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PostPosted: Jul 14, 2009 5:22 pm 
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vakibs wrote:

DV82XL,

The logic of using nuclear weapons as a deterrent for violence works only if you are on the defense. But if you are the aggressor, having nuclear weapons will only magnify your aggression. as I mentioned with the Kargil war example of Pakistan.


No it does not. You need to do some research in the strategy and tactics of nuclear warfare to understand what the term deterrent means in this context. Being a nuclear weapon state has never meant being a pacifist one. Nuclear weapons however do circumscribe what you can and cannot do in a conflict, just as they do so for your opponent. I would suggest Lawrence Freedman's The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy; Bernard Brodie's Strategy Versus Tactics in a Nuclear Age and William R McKinney's Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Practical Side. The first is a book the last two RAND reports.

vakibs wrote:
Just because no terrorist group has yet captured nuclear weapons in commerce doesn't violate the possibility that it will not happen in the future.


I have tried to show the probability of this happening is acceptably low such that current security measures are enough. To eliminate the possibility altogether would require eliminating all forms of nuclear technology (including thorium based ones) and that is not practical.

What we don't need is grandstanding and tokenism that only harms the growth and development of nuclear power and does not increase security. What we don't need is politicians leveraging irrational fears of nuclear bogymen to further there own agendas, and this is what is happening on this subject.


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PostPosted: Jul 14, 2009 7:05 pm 
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Given that nuclear power is making a comeback in the heart/mind of people,
given that there are differences of opinion on the kind of nuclear power - fission, fusion, Uranium, Thorium ...
given that thorium is there and yet not quite, and various designs and technologies are tested by various nations - Liquid, solid fuel, heavy or light water, fast breeder or not, etc etc
Given that there is already international cooperation on other fields such as the LHC in search of the god particle
Why dont the interested nations join hands to speed up complete whatever remains to be completed, for serial production of power plants that will eventually use only or mostly thorium? There seem to be enough nations interested in it.


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PostPosted: Jul 14, 2009 7:54 pm 
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India ‘not deeply concerned’ about G8 stand: Pranab
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NEW DELHI: The government on Monday told the Rajya Sabha that it was “not deeply concerned” over the stand of the G8 countries to ban transfer of enrichment and reprocessing items to countries that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Responding to the issue raised by Najma Heptulla (BJP), Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee pointed out India had received country-specific clean waiver from the appropriate bodies — the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

“We have got a clean waiver and not concerned over the position of the G8 countries….so far as trade [is concerned] every individual country has the right to enter or not to enter… so far as the civil nuclear cooperation is concerned, the appropriate agency is the IAEA and the 45-member NSG. We have got a clean waiver. We are not deeply concerned [over the G8 stand],” Mr. Mukherjee said.

As for the issue whether the government was consulted by the G8 before taking such a stand since Manmohan Singh was present at the L’Aquila summit last week, he said India was not a member of the grouping but part of the G5 outreach countries.

The Minister’s response came after the Opposition insisted that the government clarify, though Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan reminded the members the rule that the Chair could not issue such directions on a issue raised during zero hour.

Ms. Heptulla was supported by several members, including Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley. Brinda Karat (CPI-M) said the provisions of the Henry J. Hyde Act 9 (passed by the U.S. Congress), allowing the Bush administration to enter into a civilian nuclear cooperation with India, were now coming into play.

In the Lok Sabha, the BJP extended full support to CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia when he demanded a statement from the Prime Minister on the G8 decision to block full nuclear trade with India unless it signed the NPT.

Raising the issue after question hour, Mr. Acharia said the Left had warned of such a possibility when India pressed ahead with its decision to sign the nuclear agreement. Stating that the government had then assured Parliament that India had secured a “clean waiver” from the NSG, he wanted to know what the government had to say now.


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PostPosted: Jul 15, 2009 1:09 am 
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DV82XL
The books that you've cited of RAND corporation are archaic and were written during cold war. RAND had certain brilliant mathematicians working for it at that time who formulated cold war strategies. One of them was Albert Wohlsetter who was also one of the founders of game theory. The logic was not to lose the tactical advantage that US has against Soviet Union in terms of economic and technological surplus. The calculations turned out right, and the Soviet Union was drained out of funds by cold war. Nuclear bomb was never used, though people lived in fear for several generations.

