The 123 Agreement: Different Perspectives

Former BAARC Cheif, Dr A N Prasad says on The Hindu

The agreement to operationalize the Indo-US civil nuclear deal has “compromised India’s case to a large extent and the United States could “remotely drive our atomic programmes in the long run,” former Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Dr A N Prasad, said here Sunday night.

He said the draft text of the 123 agreement, reached in Washington last month, clearly tried to accommodate diverging interests and constraints of both India and US by clever use of the language.

“We are now in effect reduced to a mere recipient state mandated by the Henry Hyde Act (passed by the US Congress) to carry out a set of do’s and don’ts and strive to earn a good behavior report card to become eligible to continue receiving what they can offer,” he said.

“In the process, slowly but surely, they (US) could gain control and remotely drive our nuclear programmes in the long run,” Prasad said.

Prasad, who was active in IAEA inspections in Iraq, said “this deal, through the Hyde Act, gives far too many opportunities to penetrate deep into and interfere even in our 3-stage programme to slow down realization of our goal to harness our own vast resources of thorium for long-term energy security.”

Prasad pointed to two points in support of his view: first revelation by Nicholas Burns, US Under Secretary of State, during his interview to the Council on Foreign Relations and secondly the duration of the 123 agreement coinciding with the time India intending to take thorium use to a commercial reality.

He pointed to Burns’ remark that “it had been an easy ‘strategic’ choice for Washington when faced with the question – should we isolate India for the next 35 years or bring it in partially now (under safeguards inspection) and nearly totally in the future.”

Left on 123 agreement:

Left parties, supporting allies of the Government, today rejected the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement and asked the Government not to proceed with operationalising it.

The four-party alliance also decided to press for a constitutional amendment for bringing international treaties and certain bilateral agreements for approval in Parliament.

After “careful assessment” of the text of 123 pact released on Friday and studying it in the “context of burgeoning strategic alliance” with the US, the Left parties said they were “unable to accept the agreement.”

“The Left calls upon the Government not to proceed further with operationalising of the agreement,” a statement issued by the four parties here today said.

“There has to be review of the strategic aspect of Indo-US relations in Parliament,” it said.

Much to gain from the 123 of nuke power (on Economic Times)

Private sector nuclear energy is going to be introduced in four phases in India in the wake of the 123 agreement with the US. To begin with, private sector companies like Tata Power and Reliance Energy will have to form joint ventures with the government-owned Nuclear Power Corporation.
In the next phase, Indian private sector companies will be allowed to set up plants on their own. The third phase will permit foreign investors to come in as JV partners with Indian players. And finally, at least a decade later, foreign investors may be allowed to set up nuclear plants on their own.
In India, the three companies that have already declared an interest in setting up nuclear power plants are Tata Power, Reliance Energy and National Thermal Power Corporation. But others are lurking in the background and may consider entering the fray too.



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