AEC chief Kakodkar confident of clinching nuke deal with US

February 19th, 2008 - 1:34 pm ICT by admin  

Bangalore, Feb 19 (ANI): Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar has expressed confidence about clinching the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.
Addressing a training programme of officers of the Department of Science and Technology here on Monday, Kakodkar said: “These are all complex issues and we have to deal with them one by one. So it takes time. But it is moving forward. So, we hope to do it as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, space scientist and Rajya Sabha MP, Dr. K Kasturirangan has said it is critical for India to accept this deal to move forward as a global power.
“Political parties were unanimous in accepting this deal,” Kasturirangan added.
However, there is a discontent within the scientific community about accepting the deal as it is.
A senior scientist and a professor from Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bangalore, Professor DP Sen Gupta, cautioned that national security should not be compromised because of the deal.
The India-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement aims to allow New Delhi to have access to American nuclear fuel and reactors. It is being seen as the centerpiece of a new, strategic relationship between Washington and New Delhi and could help India meet its soaring energy needs.
The government is facing stiff opposition from the Left over the deal.
The Left Parties has given a green signal to the government to approach the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for holding talks on an India-specific safeguards agreement, but insisted that the government does not initiate the accord before getting the approval of the UPA-Left Coordination Committee.
The Indo-US nuke deal faces an informal US deadline related to securing approval of the US Congress before the November 2008 presidential elections. Three steps are required to operationalise the deal.
India needs to conclude a safeguards agreement with the IAEA, get approvals from the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and get a second backing from the U.S. Congress.
The deal has been criticised by many outside India, including by some members of the US Congress, who say the deal unfairly rewards India and undercuts a US-led campaign to curtail the nuclear ambitions of nations like Iran. (ANI)

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