Monday, December 18, 2006

President Signs U.S.-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act

This morning, President Bush signed into law the U.S.-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act. The bill will allow shipments of nuclear fuel and technology to India for use in its civilian nuclear power program.

Congress passed the final version of the bill Dec. 9.

Here's part of what President Bush had to say at the signing:

The bill is going to help us achieve four key goals.

First, the bill will help us strengthen cooperation between India and United States on one of the most important challenges in the 21st century, and that is energy. India is now the world's fifth largest consumer of energy -- and its demand for electricity is expected to double by 2015. The United States has a clear interest in helping India meet this demand with nuclear energy. By helping India expand its use of safe nuclear energy, this bill lays the foundation for a new strategic partnership between our two nations that will help ease India's demands for fossil fuels and ease pressure on global markets.

Second, the bill will help promote economic growth. This bill helps open a new important market for American businesses by paving the way for investment in India's civilian nuclear industry for the first time ever. This new trade will help American companies gain new customers abroad, and create new jobs here at home.

Third, the bill will help make it possible for India to reduce emissions -- and improve its environment. Today, India produces nearly 70 percent of its electricity from coal. Burning coal produces air pollution and greenhouse gases -- and as India's economy has grown, emission levels have risen, as well. We must break the cycle, and with nuclear power, we can. We can help India do so, and we can do so here at home by the use of nuclear power.

Nuclear power is the one source of energy that can generate massive amounts of electricity without producing any air pollution or greenhouse gases. And by sharing advanced civilian nuclear technology, we will help our friend, India, meet its growing demand for energy and lower emissions at the same time.

Finally, the bill will help keep America safe by paving the way for India to join the global effort to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. India has conducted its civilian nuclear energy program in a safe and responsible way for decades. Now, in return for access to American technology, India has agreed to open its civilian nuclear power program to international inspection. This is an important achievement for the whole world. After 30 years outside the system, India will now operate its civilian nuclear energy program under internationally accepted guidelines -- and the world is going to be safer as a result.
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4 comments:

Gunter said...

The one critical factor you omit is that US-India "peaceful" atomic energy cooperation act makes a mockery of the NPT by freeing up Inida's uranium supply for weapons development in its reactors excluded from IAEA inspections thus expanding its nuclear weapons program.

Contrary to NEI's Orwellian logic, the Bush administration and the US nuclear industry are poised to accelerate the nuclear arms race in Asia.

Ruth Sponsler said...

So...I'm waiting for you and the rest of the anti-nuclear crowd to develop a way to get India away from its 50% dependence on coal, without using nuclear energy.

Here in the United States, Amory Lovins has been promising the alternative energy dream for 25 years, but has yet to deliver more than a couple per cent of our energy needs.

Meanwhile, CO2 emissions just keep going up, in part because of the anti-nuclear movement's 25 years of frivolous lawsuits and bans against building emissions-free energy facilities.

Anti-nuclear groups are becoming irrelevant in an era of climate change.

Paul Primavera said...

Gunter,

You always start this NPT stuff up. What India will get is low enriched fuel for light water reactors which CANNOT be used for weapons. And YOU know that. Light water reactors do NOT accelerate the arms race. But keeping a country like India energy-impoverished DOES.

So what exactly IS the goal of NIRS?

If it weren't for the anti-nuke hysteria you guys capitolized on ever since the 1970s, we could be well on our way to full energy independence and we wouldn't be involved in a war of foriegn adventure in a land of Islamic fascism for mineral slime.

But that is NOT what the anti-nukes apparently wanted.

Rod Adams said...

Gunter:

The Non-Proliferation Treaty is already a mockery. It was an attempt by the five nuclear capable nations to browbeat the rest of the world into accepting the notion that the first five weapons states would pledge to work diligently to getting rid of their existing weapons if the non weapons states would agree to abandon any plans that they had for their own development programs.

For the most part, the non weapons states have a better track record of keeping their part of the bargain than the weapons states do. I think all of the existing weapons states have even announced plans to develop next generation weapons.

Another part of the bargain for the NPT was that non weapons states were supposed to get full assistance in their peaceful programs. That assistance has not be forthcoming for many signers like Iran.

Why would India want to sign such a treaty with a bunch of countries that fail to meet their sworn obligations? I think India's reasons for remaining outside the NPT make sense, and I think that our long overdue decision to trade with them despite that decision is also logical and supportable.