Paul KerrHIRC Markup, US-India Nuclear Deal

Possible demise of the NPT being broadcast now…

Just remember that the NPT doesn’t include the phrase “unless the US says so.”

Update

I forgot to mention that comments containing the phrases “nuclear apartheid” or ”[reference to arms controllers] ayatollahs” will not be approved. If you have to ask why, I doubt you’d understand the answer.

Late Update

Today’s Reuters story about the SFRC hearing. Ick.

Comments

  1. Anonymous (History)

    Why is IAEA director-general Mohamed ElBaradei so supportive of the US-India nuclear deal in its current, unconditioned form?

  2. RT (History)

    The HIRC voted 37 – 5 to clear the bill sans any poison pill amendments. One small step for the House and a giant leap towards a more equitable and less hypocritical global nuclear order.

  3. Anonymous (History)

    Amendments, which you would describe as “poison,” I would describe as “palliative.” I shudder to think what you would consider a truly equitable and unhypocritical global nuclear order.

  4. Alex (History)

    Hmm… India as “possible nuclear counterweight to Iran and Pakistan?”

    India as “The last country other than Israel we haven’t pissed off…”

    India as “the country we’ll use to show off our neat new light water reactors…? The mind boggles. Can someone explain this in simple sentences?

  5. RT (History)

    Simple. Any country that is threatened by nukes should be able to develop a deterrent of its own.

    The likes of the US and China understand only one language. For example:

    A terrorist supporting, destabilizing and non nuclear Iraq is considered a rogue state while a terrorist supporting, destabilizing and nuclear Pakistan is a key US ally.

    Nuclear weapons are a must to have a status in this world. If you have them, the world will listen to you even if you are a rogue. If you don’t have them, you are a nobody. See Japan and Germany.

  6. Anonymous (History)

    Wow. So you basically support the unfettered spread of nuclear weapons internationally. You are utterly misguided, but you have the singular virtue of being (tragically) consistent.

    That said, for the sake of those around you, and in light of your absurdly and excessively Hobbesian view of force and status in the world, I sincerely hope that you (a) never, ever come to own a firearm, and (b) never, ever are given a governmental job with any decision-making responsibilities whatsoever.

  7. RT (History)

    One more thing.
    It is not good that there is more proliferation in this world. That nuclear weapons are dangerous to mankind is something we can all agree on.
    The issue some of us have is with the NPT and way it was designed. I do not doubt the sincerety of many of the people who worked towards developing and preserving the treaty. However, it is clear to me that at the very top, the NPT has been used as a tool to preserve the global hegemony of the WW-II victors. I don’t fault the NPT for grandfathering the 5 existing nuclear weapon nations at that time but I do fault the treaty for making the commitments of the NWS so weak and without any avenue for enforcement.
    The way the NWS have behaved since the NPT’s advent has made it patent that they believe that nuclear weapons are an essential tool of great power politics and a prerequisite to anyone dreaming of seat at the global high table. Since the USSR does not exist anymore, I blame the US and China in particualr. The US because it can show leadership by destroying all but a few hundred of its nukes and China because it was soo loose with its nukes that it proliferated to Pakistan and led to the A.Q.Khan mess.
    Given all this, India cannot be faulted for seeking nukes. Those that expect India to bend over simply because it missed some cutoff date in 1968 cannot be serious. India paid for 36 years for that goof but by now it has acquired enough global power to get past that mistake.
    After this deal, India is likely to make no more bombs than it would have otherwise. To me this is more symbolic than anything else. It is bittersweet but I cannot help feeling a sense of vindication to see the unjustness of the NPT being partly alleviated.

  8. Paul (History)

    Bzzzt.

    Either

    a) it is ok for every country in the world to have nuclear weapons, which you concede are dangerous; or

    b) India should be accepted as a de facto NWS, thereby making it part of what you characterize as an exclusive discriminatory club.

    The first option is stupid because it could get a lot of people killed. The second makes you a hypocrite.

    Strong work.

  9. Amit Joshi

    This deal is not what will kill the NPT. It is important to realize that this deal is only about changing the NSG rules and not about circumventing the NPT. After all India has had nuclear weapons since 1974 and nuclear trade with India under safeguards was permitted until 1992.

