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US Nuclear Deal With India

  1. Mar 6, 2006 #1

    Art

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    http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/03/02/bush.india.visit/

    Federal law prohibits the United States from sharing its nuclear technology with nations that have not signed the non-proliferation treaty or have tested weapons yet Bush has agreed a deal whereby the US will provide India with nuclear fuel and technical expertise despite India being a non-signatory and has tested nuclear weapons as recently as 1998.

    In return it is hard to see what the gain is for the US :confused:

    India will continue their military nuclear programs with only civilian reactors being subject to IAEA overview. Thus their current stock of eight military reactors including 2 fast breeders will continue to remain exempt from international scrutiny with India holding the right to designate any other reactors military (and thus secret) as they see fit.

    This deal while it seems to be in total contradiction to the Bush administration's stance towards Iran, where they cite concern about nuclear proliferation as their justification for trying to prevent Iran gaining the ability to refine their own nuclear fuel, is in keeping with the ongoing double standards adopted in the world today as Germany and Japan amongst others have both been allowed to develop and continue with domestic enrichment programs despite their history of aggression.

    What is the liklihood of congress scuppering this deal?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2006
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  3. Mar 6, 2006 #2

    Gokul43201

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    Perhaps the contradiction falls away if you consider that they feel safe that in the case of Indian Nuclear Programs, since there is little cause for worry about proliferation ?
     
  4. Mar 6, 2006 #3

    Gokul43201

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    The obvious gain is the money. There are huge profits to be made if this deal comes through. The less obvious benefits are a strategic partnership and all the good stuff that comes out of global trade.
     
  5. Mar 6, 2006 #4

    Hurkyl

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    This is confusing. Why mention this law if India has tested weapons, and thus the law doesn't apply?
     
  6. Mar 6, 2006 #5
    Why doesnt the law apply?
     
  7. Mar 6, 2006 #6

    Art

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    I suggest you read it again. You appear to have misunderstood.
     
  8. Mar 6, 2006 #7

    Art

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    :confused: It will assist India in increasing it's nuclear arsenal. This is aiding proliferation.
     
  9. Mar 6, 2006 #8
    The law applies Hurkl, its just the Bushco has given India an exemption; this was discussed on the Mclauglin Group Sunday. Another country that has an exemption is Pakistan, which has sold its nuclear technology.
     
  10. Mar 6, 2006 #9

    Art

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    The inference is if Iran bought it's nuclear knowhow from the US instead of Russia that would be okay then?
     
  11. Mar 6, 2006 #10

    SOS2008

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    Consider the President’s recent itineraries and you will notice something interesting. He has recently been to Mongolia (first time for any president), and India (first time for him), Pakistan (first time for him). A heck of a coincidence for a guy who doesn’t travel much.

    Anyone heard of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)? You can learn more about it here: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/int/sco.htm

    Current members include Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazahkstan, Kyrgystan and Tajikistan. These member countries represent 1/4 of the world’s population. Two of the countries are nuclear powers. One is a major oil producer. Belonging to SCO allows small countries like Uzbekistan to align themselves with Russia AND China--a little country that was able to throw the U.S. out. You think given Uzbekistan’s strategic location we would leave willingly? You really believe the Bush administration chose to put “human rights” as a higher priority than a forward base in Central Asia as a launch pad for counterterrorism operations?

    But wait…. there’s more: Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia are all petitioning for membership in the SCO. When that happens, you will have four nuclear powers representing 1/2 the world’s population!

    Aside from being desperate for a perceived "win," that's why Bush just gave away the farm in India. Too bad he's wasted the years of his administration on wars of attrition and domestic goals to privatize Social Security and reform tort law instead of focusing on America's place in the global community.

    These trips are a day late and a dollar short. Too bad incurious George sucks at relations with the rest of the world and at representing the American people. We can only hope it's not too late to recover after he is out of office.
     
  12. Mar 6, 2006 #11
    This deal has been bothering me, and (unfortunately) not getting enough press. It's not a done-deal yet though. The Senate still has to approve it to make it official. I haven't heard any Senators talking about it, which surprises me. It seems like an easy way to score some cheap polictical points off the President, which with Bush's low poll numbers is becoming increasingly popular as we head into the mid-terms.

