Kakodkar backs nuke deal despite adverse disclosures

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New Delhi, Sep 4 (UNI)India's top nuclear official Anil Kakodkar today said the country was willing to walk away from the Indo-US nuclear deal if it was not "appetising" enough.

Using the metaphor of a well-cooked meal, he said the deal was still cooking but in the end, if it did harm to India, "we are willing to walk away", he told NDTV channel.

Accepting that he was surprised by the publication of the secret letter from the Bush administration to the United States Congress, Dr Kakodkar, however, said it made no difference to the 123 agreement.

At the same time, the Atomic Energy Commission Chairman said if India conducted a nuclear test, one of the consequences it would have to factor in was the smooth functioning of the new nuclear reactors it would get.

Dr Kakodkar, Secretary, department of Atomic Energy, said India knew about the existence of the document but not its contents.

"India knew of the existence of the document but not its contents," he said, adding, "I didn't know it was going to be released." He said he had gone through the document. "To me, it seems to be specific responses to a set of specific questions. The quick reading tells me that it actually doesn't take away anything from what we have been saying here in India." Dr Kakodkar, who has been in the loop of the nuke deal from beginning of negotiations, backed the Indo-US nuclear deal by saying that it was a win-win proposition. "India's situation is quite unique: large population, rapid growth, shortage of energy. Deal is good for India, good for the world." UNI SAA PK UCS2042

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