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PostPosted: Jul 10, 2009 7:40 pm 
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G8 blocks ‘full’ nuclear trade with India
Siddharth Varadarajan

Adopts rules making fuel cycle transfers conditional on NPT

New Delhi: Less than a year after the Nuclear Suppliers Group waived its export rules to allow the sale of nuclear equipment, fuel and technology to India, the United States has persuaded the G8 to ban the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) items to countries which have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, including India.

The move, which effectively negates the promise of “full” civil nuclear cooperation lying at the heart of the 2005 India-U.S. nuclear agreement, took the Indian establishment by surprise with officials unaware that the G8 was even adopting such a measure at L’Aquila, Italy. That this was done at a summit in which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was an invited guest is likely to add insult to injury when the full implications of the latest decision fully sink in.

The ban, buried deep within a separate G8 statement on non-proliferation, commits the eight countries to implement on a “national basis” the “useful and constructive proposals” on ways of strengthening controls on ENR items and technology “contained in the NSG’s ‘clean text’ developed at the 20 November 2008 Consultative Group meeting.”

Minimum criteria

Though the “clean text” is not a public document, a senior diplomat from a G8 country confirmed to The Hindu that the eight countries had agreed to certain minimum criteria — including adherence to the main instruments of nonproliferation — as a condition for the sale of equipment and technology destined for safeguarded ENR activities in a recipient country.

In the run-up to the final NSG plenary on India last September, Washington sought to get New Delhi to agree that the nuclear cartel’s rule waiver would not cover ENR transfers. But with the Indian side sticking to its guns, the NSG finally agreed to a clean exemption allowing nuclear exports of all kinds, including sensitive fuel-cycle-related items and technologies, provided they were under safeguards.

Under pressure from the Bush administration, the NSG subsequently debated new ENR rules last November but failed to evolve a consensus because of opposition from countries like Brazil, Canada and Spain to restrictions that would go beyond what the NPT itself provided for.

With consensus proving elusive during the recent June meeting of the 45-nation club, the Obama administration decided to decouple the question of ENR sales to India from the NSG process — something the latest G8 agreement on interim implementation of a national-level ban effectively does.

India’s ability to purchase nuclear fuel and reactors from the G8 or NSG countries will be unaffected by the latest ban. Unless, of course, the new decision becomes the trigger for attempts to further dilute or qualify the core bargain contained in the ‘India exception’ last year.


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PostPosted: Jul 10, 2009 8:24 pm 
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So the battle lines have been drawn. However the G8 is not the whole of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, some members of which like Kazakhstan, the Argentine, and Brazil which sided with India on the Fuel Bank issue, may have other ideas.


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PostPosted: Jul 11, 2009 12:21 pm 
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New Delhi: Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy today said the decision of G-8 nations to curb transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technology to non-NPT countries like India had vindicated his stand of opposing the Indo-US nuclear deal and asked the government to respond effectively to the move.

He also demanded that completion of third phase of thorium development programme should be made a part of the infrastructure plan and Rs2,000 allocated to it. "I stand vindicated in having warned the Indian public through the media repeatedly that the Indo-US nuclear deal bestows India a concubine status and hence should not be signed," Swamy said in a statement.

He said the "brazen decision of the G-8 in presence" of prime minister Manmohan Singh "proves the contention of my warning". Describing "this blow" as "a failure of diplomacy", Swamy said India must respond effectively, "otherwise it will be taken that the prime minister has secretly agreed to this demeaning status".


Guess who is going to wind up well ahead of everyone else in thorium reactors?

Gee, I wonder if they are going to tie themselves in knots making sure that their designs are all nice and proliferation proof?


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PostPosted: Jul 11, 2009 1:39 pm 
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Quote:
Guess who is going to wind up well ahead of everyone else in thorium reactors?


Who?


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PostPosted: Jul 11, 2009 2:00 pm 
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A nuclear conflict between nuclear customers of India; two hell-hole nations suffering from delusions of grandeur, is not in the business interests of the Indian nation. World wide public outcry and subsequent fear of nuclear power will end trade in nuclear equipment and any future export of Indian reactor sales. Nuclear war is not good for business and smart business practice will preclude its possibility.

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PostPosted: Jul 11, 2009 2:24 pm 
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Axil wrote:
A nuclear conflict between nuclear customers of India; two hell-hole nations suffering from delusions of grandeur, is not in the business interests of the Indian nation. World wide public outcry and subsequent fear of nuclear power will end trade in nuclear equipment and any future export of Indian reactor sales. Nuclear war is not good for business and smart business practice will preclude its possibility.