The situation today is different. Whatever strategy we devise should accommodate irrational players, and rational players hiding behind irrational actors.

Quote:
To eliminate the possibility altogether would require eliminating all forms of nuclear technology (including thorium based ones) and that is not practical.


You know this is not correct. Nuclear power can and should be used for electricity production, and the current IAEA safeguards are okay. What is not okay is the lack of "global" inventory on fissile material.


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PostPosted: Jul 15, 2009 1:52 am 
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How does one ensure Global inventory, or Global anything, on this issue?

There seem to be no practical way to bring all the nations of the planet under a unified rule. Everyone thinks Israel has bombs, but officially, it does not. Can one expect Israel to subject itself to annual international inspection of its facilities? We know India will not sign the NPT in its current form, and there seem to be no way in forcing India to change its mind - sanction or no sanction. For that matter, can anyone expect USA to subject itself to regular and rigorous international inspection tracking its own fissile material? Can we expect Russia, or any of the P5 to submit to rigorous inspections by others? All these are supposed to be within the spirit of the NPT. We also know, somewhere tucked away within that text, should be a mention of an effort towards ultimate disarmament by the P5 - but that has not happened and unlikely to happen any time soon. Therefore the P5 and the G8 and whatever else groups are there - they have no moral ground to expect anybody else from not making a bomb. Deterrence in the hand of group A and no deterrence for group B is inherently and ultimately unsustainable. Sooner or later, equilibrium will be achieved, with or without blessing of P5/G8/G22/UN or whoever. No one seems to believe such a state will be more safe than it is today. By then, not only Pakistan or Taliban or whoever controls the land, and Iran might have the bomb, but even Pago Pago island, Nauru, Micronesia, Palestine, and who knows, perhaps even Pitcairn Islands will have their own ceremonial bombs. perhaps even the Vatican will have its version, complete with a cross painted on it.

We know all those talks about "Rational" leaders and democracies against ruthless dictators and irrational players. But this argument is only valid to the people that believe it. Even if nation "A" is rational today, there is no mathematical guarantee that it will always be so. Besides, if we see modern history of mass bloodletting - all the major death causing wars have been initiated and perpetuated by so called democratic and rational nations - Germany, Japan, USA. We do not see much major blood lettings on foreign nations being initiated by irrational players like Lenin or Mao except in self defense. And if we add the centuries old silent killings through colonization, slavery, ethnic extermination and economic banditry, the culprits again have mostly been rational "enlightened" democracies.

So - one nation's responsible and civilized behavior and rationale is another nation's hypocrisy. And in the middle of all this confusion regarding weapons, politics and good old business - development of the new generation of clean and cheap power remains muddied.

OK - it was my turn to vent heavy water steam. :lol:


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PostPosted: Jul 15, 2009 9:56 am 
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Tonu wrote:
How does one ensure Global inventory, or Global anything, on this issue?

There seem to be no practical way to bring all the nations of the planet under a unified rule. Everyone thinks Israel has bombs, but officially, it does not. Can one expect Israel to subject itself to annual international inspection of its facilities? We know India will not sign the NPT in its current form, and there seem to be no way in forcing India to change its mind - sanction or no sanction. For that matter, can anyone expect USA to subject itself to regular and rigorous international inspection tracking its own fissile material? Can we expect Russia, or any of the P5 to submit to rigorous inspections by others? All these are supposed to be within the spirit of the NPT. We also know, somewhere tucked away within that text, should be a mention of an effort towards ultimate disarmament by the P5 - but that has not happened and unlikely to happen any time soon. Therefore the P5 and the G8 and whatever else groups are there - they have no moral ground to expect anybody else from not making a bomb. Deterrence in the hand of group A and no deterrence for group B is inherently and ultimately unsustainable. Sooner or later, equilibrium will be achieved, with or without blessing of P5/G8/G22/UN or whoever. No one seems to believe such a state will be more safe than it is today. By then, not only Pakistan or Taliban or whoever controls the land, and Iran might have the bomb, but even Pago Pago island, Nauru, Micronesia, Palestine, and who knows, perhaps even Pitcairn Islands will have their own ceremonial bombs. perhaps even the Vatican will have its version, complete with a cross painted on it.

