Nuke deal required to meet India's future energy needs: Kakodkar

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Agartala, Apr 22 : The Chairman of India's Atomic Energy Commission, Anil Kakodkar has said that domestic production in India is not sufficient to meet its future energy requirements, and therefore, finalisation of the Indo-US civil nuke deal is important for India.

He also said that through this deal India would be able to function in an autonomous manner.

"Those who are trying to instil fear in the minds of the people about the nuke deal, have a lack of knowledge," he said at a cancer awareness programme in Tripura.

The nuke deal aims to lift a three-decade ban on the sale of U.S. nuclear fuel and reactors to India, imposed after it conducted a nuclear test in 1974, while staying out of non-proliferation agreements.

India needs to conclude a safeguards agreement with the Internationaltomic Energy Agency approvals from the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group and finally the backing of the U.S. Congress before the agreement can come into force.

Once formalised, the deal would give India access to U.S. nuclear fuel and equipment for the first time in 30 years, even though New Delhi has tested nuclear weapons and has refused to join non-proliferation agreements. The deal is controversial in India, where the Communist allies of the government led by the Congress Party oppose it. The two sides agreed to form a panel to study the deal, which the Left believes compromises India's sovereignty. Recently, there has been a lot of talk about deadlines related to the deal. It faces an informal US deadline related to securing the approval of the American Congress well before this year's Presidential polls.

Three steps are required to operationalise the deal namely, safeguards agreement with the IAEA, amendment in the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group's charter and the passing of the 123-agreement by the US Congress.

One point of contention is the Hyde Act requirement that the United States cut off nuclear exports to India if it tests another nuclear weapon. The U.S.-India agreement does not make that explicit, but rather gives either side the right to end the pact for any reason with one year's notice.

ANI

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