    India will eventually get all the uranium it needs either through trade today or using military means tomorrow. To the extent that this deal forecloses the military option, it is good for everyone and their children.

    What has doomed the NPT is inaction on universal disarmament, the new preemption doctrine and the inablility to prevent N.Korea’s defection from the treaty.

  10. RT (History)

    Paul,

    Bzzt back at ya.

    My position is clear. I want a nuclear arms control treaty where every country is treated equally, regardless of current or past nuclear weapons posession. However, as long as this is not a reality, I want India to be part of the upper level.

    Now about my alleged hypocrisy – I submit that I’m an Indian nationalist and I do not want India to be in an inferior position to the likes of China – definitely not because of some arbitrary cutoff date set by some Western bureaucrats.

    By the logic of NPT hardliners such as yourself, it is acceptable to have five countries to indefinitely keep and maintain their nukes while it is unacceptable for the rest of the world to have the same. If it is okay for five, it should be okay for six, no?

    What is your excuse for seeking an indefinite global nuclear hegemony by the Big-5? What is your excuse for glossing over Chinese and American past and continuing NPT violations? What is your rationale for preserving a treaty that has only served to perpetuate a global status quo of 1945?

    Try as you might, you cannot escape the fact that the NPT embodies more hypocrisy than I or anyone else can muster.

  11. Rob H (History)

    This deal has nothing to do with nuclear weapons. The nukes are there, they won’t go away and India’s weapons programme will not shift one inch from whatever the plan was before the deal.

    This deal has EVERYTHING to do with opening up the massive Indian market to US defence exports and coining it in for Lockheed Martin et al.

    India is one of the last accessible big-spending defence markets in the world, and right now the US has zero presence there because its industry is prevented from doing business with the Indian MoD.

    Rewriting the nuclear deal is a polite tidying up of ‘loose ends’ demanded by India (under its marvellous new relationship with Washington) in return for letting the US bid for a piece of the pie (it will be a very big piece).

    As soon as this deal is done expect the F-16 to be selected for the Indian Air Force’s current requirement for 126 new fighters…the nukes will be a total side issue.

  12. Anonymous (History)

    Uh, no.

    This deal is not only about getting an NSG consensus to exempt India, but also about changing American law, which, since 1979, has forbidden the US from exporting to states, like India, which lack full-scope IAEA safeguards.

    But I’m glad that you’re admitting that India is running out of stockpiled uranium. Folks like Ashley Tellis are wrongly claiming that, because India already possess enough easily accessible uranium (it doesn’t, by the way, because India’s uranium reserves are of poor quality and, at this point, too expensive and uneconomical to mine), this deal won’t in any way assist India’s nuclear weapons program.

    But, as you implicitly point out, the deal—in its current form—will assist India’s military program. India annually consumes about 150 more tons of uranium than it can produce. It is no coincidence that (a) India’s military nuclear program consumes 150 tons of uranium annually, and (b) India has been drawing from its limited supply of stockpiled uranium to compensate for the uranium deficit.

    The deal, by allowing India to import quality nuclear fuel (apparently not just LEU), will free up both India’s stockpiled uranium in the short term, and its uranium reserves in the long term, for military use.

    (By the way, I’m absolutely appalled by your claim that India, in the absence of this deal, would someday attack others for their uranium. All the more reason for Congress to take its time to make sure the deal is sensibly conditioned.)

    Moreover, this deal won’t magically lead to an increase in India’s use of nuclear energy. Nuclear-generated electricity accounts for 3 percent of India’s energy consumption. If the plans for India’s Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) go along as planned—and the AEC, from Homi Bhabha on, has a long, long history of making plans which fall far short of projections—then, by 2025, nuclear energy will account for, at most, 8-10 percent of India’s energy consumption. (Assuming the deal goes through, however, foreign nuclear suppliers won’t sell reactors to India until it figures out how its going to deal with insurance and liability issues, which won’t be easy, especially as long as India keeps the private sector out of nuclear energy.) Whether we’re talking about India, the US, or other states—nuclear energy ain’t gonna substitute for oil and other fossil fuel consumption any time soon.

    In the short and medium term, India desperately needs (a) to acquire peak load, not base load generation, and for peak load, coal or natural gas peakers are the more economical choice; (b) to moderinize its electrical grid, and minimize rampant grid theft.