It will take the nuclear weapons states realizing that the world will become more dangerous if they keep their weapons (with the unavoidable result that other nations will acquire them stable or not and we can only slow down the process not prevent it) than if they give up their nuclear weapons. It will also require a willingness to allow very intrusion inspections of any nuclear facility. This time it is the conservatives who need to be convinced. I am convinced the current status is unsustainable - either many many countries will have nuclear weapons or none will. I am not yet certain that we can arrange for none to have them but I do think it is a goal worthy of serious effort.
Quote:
We know all those talks about "Rational" leaders and democracies against ruthless dictators and irrational players. But this argument is only valid to the people that believe it. Even if nation "A" is rational today, there is no mathematical guarantee that it will always be so. Besides, if we see modern history of mass bloodletting - all the major death causing wars have been initiated and perpetuated by so called democratic and rational nations - Germany, Japan, USA. We do not see much major blood lettings on foreign nations being initiated by irrational players like Lenin or Mao except in self defense. And if we add the centuries old silent killings through colonization, slavery, ethnic extermination and economic banditry, the culprits again have mostly been rational "enlightened" democracies.

Interesting interpretation of history. I thought it was rather unhealthy to disagree with the government in Japan, Germany, or Italy just prior to WWII.
I will agree that nations can change rather quickly so I do not see democracy as a guarantee of good behavior.
"all the major death causing wars have been initiated and perpetuated by so called democratic and rational nations"
I think the word "All" here is not appropriate (Iran/Iraq comes to mind for example, apparently we disagree on type of governments that Germany and Japan had at the start of WWII).
Quote:
So - one nation's responsible and civilized behavior and rationale is another nation's hypocrisy. And in the middle of all this confusion regarding weapons, politics and good old business - development of the new generation of clean and cheap power remains muddied.
OK - it was my turn to vent heavy water steam. :lol:

I agree that the US has normally been trying to keep its nuclear weapons while preventing others from acquiring them. This will have to change.


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PostPosted: Jul 15, 2009 10:50 am 
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vakibs wrote:
DV82XL
The books that you've cited of RAND corporation are archaic and were written during cold war. RAND had certain brilliant mathematicians working for it at that time who formulated cold war strategies. One of them was Albert Wohlsetter who was also one of the founders of game theory. The logic was not to lose the tactical advantage that US has against Soviet Union in terms of economic and technological surplus. The calculations turned out right, and the Soviet Union was drained out of funds by cold war. Nuclear bomb was never used, though people lived in fear for several generations.

The situation today is different. Whatever strategy we devise should accommodate irrational players, and rational players hiding behind irrational actors.


No the situation is not different to the extent that the fundamental rules of nuclear warfare remain the same, You seem to be laboring under some misunderstandings of the basics, in particular about the notion of deterrence, thus I suggested these as backgrounds.

Lars, Tonu and Vackibs as well

Please read these documents prior to your next comments, you will find them enlightening:

Nuclear Warfare 101

Nuclear Warfare 102

Nuclear Warfare 103

These are a series of articles called The Nuclear Game - An Essay on Nuclear Policy Making it will cut through some of the misconception you might have on nuclear warfare.


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PostPosted: Jul 15, 2009 10:52 am 
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Grim subject but will do.


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PostPosted: Jul 15, 2009 1:06 pm 
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Thanks DV82XL.

I started reading through the documents, which are quite educating. However, I do notice that they often talk more about human bhavior than mathematical possibilities.

I shall mention my first reaction on the first document : Nuclear Warfare 101.
What was the main purpose of the article ? That the nuclear powers should continue to have bombs, and continue to suppress others from getting it? Or do they propose that its OK for many nations to get the bomb ? Or are they proposing that it is OK for a few nations to have the bomb and the rest of the have-nots need not worry about it ? Whichever argument is proposed, there is likely to be people that would fundamentally disargee.

