India and Canada finalise conditions of nuclear deal


Electricity cable in IndiaIndia‘s rapid economic expansion in recent years has resulted in a surge in demand for energy
7 November 2012

India and Canada have finalised the terms for their nuclear deal, paving the way for Canadian firms to export uranium to India.

Once implemented, the deal is likely to provide a boost to India’s plans to increase its nuclear capacity to meet growing energy demands.

The deal was agreed in 2010, but there had been differences over supervision of the use of uranium in India.

Canada has banned the trade of nuclear materials with India since 1976.

“Canada with its large and high quality reserves of uranium could become an important supplier to the Indian nuclear power programme,” India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper said in a joint statement.

‘Important economic opportunity’

India’s economy has seen rapid expansion in recent years resulting in a surge in demand for energy in the country.

In a bid to meet its growing energy needs, India has been looking to increase its dependence on nuclear energy.

It is planning to set up some 30 reactors over as many years and get a quarter of its electricity from nuclear energy by 2050.

As a result it has been looking to secure supplies of uranium to achieve that target.

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that being able to be a part of India’s nuclear power plans was “a really important economic opportunity for an important Canadian industry… that should pay dividends in terms of jobs and growth for Canadians down the road”.

Earlier this month, India agreed to begin negotiations on a civil nuclear co-operation agreement with Australia, which holds an estimated 40% of the world’s uranium.

Last year, it agreed a deal that will allow South Korea to export its nuclear energy technology to India.

 

CNDP Appeals To The Australian PM Against Uranium Export to India


 

Dear Prime Minister,

We urge you to reconsider the decision to supply uranium to India. This uranium will fuel the massive expansion of nuclear power programme that the Indian government is undemocratically pushing on poor people of India, criminally overlooking the concerns of safety, environment, livelihoods of surrounding populations and the financial implications.

Supplying uranium to India also amounts to legitimizing its status as a nuclear weapons state. At a time when people’s aspirations for comprehensive nuclear disarmament have heightened globally, any such dilution of disarmament norms would be unfortunate.

As the struggles of common people, farmers, fisherfolk, women and children in places like Koodankulam, Jaitapur(Maharashtra), Mithivirdi (Gujaratat), Fatehabad (Haryana), Chutka (Madhya Pradesh), Kovvada (Andhra Pradesh) etc have highlighted, the nuclear expansion is in no way helping the poor, as it was claimed by you while reversing the Australian Labour Party’s policy of not supplying uranium to India. In fact, under the Indo-US nuclear deal, the Indian elite offered the lives and livelihoods of its poor people, India’s huge consumer market and rehabilitating global nuclear corporates in return for an elusive seat on the nuclear high table.

In Koodankulam 2 fishermen have died recently in a brutal police repression while large numbers of protesters are languishing in jail. Charges of sedition and ‘war against the Indian state’ have been leveled against thousands of non-violent protesters in past few months. In the pursuit of this nuclear insanity, the government has brushed aside the voices of its own secretaries, the Chief Information Commissioner, members of the National Advisory Council and voices of independent experts and eminent citizens. We reiterate our demand to drop all fictitious charges against the Koodankulam protesters and initiate a broad-based public consultation on nuclear energy.

Parliamentarians from UK and Australia, human rights organizations like Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, and citizens groups from more than 165 countries have condemned the police brutalities on the anti-nuclear protesters in India. We urge you to take a principled stand and reconsider supplying fuel to the Indian government’s nuclear insanity.

For CNDP,

Achin Vanaik
Admiral L. Ramdas
Amarjeet Kaur
N D Jayaprakash
Praful Bidwai
Sukla Sen
Anil Chaudhary
Lalita Ramdas