You should be reading some of India's English press. They have every intention of exporting the 220MWe PHWR. Check this out from The The Hindu Business Line:

Quote:
Friday, Jul 10, 2009 “Kazakhstan is likely to be the first overseas market for Indian-made reactors. Preliminary discussions between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and the central Asian nation’s nuclear utility Kazatomprom have been held. A final decision on whether this (India setting up reactor units in Kazakhstan) would be a stand-alone deal or a barter arrangement against Kazakh uranium supplies will be decided only after the broad-based civil nuclear agreement under discussion between India and the uranium-rich country is concluded,” an official said.


India has earlier moved a resolution to enable export of indigenous reactors at the IAEA General Conference of Member States in Vienna in late 2007. You should keep up with developments in the rest of the world - the old assumptions no longer apply.


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PostPosted: Jul 11, 2009 3:03 pm 
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DV82XL wrote:
You should be reading some of India's English press. They have every intention of exporting the 220MWe PHWR. Check this out from The The Hindu Business Line:

Quote:
Friday, Jul 10, 2009 “Kazakhstan is likely to be the first overseas market for Indian-made reactors. Preliminary discussions between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and the central Asian nation’s nuclear utility Kazatomprom have been held. A final decision on whether this (India setting up reactor units in Kazakhstan) would be a stand-alone deal or a barter arrangement against Kazakh uranium supplies will be decided only after the broad-based civil nuclear agreement under discussion between India and the uranium-rich country is concluded,” an official said.

Does anybody have a problem with India exporting PHWRs to Kazakhstan ? ....I don't:
Quote:
Kazakhstan President: We Won't Help Iran Obtain Nukes
- Roee Nahmias
Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev assured visiting Israeli President Shimon Peres on Tuesday that his country would not assist Iran in advancing its nuclear program. "I understand that this issue concerns you, as it does us," Nazarbayev said. "There will be no flow of any nuclear substances from our territory." Addressing Israel's security situation, he said, "unfortunately, Israel is surrounded by neighbors who do not strive for peace....We've been informed of the (peace) initiatives laid out by Netanyahu and Obama - and we back these initiatives."
Officials from both countries signed an agreement to cooperate in the satellite field. A year ago Israel successfully launched its Amos-3 communications satellite from the Kazakh city of Baikonur.

....moreover, the Kazakhs have extensive experience with FBRs, which India is no doubt interested in.

DV82XL wrote:
You should keep up with developments in the rest of the world....

Indeed !


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PostPosted: Jul 11, 2009 4:12 pm 
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Kazakh President Blasts Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kazakhstan's president yesterday expressed doubts about the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty's ability to dissuade countries from developing nuclear arsenals, Interfax reported (see GSN, May 19).

"The international law works very badly," Nursultan Nazarbayev said at a joint press conference with Israeli President Shimon Peres, "and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty does not work, because the international community cannot influence this."

Kazakhstan was the site of 500 nuclear-weapon tests from 1949 to 1989, while it was a Soviet republic, according to Interfax. After the dissolution of the Cold War superpower, the nation relinquished all nuclear weapons left on its territory.

"We gave the world an example, just one so far, when a president closes a test site and a state voluntarily refuses from nuclear weapons," Nazarbayev said.

"Regretfully, this example has not been so far interesting to other states," he added.

Despite his pessimism, Nazarbayev said Kazakhstan is committed to staunching proliferation within its own borders. "No nuclear materials will get to anyone from our territory," he said. "Kazakhstan guarantees that it will not provide its nuclear materials to other countries"

In May, delegates from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty's 189 signatory nations agreed on an agenda for an upcoming treaty review conference for the first time in a decade (see GSN, May 18). U.S. President Barack Obama has suggested that a strengthened version of the treaty could push the world toward universal nuclear disarmament (Interfax, July 1).

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PostPosted: Jul 11, 2009 4:29 pm 
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Axil wrote:
"Despite his pessimism, Nazarbayev said Kazakhstan is committed to staunching proliferation within its own borders. "No nuclear materials will get to anyone from our territory," he said. "Kazakhstan guarantees that it will not provide its nuclear materials to other countries"



I would not presume that because the Kazakhs are unwilling to trade with Iran that they are willing to take orders from anyone on who they trade with. The G8 may say that they are not trading with India if that nation doesn't sign the NPT, but one shouldn't conclude that Kazakhstan will fall into line.

Nazarbayev statement may play well in front of Shimon Peres, however he is still in talks with India, and the country is still exporting yellowcake.


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PostPosted: Jul 11, 2009 5:53 pm 
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It is unreasonable to assume that since the current non proliferation treaty is flawed that the nations of the world will abandon its concept for anarchy. It is more likely that the leaders of the world as men of reason and moderation will opt to strengthen and broaden the treaty under the renewed vigor and commitment of the worlds leading powers.

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PostPosted: Jul 11, 2009 5:58 pm 
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Axil wrote:
It is unreasonable to assume that since the current non proliferation treaty is flawed that the nations of the world will abandon its concept for anarchy. It is more likely that the leaders of the world as men of reason and moderation will opt to strengthen and broaden the treaty under the renewed vigor and commitment of the worlds leading powers.



