New Delhi, Jul 10: A 23 page restricted nuclear safeguard pact was submitted to IAEA board members by India on Wednesday, July 9. The ambiguities should be clarified before IAEA clears the deal.
The draft, which was circulated by Washington-based think tanks, contained several points that "raise questions that board members need to get clarity on" because they would restrict international monitoring of India's atomic programs, said Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association. The document is meant to open the way for India to do business with a group of 45 nations exporting coveted nuclear fuel and technology. The draft notes that India "may take corrective measures to ensure uninterrupted operation of its civilian nuclear reactors in the event of disruption of foreign fuel supplies." If and only if India resumes nuclear weapon testing, will the fuel supplies be hit. The draft, which in many respects resembles IAEA agreements with other countries, also omits a list of nuclear facilities that India has voluntarily agreed to place under IAEA safeguards, said Kimball, calling that "abnormal".
In addition to getting IAEA governors' approval, India must also obtain a waiver for the nuclear deal from the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group, only then New Delhi will be eligible for imports of nuclear fuel and civilian nuclear technology.
If and when the Indo-US nuclear deal comes through, India will lose its power to test nuclear weapons first. It can only react to others testing, which is the largest downplay of the deal.