Finally, the cat’s out of the bag. External affairs minister S.M. Krishna made a statement on nuclear enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technology in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
As far as ENR technologies are concerned, India has “full mastery” of the nuclear fuel cycle and access to technology from abroad is only an “additionality”, the minister told the House. He also admitted that not every Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) member has the ability to undertake the transfer of ENR tech to other countries.
What he did not add was that access to ENR technology from abroad is not a mere technology issue: It was to be an important political signal of India’s status as a nuclear weapon state. Its denial by NSG puts an end to that?myth— perpetuated assiduously for the past many years. This huge gap between claims and reality merits a better reply than a simple statement.