the House's Foreign Affairs Committee a report describing the reasons for the proposed arrangement.
A description (including the text) of the arrangement, and a certification that the US "will pursue efforts to ensure that any other nation that permits India to reprocess or otherwise alter in form or content nuclear material that the nation has transferred to India or nuclear material and by-product material used in or produced through the use of nuclear material, non-nuclear material, or equipment that it has transferred to India requires India to do so under similar arrangements and procedures."
Under the agreement, 30 days of continuous session must elapse after the President has submitted the report.
"The proposed arrangement shall not take effect if Congress adopts a joint resolution of disapproval within this 30-day period," Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in a recent report.
The act requires that such a resolution "be considered pursuant to the procedures set forth in section 130 i" of the Atomic Energy Act.
Notably, advanced consent agreement was just the third such pact ever undertaken by the US with another country.
 

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Reprocessing deal may sail through US Congress

The recently concluded agreement on reprocessing of spent US origin nuclear fuel by India is expected to have a smooth sail through US Congress as it does not require a formal legislative nod.

'It may be one of those cases where we notify the Congress and then it has like 30 business days to offer an opinion. If it doesn't offer an opinion, then it goes into force,' State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley told reporters Thursday.

'We'll get you an answer in terms of the procedure. We'll get that answer,' he said when asked if the Barack Obama administration had sent the agreement announced March 29 for Congressional approval.

The agreement that would allow spent nuclear fuel from two reactors to be set up by US companies at two dedicated facilities in India was one of the few remaining steps in the way of implementing the landmark India-US civil nuclear deal.

The US side is now awaiting the passage of a nuclear liability law by India to enable American companies to take advantage of an estimated $150 billion nuclear power market opening up in India.
 

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