India-US civil nuclear deal rejuvenates country's nuclear power generation

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Bangalore / Kolkata, Sept 29 : The science fraternity feels that the Indo-US civil nuclear deal would rejuvenate the country's nuclear power generation.

"I think it's only the US Senate that remains and once that is done, the American President puts his seal, we (nuclear energy trade) should be on the way. So it's good for India that we are planning the use of atomic energy as well as atomic programme in many other areas," said K. Kasturirangan, eminent space scientist and a member of Rajya Sabha.

Former head of the Atomic Energy Commission M R Srinivasan has said that the scenario of the deal being scrapped in the wake of India testing a nuclear device is a hypothetical situation given that the two major parties in India, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party have committed the country to a voluntary moratorium.

"So, in the sense both the major political formations of the country have accepted to honour the voluntary moratorium. Now, there is no legal ban on test, but at the same time it is a fact that as a practical preposition. I consider a very low probability situation. Therefore, this ought not to burden our thinking too much," he said.

The agreement passed the House of Representatives by a margin of 298-117. The Democrats who control the Senate hope to bring it to a vote there within days despite the opposition of some in their own party, congressional aides said.

But Indian Communists, who withdrew support to the Congress-led coalition over the deal, said Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had betrayed the country.

"That has been possible only because India has continuously surrendered on every single pressure that the USA has put. As of now not a single one out of nine assurances that the Prime Minister has given in the Parliament remains, the assurances are valid. On all counts there has been a negation. India has willingly surrendered itself to this American pressure," Sitaram Yechuri, a senior leader of Communist Party of India (Marxist). The agreement has also drawn international criticism from non-proliferation advocates because India has shunned the Non-proliferation Treaty meant to stop the spread and production of nuclear weapons as well as a companion international pact banning nuclear tests.


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