Washington: In the final step to operationalise the Indo-US nuclear deal, American President George W Bush has sent the text of the landmark agreement to the US Congress for final approval.
The move by the White House comes five days after the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) granted a waiver to India for carrying out nuclear commerce.
In a statement, the White House said it was transmitting the text of the agreement between the US and India “concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energy”.
“The proposed Agreement provides a comprehensive framework for US peaceful nuclear cooperation with India. It permits the transfer of information, non-nuclear material, nuclear material, equipment (including reactors) and components for nuclear research and nuclear power production.
“It does not permit transfers of any restricted data. Sensitive nuclear technology, heavy-water production technology and production facilities, sensitive nuclear facilities, and major critical components of such facilities may not be transferred under the agreement unless it is amended,” the statement said.
“I am pleased to transmit to the Congress, pursuant to section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 USC 2153) (AEA), the text of a proposed Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of India Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy,“ Bush has said in his memorandum released by the White House late last night.
Bush has said that the proposed agreement has been negotiated in accordance with the AEA and other applicable law.
“The Agreement permits the enrichment of uranium subject to up to 20% in the isotope 235. It permits reprocessing and other alterations in form or content of nuclear material subject to it,” he said.
In the case of such activities in India, these rights will not come into effect until New Delhi “establishes a new national reprocessing facility under IAEA safeguards and both parties agree on arrangements and procedures under which the reprocessing or other alteration in form or content will take place” he added.
“The Agreement will remain in force for a period of 40 years and will continue in force thereafter for additional periods of 10 years each unless either party gives notice to terminate it six months before the end of a period,” Bush told the Congress in his statement.
“Moreover, either party has the right to terminate the Agreement prior to its expiration on one year’s written notice to the other party. A party seeking early termination of the Agreement has the right immediately to cease cooperation under the Agreement, prior to termination, if it determines that a mutually acceptable resolution of outstanding issues cannot be achieved through consultations,” he said.
Letting India in
”An extensive discussion of India’s civil nuclear programme, military nuclear programme, and nuclear nonproliferation policies and practices is provided in the Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement (NPAS) and in a classified annex to the NPAS submitted to the Congress separately,“ the statement says.
“The AEA incorporates the definition of “nuclear-weapon state” from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which defines it to mean a state that has manufactured and exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device prior to January 1,1967. Therefore India is a non-nuclear-weapon state for NPT and AEA purposes, even though it possesses nuclear weapons,” Bush said.
The US President said, “the Hyde Act established authority to exempt the Agreement from the full-scope safeguards requirement of section 123 a.(2) of the AEA, as well as certain other provisions of the AEA relating to supply under such an agreement, provided that the President makes certain determinations and transmits them to the Congress together with a report detailing the basis for the determinations.”
“I have made those determinations, and I am submitting them together with the required report as an enclosure to this transmittal,” he said.
“In reviewing the proposed Agreement I have considered the views and recommendations of interested agencies. I have determined that its performance will promote, and will not constitute an unreasonable risk to, the common defence and security. Accordingly, I have approved it and I urge that the Congress also approve it this year,” Bush said.