India, US talks on atomic fuel re-processing begins

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Vienna, July 25 (ANI): The first round of talks between India and the United States regarding re-processing of used US atomic fuel on Indian soil has begin here.op diplomats from both sides met to discuss and chart out rules for reprocessing the nuclear fuels for electricity at designated civilian reactors according to UN guidelines.

The meeting is being seen as a significant step towards operationalisation of the civil Indo-US nuclear deal inked last year.

The talks are likely to continue for two months.

"We expect the consultations to be over in two months so that the implementation of 123 agreement can start within the timeframe given in the agreement," a top official of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) said.

"The consultations were strictly based on Article 6 (III) of the 123 agreement between India and the US and few more meetings are expected to take place," he added.

The civil nuclear deal gives India access to nuclear equipment and materials from the United States and other major supplier powers, which were banned following the nuclear tests conducted by India in 1974.

Critics feel that the pact will severely dent the non-proliferation standards, but those who support the accord maintain it will help India meet its ever increasing energy demand, cut fossil fuel emissions, open up a multibillion-dollar nuclear market and also build a strategic partnership with America.

During US Secretary of States Hillary Clinton's recent visit to New Delhi, Washington agreed to build two nuclear reactors in India.

The nuke plants would be set up by two US energy majors- Westinghouse-Toshiba and GE-Hitachi in collaboration with India's Nuclear Power Corporation Limited (NPCIL).

The two sites finalized by the NPCIL are Shrikulam in coastal Andhra Pradesh and Alang in Gujarat. (ANI)

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