Also, it is interesting to note the writers concept about mad rulers.
Quote:
Aha, I hear you say what about the mad dictator? Its interesting to note that mad, homicidal aggressive dictators tend to get very tame sane cautious ones as soon as they split atoms. Whatever their motivations and intents, the mechanics of how nuclear weapons work dictate that mad dictators become sane dictators very quickly. After all its not much fun dictating if one's country is a radioactive trash pile and you're one of the ashes.


Well, the way I see the above text, the writer is not dealing with real "mad" people, but people pretending to be mad, but are fully in control of their analytical faculties. By definition, such perhaps are not mad, but perhaps pretenders. A real mad person may not care what the outcome of his actions could be, or may be incapable of thinking through such logic. And it might be presumptious of us to think all apparent mad politicians and dictators are and will be mere pretenders. And we are not even talking about the "suicide" doctrine, where a person, a group of persons, or even an entire society, might opt to sacrifice itself, to achieve some perceived objective, even if they are not going to be alive to see it happen.

I am going to read and re-read them, but somehow do not find any scenario that guarantees perpetual safety against a nuclear holocost, other than one where everyone works together to ensure no one has a bomb, and are willing to put their soldiers on the ground along with others, to enfore such a total ban. Further, I cannot shake off the suspicion that any other option, no matter how thoroughly argued in favor of, is ultimately unsustainable.

Nontheless - am going to read and re-read the articles - and shall look out for some of those books. Thanks for pointing these out.


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PostPosted: Jul 15, 2009 1:43 pm 
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Tonu
I understand the dark humor behind your post. We cannot expect different countries to resolve a global agreement for the good of everybody. Such a thing may be possible in the far far future, but sadly not today.

It is a given that countries will keep nuclear weapons. What can be done to minimize the problem ?

I think there's a way out. It is on providing visual access to other countries on the nuclear inventory that a country has. This way others will have their eyes on their piles but no hands on. Many countries will be comfortable with such an agreement.

For most of the cold war, and even today, nuclear weapons have been the equivalent to the snarly grimaces before a fight. The projection of one's military power is an important tactic in defense. Nuclear weapons are a part of this projection. This will scare and make the enemy think twice before launching an attack.

On the other hand, there is hardly any rationale for hiding nuclear weapons. Hiding nukes (or any weapon for that matter) makes sense only when one is launching an attack. An attack by nuclear weapons is hardly thinkable today, because any such attack on a nuclear weapon country will invite retaliation. This is true even for several non-nuclear countries because they are under the protection of another nuclear power (eastern europe, south korea, japan etc).

So there is not much advantage for any country to hide one's nukes. Apart from the escape from economic sanctions that will be forthcoming when it makes an admission. Thus in fact, the current non-proliferation regime discourages a country to come out in the open about its nuclear inventory. This is dangerous. Once such threats are removed, there will be no advantage however marginal to hide one's nukes.

However, there is still a disadvantage in sharing the whereabouts of one's nukes. Because if they are disclosed, enemy countries can perform tactical strikes and eliminate the weapons. So we need to find means for reducing the possibility of such strikes. Paradoxically, this means we need to discover ways of "protecting" nuclear weapons from harm. This can be accomplished by missile defense systems under global command.

Letting global watch possible on nuclear weapons of any country will be very difficult and would face domestic opposition. So we should start by bilateral agreements between countries to share the locations of nuclear inventories. Eventually, we should hope that the tensions between countries will reduce to very minor and all forms of nuclear "weapons" will be annihilated (preferably in LFTRs).

DV82XL
The problem with cold-war thinking is that it doesn't accommodate irrational actors. Imagine a guy about to suicide himself by a bomb. What would he care about ? Nothing. All he wants is to destroy the enemy and inflict maximum damage. There can be no reasoning with him. The motivation for such a mad act is difficult to find. It could be revenge (destruction of close family), religious brain-washing or just plain madness.