Naive meet Jejune.


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PostPosted: Jul 11, 2009 6:03 pm 
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Time will be the judge.

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PostPosted: Jul 11, 2009 6:25 pm 
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USPWR_RO wrote:
Naive meet Jejune.


I think our friend Axil thinks that florid grandiloquence is a substitute for substance in an argument.

On a similar note I should like to also point out that despite the rhetoric of the Kazakhstan government to the contrary, it is well known that the uranium industry there is exceptionally corrupt and that it's the source of much illegally traded uranium.


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PostPosted: Jul 11, 2009 7:18 pm 
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DV82XL wrote:
it is well known that the uranium industry there is exceptionally corrupt and that it's the source of much illegally traded uranium.

I know that there was a nasty legal battle that the company World Wide Minerals (WWM) brought against the Kazakh government’s uranium and marketing production agent, Kazatomprom, nearly ten years ago -- which is probably where the corruption charge originated.
But I have never seen anything about illegally traded uranium from Kazakhstan (show me pls.), and conditions may have improved over the years, as various western companies are now investing in the country, including Canada's Comeco.

Interesting:

Quote:
Weekly Digest (12 November 2004)
Significant nuclear-related news items in perspective
China signs for Kazakh uranium.
China National Nuclear Corporation has signed a 16-year agreement with KazAtomProm for the supply of uranium and possibly fuel pellets. Kazakhstan has 18% of the world's known uranium resources, and also the major and long-established Ulba Metallurgical Plant which exports fuel pellets (made from uranium enriched in Russia) to Russia, Ukraine and USA. The plant has ISO 14001 accreditation.


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PostPosted: Jul 11, 2009 8:15 pm 
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jaro wrote:
I know that there was a nasty legal battle that the company World Wide Minerals (WWM) brought against the Kazakh government’s uranium and marketing production agent, Kazatomprom, nearly ten years ago -- which is probably where the corruption charge originated.
But I have never seen anything about illegally traded uranium from Kazakhstan (show me pls.), and conditions may have improved over the years, as various western companies are now investing in the country, including Canada's Comeco.



Quote:
Kazakhstan accuses ex-nuclear chief of illegal uranium sales

Astana (AFP) June 1, 2009

The recently imprisoned former head of Kazakhstan's state nuclear power agency stole the majority of the Central Asian nation's uranium deposits, security officials alleged on Monday.

Former Kazatomprom head Mukhtar Dzhakishev and other company officials illegally shifted ownership of uranium mines worth tens of billions of dollars through a network of offshore companies, the KNB security service said.

"Our information confirms the illegal tranfer of more than 60 percent of the state's uranium deposits into the property of Dzhakishev and the companies he owned," a KNB spokesman told reporters in the capital Astana.

The announcement by the KNB -- the successor to the Soviet-era KGB -- raises the pressure on Dzhakishev and other Kazatomprom executives, less than two weeks after he was stripped of his title and imprisoned.

Authorities did not explain how Dzhakishev managed to steal more than half of the country's uranium deposits out from under the government's nose. All uranium deals in Kazakhstan are heavily monitored and audited by the state.

Kazakhstan, an ex-Soviet republic bordering Russia and China, holds almost 20 percent of the world's uranium reserves and aims to be the number one producer by 2010, overtaking Australia and Canada.

A few months ago a train headed from Kyrgyzstan to Iran was turned back at the Uzbek border after it was found to be carrying highly radioactive material. It had already stopped in southern Kazakhstan without the substance being detected at border checkpoints.

Kyrgyz authorities have said little about the incident, but it raises the specter of nuclear smuggling in the region just as Kazakhstan has embarked on an ambitious plan to become the world’s leading supplier of uranium.

Such unaccounted-for radioactive material, especially highly enriched uranium, is floating around Central Asia, possibly crossing borders freely.

In a January interview with the Arabic daily al Hayat, Mohammed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, named Kazakhstan leading among the four states where most nuclear trafficking incidents occurred.

The country is keen to be seen as a global player in issues of nuclear security. Last year, Kazakhstan mined around 8,500 tonnes of uranium and plans to extract 11,900 tonnes in 2009, according to Kazatomprom.


Now as it happens the train was carrying a shipment of Cesium-137, not uranium and the whole incident was talked up as a demonstration of how good the controls were on these borders and that the several millions of dollars the US spent on detection equipment for the area was a good investment, but anyone involved with smuggling and customs enforcement will tell you it is impossible to get everything.

This is an ex-Soviet republic, like all of them it is rife with corruption, however with Western uranium companies investing in the country it is being held up as a pillar of nuclear security.

I have spent a lot of time watching these things and I have built up a good picture of what is going on and while it is not anywhere as bad as the antinukes claim it is, things are not as squeaky clean as the powers-that-be claim.


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