For Immediate Release
Center for Arms Control Praises Obama for Not Rushing U.S.-India Nuclear Agreement
WASHINGTON - The Center for Arms Control and
Non-Proliferation praised the Obama administration today for outlining broad
areas of cooperation with India
and not rushing nuclear energy negotiations, which could further undermine
nuclear weapons non-proliferation efforts.
The United States
and India are still
negotiating a subsequent arrangement that would lay out the details for whether
and how the United States
would give its consent to India
for reprocessing U.S.-origin fuel. Reprocessing separates plutonium from
nuclear waste. While India
plans to use the plutonium to fuel power reactors, plutonium can also be used
to make nuclear weapons. India
used plutonium derived from U.S.
and Canadian nuclear energy assistance intended for peaceful purposes to
conduct its first nuclear weapons test in 1974.
Director of Nuclear Non-Proliferation at the Center for Arms Control and
Non-Proliferation, noted: "Despite
pressure to reach agreement on this controversial issue in time for an Obama-Singh
announcement, the Obama administration did not rush to finalize a deal that
would undermine nuclear nonproliferation efforts, and instead emphasized
cooperation on renewable energy, education, and science."
"Unlike the previous administration,
which made concession after concession on the U.S.-India nuclear deal at the
expense of nuclear non-proliferation, the Obama administration is negotiating
carefully to ensure that the U.S.-India deal does not further erode
non-proliferation efforts and lead to legitimizing reprocessing as a fuel
management option," she added.
The U.S.-India agreement for nuclear cooperation reached last year
included a provision allowing India
to reprocess as long as India
reprocessed the waste in a new declared facility under safeguards. A subsequent
arrangement is necessary to outline a detailed accord. U.S. State Department
and Indian officials conducted a final round of talks over the weekend in an
attempt to finalize the deal. Disagreements reportedly remain on the number of
reprocessing facilities as well as inspection and safety provisions.
The Obama administration canceled Bush administration plans for
near-term deployment of reprocessing facilities in the United States. As Tomero explained,
"Rushing to give India consent to reprocessing U.S.-origin
nuclear fuel would complicate U.S.
efforts to convince other countries, such as South Korea, not to reprocess."
is currently seeking reprocessing rights from the United States in the context of a
new U.S.-South Korea nuclear cooperation agreement to succeed the current
agreement which expires in 2014.
The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to enhancing international peace and security in the 21st century. The Center is funded by grants from private foundations and the generosity of thousands of individual donors.