U.S.- India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative

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On March 2, 2006, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United States President George W. Bush announced that "their nations have reached agreement on a landmark nuclear deal. Under the accord, India has agreed to separate its civilian and military nuclear programs. Civilian nuclear plants in India will now be open to international inspection." [1]

Robert Hoffman, a lobbyist for Oracle, describes the preliminary Congressional vote to exempt India from a ban on nuclear technology sales as "a coming-out party of sorts for the India lobby." [2] The U.S. Atomic Energy Act bans nuclear sales to countries, such as India, that have not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. In June, both House and Senate committees gave in-principle support to the agreement negotiated between U.S. President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Under the agreement, only 14 of India's 22 nuclear reactors would be open to international scrutiny. The U.S India Business Council, a project of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have hired lobbyists Patton Boggs to help with their campaign. The Indian government have hired Barbour Griffith & Rogers to promote the agreement. The final Congressional vote in expected within weeks.

Amory Lovins, the Chief Executive Officer of the Rocky Mountains Institute, an eco-efficiency think tank, is aghast at U.S. government support for the U.S.- India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative. The agreement would facilitate an expansion of nuclear power in India, which is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. "We're going to blow up what's left of the nonproliferation regimes to promote a sector that doesn't make sense," Lovins told the Washington Post. [3]

India's Nuclear Programs

US-India Nuclear Accord 2006




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