Senate panel approval injects more uncertainty to n-deal

September 25th, 2008 - 1:23 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghWashington, Sep 24 (IANS) As the US “works hard” to get the nuclear deal with India done during Prime Minster Manmohan Singh’s visit, a key senate panel has injected another element of uncertainty by adding a few new conditions.While the Senate Foreign Relations Committee endorsed the India deal 19-2 Tuesday, the approval legislation sent to the full Senate makes it clear that “…it is the policy of the US to seek to prevent the transfer to India of nuclear equipment, materials, or technology from other participating governments in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) or from any other source”.

Such a contingency would arise in the event nuclear transfers to India are suspended or terminated in pursuance of provisions of the US enabling law, the Hyde Act, the Atomic Energy Act or any other US law, it says.

While India has all along insisted that it is bound by only the 123 Agreement, the bill mandates that the nuclear deal will be subject to the provisions of the controversial Hyde Act and other US laws.

Another provision sets limits on the nuclear fuel provided to India as part of promised fuel reserve saying “any nuclear power reactor fuel reserve provided to the government of India in safeguarded civilian nuclear facilities should be commensurate with reasonable reactor operating requirements”.

Reinforcing the Agreement’s conformity with the US enabling law, it says, “nothing in the Agreement shall be construed to supersede the legal requirements of the Henry J Hyde United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act of 2006 or the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.”

Section 103, titled Additional Protocol Between India and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) states, “Congress urges the Government of India to sign and adhere to an Additional Protocol with the IAEA, consistent with IAEA principles, practices, and policies, at the earliest possible date.”

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