Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Concerns reg the nuclear deal, our credibility and over-dependence ..

The waiver to do nuclear commerce which India earned from the NSG is a very good event in the growth story of the country. Partly it is becuase of our need for more energy and partly the international desire to rein our R&D ..

US has been pushing for this deal with India because of our supremacy in the Thorium nuclear cyclewhich is manyyears ahead of the rest of the world. Even with the ban by the NSG from 1974, our scientists just went ahead and showed the world that our indigenous research is capable of beating the rest of the world. Necessity is the mother of invention ..!! It is in the better interests of the world, to thus tie up with India. Of course, we are yet to scale our Thorium cycle to commercial levels and that may take another 50 years.. The best way to stop Indian advancement in that research is to allow India to access the Uranium route. Moreover India needs energy to tide over the present crisis of growth of the country. The only route which does not harm the environment is the nuclear one.

Even after signing this deal, there is no mention of denying our right to conduct tests and non-proliferation. Our declaration of the moratarium on further tests is indicative of the confidence that we have in the area. We have collected enough data from our two earlier tests and does not need a third one to gather more data. We are also committed to the no-first-use treaty of nuclear weapons.. As ex-President Kalam was mentioning, only when our Supreme National Interest is under threat, will we ever need to test a nuclear device a third time. As a responsible nuclear power, we will not bully our neighbours by testing every now and then.

Our commitment to non-proliferation, even in spite of trying economic and political conditions, being a democracy, have only added to our repute as being a country which anyone can depend. It is just the assurance from Pranab Mukherjee, our foreign minister regarding our commitment to non-proliferation that swung the waiver in our favour. Such highly credible is Indian assurance in international circles!!

In course of time, we will need to limit our dependence on nuclear energy at any point of time to less than 10 %. That will insulate us from the dynamics of international politics !! Even that 10 % will be a lot of energy considering the pace at which we are growing now and will do in the future


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