The problem is that such people exist aplenty in the world today. They are quite smart, and even form groups together. If any of these groups gets hold of a nuke, and means to deploy it, it will use it. There will be no thinking, no room for rationality.


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PostPosted: Jul 15, 2009 3:27 pm 
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Both of you talk of 'mad actors' acting irrationally as if this sort of leader were commonplace. But any careful study of history reveals something very different.

To start off with this whole concept is largely a product of propaganda. It suits the purposes of some sides in a conflict to paint the leader of the opposite side as some sort of crazy person driving his country into destruction for his own self aggrandizement when in fact leadership picture in these regimes is much more complex.

Consider North Korea. If Dear Leader was really crazy, and in total control, he would have already nuked the South. He hasn't because first he is not irrational, second he wouldn't be permitted to.

Everything he has done with his nuclear program has been coldly calculated to squeeze as much as he can out of the other players in that region. He has done the nuclear strip-tease with considerable skill and leveraged a lot of concessions out of governments that were happily letting NK starve to death.

But even if he wanted to launch a real attack that would provoke retaliation, the chain of command there would have him gone in an instant. One of the things about a kleptocracy is that the top is full of the same sort of criminals that the leader came from, and they have no wish to lose what they have because the top dog wants a atomic funeral pyre.

Slade is right: owning nuclear weapons forces the leadership of that country to contemplate the ramifications of using it.

The other side of the coin is the suicide truck-bomber which again raises the problem of how the weapon was acquired, which I have discussed up thread.

Look, we cannot make policy on concepts based on cartoon villains and action movie plots, and this is what is happening. I too believed in most of these ideas up to the time when I started to study and research nuclear politics in detail. What I learned is that most of the givens that I had believed almost as axioms, were unfounded and rooted in spin that was driven by political motives, prior to that I would have been arguing much the same way you guys are.

I don't expect anyone to take the word of any 'DV82XL' on such a vital issue at face value, but I can tell you that the material to develop a complete picture of nuclear weapons, and how they fit into this world, is out there and most of it is easy to get between the web and the fact that a lot of documents have been declassified. Study the history of the bomb, look at the technical issues, see how the mechanics of this weapon force a certain set of strategic and tactical imperatives on the players that are as true now as they were in the 50's when they were first realized by the people at RAND.

I guarantee that if you do this you will come away with a very different view of this whole issue. I think it is vital that there is a broader understanding of this if nuclear power is to come out from under its association with nuclear weapons. If enough people are interested I could be talked into putting up a list of links and a bibliography on my own website. I have listed a few in this thread if anyone wants to get a start.


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PostPosted: Jul 15, 2009 6:48 pm 
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I am reading those articles, and will read the rest - though I find some of the details bizarre, and somewhat depressing to read.

OK, we have had our talk on weaponization of the planet (what about weaponzation of space ?) - now back to the US-India issue - or more specifically, Hillary Clinton's visit to India, where the nuclear cooperation (or is it non cooperation) is the high agenda.

This is from the Wall Street Journal
Quote:
JULY 16, 2009
India Designates Sites for U.S. Nuclear Deals

By AMOL SHARMA
India selected two sites U.S. companies can eventually build nuclear-power reactors, a significant step as the countries look to implement the landmark nuclear pact they completed last fall, according to people familiar with the matter.

But the selection, which could be announced when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits India this week, is unlikely to lead to quick contracts for companies such as GE-Hitachi and Westinghouse Electric Co. to begin building plants.

The U.S. companies must still overcome a range of regulatory and legal hurdles in both countries and are concerned that state-backed rivals from France and Russia -- which face fewer regulations in both India and on their home turf -- have an advantage in India's $100 billion nuclear energy sweepstakes. India has already designated sites for French and Russian nuclear reactors.
Image

The U.S.-India agreement ended a 34-year U.S. moratorium on nuclear trade with India following the country's first nuclear tests in 1974. The deal opened the door for U.S. and foreign companies to sell reactor technology and fuel to India and required India to allow greater international inspections of its civilian nuclear facilities. The pact took more than three years to complete and was hailed in both countries as a major foreign policy breakthrough.