    On the practical side, I don't have any problem with the Indians expanding their nuclear power program. In fact, I think it's a great idea. It would be a nightmare trying to supply power to a country that size with fossil fuels. They'd be choking to death from the fumes and the supply of oil could probably never reach the level necessary.

    Practical matters aside, I think the deal stinks. We complained about Iraq buying Yellowcake (even though they weren't), we complain about North Korea, and now we complain about Iran building a nuclear weapons program. Then we turn around and offer nuclear material and expertise to India, who hasn't signed the NPT. I think the only way this deal would be palatable to me would be if it required the Indian government to sign the NPT and accept strict monitoring by the IAEA to ensure none of the nuclear material was diverted to their weapons program. They'd refuse, of course, but we would be applying a more uniform, and less hypocritical standard.
     
  13. Mar 6, 2006 #12

    Astronuc

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    The money may not be so big. With Toshiba (Japanese company) buying Westinghouse, that technology will most be now Japanese. Framatome owns what was once B&W, and they will be selling European technology anyway. That leaves GE - as the only indigenous US company, and they have partnerships with Toshiba and Hitachi.

    As for the manufacturing of large components for nuclear plants. The US has lost most of that, particularly large forgings. Even for new nuclear plants in the US, the large components must come from outside!

    Technologically, the US is rather anemic at the moment.
     
  14. Mar 6, 2006 #13

    loseyourname

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    I don't the motive was profit in this one; it was just securing an important partnership with a country likely to be the world's largest in population pretty soon and a possible future superpower. They'll also fall under the supervision of the IAEA now.

    This deal does violate US law, and Congress will have to change the applicable laws before it can officially go through. Isn't that the great thing about being the president? If you don't like the law, you just break it, and retroactively have it changed.

    Anyway, they had a very long discussion of this on NPR's Talk of the Nation earlier today, and the rationale given by a congressman in favor, and the Indian ambassador to the US, was that India had self-imposed standards more stringent than those of the NPT and had no history of its technology leaking to other nations. Supposedly, this makes it an exception, whereas countries like Pakistan and North Korea are not.
     
  15. Mar 6, 2006 #14

    Hurkyl

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    This quote seems to say that if either:
    (1) The nation has signed the non-proliferation treaty
    (2) The nation has previously tested weapons
    Then the law does not apply. In other words, for the law to apply, both of these conditions must not be satisfied.


    I already said I found this quote confusing...

    So simply telling me that I'm confused, without any attempt at clarification, doesn't help matters any. :tongue:
     
  16. Mar 6, 2006 #15
    But the law does apply,

    They have tested weapons, and thus are in violation of sharing information.
     
  17. Mar 6, 2006 #16
    From this article:

    Not only have they tested nuclear weapons, they haven't signed the NPT, so they're 0-for-2 as far as the law is concerned.

    Yes, in a 'when we feel like it' way. Under the agreement, their military reactors would be off-limits to the inspectors, they can produce as much fissile material as they feel like, and they can build as many new military reactors as they feel like.
     
  18. Mar 6, 2006 #17
    Out of curiosity, do we have inspectors come in and tell us what to do with our nuclear materials?
     
  19. Mar 6, 2006 #18

    Gokul43201

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    The deal allows the US to provide technological support to civilian nuclear programs and is not hardly going to increase India's nuclear arsenal.

    No. Iran has a history of proliferation. India does not. There's a difference.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2006
  20. Mar 6, 2006 #19

    loseyourname

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    Their civilian reactors will be monitored. According to the ambassador, India has no plans to expand its military arsenal, but of course, what do you expect him to say?
     
  21. Mar 6, 2006 #20

    loseyourname

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    The IAEA has jurisdiction over all NPT signatories, including the US. The only nuclear countries it does not have access to are North Korea, Pakistan, Israel, and India. If this deal goes through, India will be off the list.

    They don't really tell anybody "what to do" with their nuclear materials, though. I think they have some purpose in maintaining safety standards, though I'm honestly not sure how that works. Their main purpose is to ensure that no fissile material from civilian reactors is diverted to military programs. That isn't really a concern in the US, as we have so many nukes already. I highly doubt that we'll ever increase the size of our arsenal, as there just isn't any reason to. We've already got enough to blow up the moon if we wanted to (okay, that might be a little hyperbolous).
     
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