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.Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Power, Environment, Energy, Politics, Technology, Economics, India
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.