During her visit, Mrs. Clinton is expected to highlight several areas of "strategic dialogue" with India, including national security, trade, education and the environment, people familiar with the visit said. After decades of estrangement over the nuclear issue and Cold War differences, the U.S. and India have improved their relationship markedly in recent years. Bilateral trade is expanding and reached $45 billion last year. Military cooperation is increasing.

The two countries may also use Mrs. Clinton's trip to announce completion of an agreement for the U.S. to track sales of defense equipment and ensure it is used for its stated intent, according to people familiar with the matter. That "end-use monitoring" agreement will be crucial, experts say, as U.S. companies compete for major contracts such as India's plans to purchase 126 fighter jets at an estimated cost of $11 billion.

A spokesman for India's Ministry of External Affairs said that some agreements will "naturally" be finalized between the U.S. and India during Mrs. Clinton's trip but declined to elaborate.

The Obama administration's assistant secretary of state for South Asia, Robert Blake, said the U.S. was hoping to announce the two nuclear sites, as well as the end-use agreement, during Mrs. Clinton's visit to New Delhi on Monday. Mr. Blake also disputed charges that the U.S.-India civil nuclear accord was failing to develop as quickly as U.S. corporations had hoped. "I don't think there should be any apprehension about the future of the civil nuclear agreement," Mr. Blake said.

There are still points of tension that Mrs. Clinton will have to address. Indian officials are concerned about what they perceive to be growing protectionism in the U.S. over India's strength in low-cost business outsourcing. And they object to climate-change legislation moving through Congress that would impose tariffs on products from countries that don't reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

The nuclear sites the Indian government is likely to name for U.S. companies are in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. But there are still several roadblocks preventing U.S. companies from cutting deals with India. The U.S. Department of Energy, for instance, hasn't granted American companies the licenses needed to engage in sensitive technical discussions about their products with Indian companies.

U.S. regulators are seeking "nonproliferation assurances" from India that U.S. technologies won't be transferred to any parties other than the original importer, including subcontractors. The State Department's top officials on arms control, former Rep. Ellen Tauscher and department veteran Robert Einhorn, are hard-line nonproliferation advocates who criticized the India nuclear deal. But President Barack Obama and Mrs. Clinton voted for the deal in Congress and have said they intend to follow through on it.

Meanwhile, U.S. companies are waiting for India to sign an international convention that limits the liability of private nuclear companies in case of nuclear accidents. India hasn't passed the necessary legislation.

Thomas Rumsey, a spokesman for GE Energy, a unit of General Electric Co., said the liability issue is the biggest remaining hurdle. "The Indian government is very aware of this. They understand what has to be in place," he said.

But some experts say there are domestic political considerations for India. "There are people in India who say, 'Why do we have to make these changes so quickly just because American companies want them?'" said Seema Gahlaut, director of the South Asia program at the University of Georgia's Center for International Trade and Security.

India is also pressing the U.S. for the right to reprocess uranium fuel it imports, an issue that wasn't tackled as part of the nuclear deal.

Foreign companies, meanwhile, have charged ahead. France's Areva SA last week submitted a bid to build two reactors in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, and announced strategic alliances with local Indian construction and engineering companies. Foreign companies from France and Russia don't face the same export-licensing requirements as U.S. companies and can invoke sovereign liability protection as state-controlled companies.

"We understand regulations take time to implement, but we're concerned that the French and Russians are pushing ahead with deals while we aren't able to," said Meena Mutyala, the point person on India nuclear discussions for Westinghouse, a unit of Toshiba Corp. that supplies technology and designs for 40% of the world's nuclear plants.

Not every U.S. nuclear supplier is eyeing India in the short term. India isn't an ideal customer, since its rickety electric grid is incapable, in many places, of absorbing large blocks of power from nuclear reactors. And some companies are more focused on getting approvals to bring plants online in the U.S.

Babcock & Wilcox Co. says it may supply some nuclear components to India but isn't ready to market a reactor there or to any distant buyer. "We don't have nuclear ambitions relative to India right now," said John Fees, chief executive of McDermott International Inc., parent of Babcock & Wilcox.

