Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



Indian PM defends controversial US nuclear deal

by Staff Writers
New Delhi (AFP) Aug 13, 2007
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday defended a controversial civilian nuclear accord with the United States, saying it would not affect the nation's military programme or any plans to test atomic weapons.

The accord, which covers civil nuclear technology and seeks to bring India into the loop of global atomic commerce after a gap of three decades, was rejected almost immediately by the opposition and Singh's communist allies.

In a speech in parliament drowned out by opposition protests, Singh said New Delhi had not agreed to "any provision that mandates scrutiny of our nuclear weapons programme or any unsafeguarded nuclear facilities."

"India is committed to a voluntary, unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing," Singh said.

But he added: "The agreement does not in any way affect India's right to undertake future nuclear tests, if it is necessary."

"There is no question that we will ever compromise, in any manner, our independent foreign policy. We shall retain our strategic autonomy," he said.

Agreed in principle last year, the detailed pact governing nuclear trade between India and United States -- also called the 123 agreement -- was concluded in Washington last month.

The accord has to get the backing of the US Congress.

India's right-wing Hindu nationalists rejected the deal earlier this month, saying Washington could refuse to honour the agreement if India tested a nuclear weapon.

India's communists -- who lend valuable outside support to Singh's coalition government -- also rejected the deal, claiming the pact impinged on the country's sovereignty.

But Singh has faced down criticism and said the deal would not be renegotiated, raising fears it could destabilise his coalition government.

In a weekend newspaper interview, Singh dared the Communists to withdraw support for the government, with the Left in turn warning of "heavy political consequences."

Singh on Monday tried to allay some of the misgivings over the accord.

The civilian nuclear deal had an "elaborate, multi-layered consultation process" in case either party wanted to end it, he said.

The pact would enable India to meet the "twin challenges of energy security and environmental sustainability" besides opening "new doors in capitals across the world" that would help India "regain our due place in global councils," he said.

"We intend to carry forward our cooperation with other countries in civil nuclear energy, in particular with major nuclear suppliers such as Russia and France," Singh said adding India aimed to generate 20,000 megawatts of nuclear power by 2020.

Singh's statement, however, did not placate the Communists, who walked out of the house immediately as the prime minister finished his speech.

"The prime minister's statement does not give any new point. It is only a defence of the agreement. There should be a thorough discussion in the House," Communist Party of India national secretary D. Raja said.

The Hindu nationalists too rejected Singh's remarks as a "bundle of same untruths, half-truths and pure white lies," the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Earlier Monday, the lower house of parliament was adjourned twice with lawmakers demanding a suspension of usual legislative business and an immediate discussion on the subject.

The debate, kickstarted by Singh's statement, is likely to continue over the next several days.

Related Links
Nuclear Power News - Nuclear Science, Nuclear Technology
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


World's largest nuke plant closed for months
Tokyo, Aug 10, 2007
UN inspectors said Friday that the world's largest nuclear plant in Japan will be closed for months, weeks after being hit by an earthquake.







  • NASA Awards First Stage Contract For Ares Rockets
  • UC Experts Detail New Standard For Cleaner Transportation Fuels
  • Indigenous Cryogenic Stage Tested For Eight Minutes
  • Ecliptic Celebrates A Decade Of Successful RocketCam Launches

  • ILS to Launch Inmarsat Satellite On Proton Vehicle Next Spring
  • Russian Proton-M Rocket To Launch Japanese Telecoms Satellite
  • A Double Transfer At The Spaceport For The Next Two Ariane 5 Launchers
  • European Automated Space Truck Arrive At South American Spaceport

  • NASA still mulling shuttle repair spacewalk
  • NASA weighs repair to shuttle, extends mission by 3 days
  • Damage to Endeavour appears less serious
  • NASA to take close look at Endeavour shield damage

  • Astronauts prepare for first spacewalk of Endeavour mission
  • Astronauts To Conduct Study Of Bacterial Growth In Space
  • Progress Cargo Ship With Computer Equipment Docks With ISS
  • Progress 26 To Dock Sunday At Station

  • Undersea Mission Aids Development Of Self-Test For Stress And Fatigue
  • NASA Seeks Launch Logistics Help
  • Historic Phoenix Mars Mission Flies Actel RTAX-S Devices
  • Spaceport America Design Team Selected

  • China Trains Rescue Teams For Third Manned Space Program
  • Chinese Astronauts Begin Training For Spacewalk
  • China Prepares To Select New Taikonauts
  • Dongfanghong 4 Ready For More International Satellite Orders

  • Successful Jules Verne Rendezvous Simulation At ATV Control Centre
  • Robotic Einstein Wows Spanish Technology Fair
  • Robotic Ankle For Amputees Is Developed
  • iRobot Receives New Military Orders 14 PackBot Robots

  • Phoenix Adjusts Course Successfully For Journey To Mars
  • What Makes Mars Magnetic
  • Helping Phoenix Land
  • Brighter Skies Lifts Rover Spirit As MER-A Gets Active

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement