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Bush for change in thinking on reprocessing, proliferation

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 2 (UNI) In a significant acceptance of India's stand on reprocessing of nuclear fuel, US President George W Bush today said use of nuclear energy for civil purposes could not be advocated without advocating technologoical development of reprocessing.

''I proposed reprocessing agreements -- that stands in stark contrast to current nuclear theology that we shouldn't reprocess for proliferation concerns. I don't see how you can advocate nuclear power, in order to take thepressure off of our own economy, for example, without advocating technological development of reprocessing,'' he said at joint press confernce with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here.

Reprocessing is going to take care of environmental concerns as it clearly implies that there will be less material to dispose of, the US President said.

''And so I'm trying to think differently, not to stay stuck in the past, and recognize that by thinking differently, particularly on nuclear power, we can achieve some important objectives, one of which is less reliance on fossil fuels.

'Secondly, we can work with our partners to help both our economies grow; and thirdly be strong on dealing with the proliferation issues,'' he said replying to a question.

He said he has got very cogent arguments in favour of the civil nuclear deal with India to convince the Congress.

''Congress has got to understand, that it's in our economic interests that India have a civilian nuclear power industry to help take the pressure off of the global demand for energy,''.

Mr Bush said nuclear power is a renewable source of energy, and the less demand there is for non-renewable sources of energy, like fossil fuels, the better off it is for the American people.

''Increasing demand for oil from America, from India and China, relative to a supply that's not keeping up with demand, causes our fuel prices to go up. And so, to the extent that we can reduce demand for fossil fuels, it will help the American consumer,'' he said.

President Bush's response came while replying to the question as to why other countries that are in the process of developing nuclear technology should sign the NPT if India is getting a deal without doing so.


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