India, which generates only 3% of its power from nuclear energy -- the majority comes from coal-powered plants -- has said it wants to quintuple its nuclear production by 2020. U.S. companies fear that India could purchase the eight reactors it wants in the short term from foreign companies before U.S. companies even have a chance to bid.

The U.S. "led the way in changing the global nonproliferation regime for India," said Ted Jones, director of policy advocacy for the U.S.-India Business Council, which represents U.S. companies with significant interests in India. "Now we're a long way from being on a level playing field with our international competitors."

—Rebecca Smith, Paul Glader, Niraj Sheth and Jay Solomon contributed to this article.
Write to Amol Sharma at amol.sharma@wsj.com


So, is it about non proliferation, or about Global security, or is it about business as usual, or something else ?


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PostPosted: Jul 15, 2009 8:42 pm 
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Tonu wrote:
So, is it about non proliferation, or about Global security, or is it about business as usual, or something else ?


I think it's about business as usual. That's why I said my first post in this thread that it was very probable that the G8 call to ban trade in certain nuclear materials unless India signed the NPT was a shot over foreign ownership rules.


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PostPosted: Jul 23, 2009 11:02 am 
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Following from NTI Global Security Newswire
http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/g ... 3_1673.php

Quote:
U.S. Praises Indian Nuclear Monitoring Deal
Thursday, July 23, 2009

India on Tuesday accepted an agreement intended to ensure it does not illicitly distribute nuclear materials obtained from the United States, the Indo-Asian News Service reported (see GSN, July 21).

New Delhi agreed last year to allow international monitoring of its civilian nuclear facilities in exchange for access to U.S. nuclear materials and technology (see GSN, Oct. 14, 2008).

"It's a very significant agreement," U.S. State Department Spokesman Robert Wood said of this week's deal. "We're very proud and we believe that this agreement between the U.S. and India is important in our overall global nonproliferation efforts, and we believe that this agreement has brought India into the nuclear nonproliferation mainstream."

The deal involves "making sure that [nuclear] material, once it's delivered, it does not go to any other party, unless there is some sort of agreement by the United States," Wood added.

The spokesman avoided discussing how the United States would verify that India is meeting its obligations under the arrangement.

"Those types of issues will be worked out between the two sides and in consultation with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and other players. But I'm not an expert in the agreement, so I can't get into all of the details," he said.

Addressing opposition to the end-user deal within India, Wood said that the nation "made a conscious decision to sign this agreement. ... India has said it's in its best interests.

"We certainly think it's in the interest of the United States. But again, we think it's an overall good agreement. And we will need to implement the agreement, and those activities are already under way" (Indo-Asian News Service/Times of India, July 23).

Meanwhile, India said it plans to begin sea trials Sunday of its first domestically manufactured nuclear submarine, the Emirates News Agency reported (see GSN, July 9).

India expects to begin testing the first of several nuclear-powered submarines slated for deployment under its Advanced Technology Vessel program, Defense Minister A.K. Antony told lawmakers. The Arihant is expected to be deployed with nuclear weapons within three years (Emirates News Agency/Khaleej Times, July 22).


Far as I could understand, USA did like taking back all spent fuel, which India did not agree to. Instead, India proposed to retain right to reprocess all spent fuel including any received from USA. Also, far as I can understand India might not be interested in passing this fuel to anyone else anyway - however, they might be more keen to reprocess same after first pass use, and then utilise the byproduct bred fuels and/or remaining Uranium for use in either another power reactor, or for experiemnts or for weapons making - all for their own use.

Or am I wrong ?


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PostPosted: Jul 23, 2009 11:19 am 
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Joined: Jan 24, 2007 2:24 pm
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Location: Montreal, Quebec CANADA
It's a fig leaf. First India will be buying fuel mostly from countries other than the U.S. (which at any rate is a net importer) and second India has only agreed to allow its civilian nuclear facilities it be monitored, not its military. The U.S. will continue to obfuscate the issue so that the prospects of the U.S. nuclear industry in India are not hurt while at the same time looking like it is maintaining a hardliner approach to antiproliferation.


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