    With sensible conditions, the deal could conceivably make sense, both in terms of nonproliferation and energy security. But, on Capitol Hill and in Foggy Bottom and on the subcontinent, there’s apparently not nearly enough sense to go around these days.

  13. Anonymous (History)

    Hey, if you could change my post so that it’s clear that it’s responding to Amit Joshi, not Rob H, I’d be extremely grateful.

  14. gmb

    @ambivalentmaybe – feel free to read the comments via the individual post link for a more normal width.

    http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/1117/hirc-markup-us-india-nuclear-deal

  15. RT (History)

    Anon,

    India’s desperation for Uranium is severely overstated. What India has is a temporary problem with extracting its locally available Uranium ore and milling it. Yes, this ore is more expensive to extract than it is in Niger but when was the last time any country stopped making bombs because it is expensive? At worst, the non-passage of this deal would be a speedbump in India’s bomb-making plans and at best it would make it more expensive.

    Read Tellis’ piece first and you’l see that India has historically produced a mere fraction of the bombs its native Uranium ore and reactor capacity allowed for. That is a paragon of responsibility in comparison to American excess.

    In a way, I wish India had followed the US and even Chinese examples and piled up tonnes of Weapon grade Plutonium before seeking this deal because arms controllers in the West seem to respect that currency. However, a responsible democracy like India will seek to preserve options without indulging in excesses.

    I’d bet that India will slow down and moderate its bomb making going forward. Any change in that behavior will depend on whether China proliferates to Pakistan again. Pakistan by itself cannot make a paper bag burst.

  16. Anonymous (History)

    RT, you’re wrong.

    India produces 300 tons of uranium annually, but consumes 450 tons annually, and thus runs an annual 150 ton uranium deficit. It hasn’t been able to use uranium reserves to make up for deficit because it is way, way too expensive to mine and mill, and because Indian environmentalists have blocked successfully a lot of efforts to mine the reserves.

    In short, India needs the US-India nuclear deal because the expense of mining and milling domestic uranium reserves have severely constrained uranium production to 300 tons annually.

    India has used stockpiled uranium to make up the deficit, but these stockpiles are about to run out. As an Indian official admitted to the BBC: “The truth is we were desperate. We have nuclear fuel to last only till the end of 2006. If this agreement had not come through we might have as well closed down our nuclear reactors and by extension our nuclear programme.”

    The truth is that New Dehli would face hard choices between its military and civilian nuclear programs if the US-India nuclear deal were to fail completely. But if the deal passes in an unconditioned form, Uncle Sam will not only prop up India’s government-controlled and heavily-subsidized civilian nuclear energy sector, but also free up India’s domestic uranium for military use and, by so doing, violate Article I of the NPT.

  17. Amit Joshi

    “free up India’s domestic uranium for military use and, by so doing, violate Article I of the NPT”

    It can also be argued that the US is in violation of Article VI since nearly 40 years after the conclusion of the NPT, there has been no progress on a treaty for disarmament.

    In any case the same spin team that defends US compliance with Article VI is now defending how this deal complies with Article I. Why should anyone be worried :)?

  18. Amit Joshi

    Anonymous,

    “But I’m glad that you’re admitting that India is running out of stockpiled uranium.”

    ”(By the way, I’m absolutely appalled by your claim that India, in the absence of this deal, would someday attack others for their uranium. All the more reason for Congress to take its time to make sure the deal is sensibly conditioned.)”

    I’m not admitting to anything. I wouldn’t know what the situation is with the uranium supply.

    I was pointing out that if this is a matter of a shortage of uranium, then we have plenty of 20th century history that tells us what happens when nations determine they must have certain resources. Given enough time and provocation a right wing pol could be tempted to force a resolution to this issue. Why even leave the door open for that eventuality?

    “In the short and medium term, India desperately needs (a) to acquire peak load, not base load generation, and for peak load, coal or natural gas peakers are the more economical choice; (b) to moderinize its electrical grid, and minimize rampant grid theft.”

    Here’s a simple calculation. US generation capacity today is approaching 900,000MW. India has 4 times the people. Now let us assume that in 30 years Indian per capita consumption approaches 10% of the current US consumption. That is approx. 400,000MW. So the need is quite real.

    “The truth is that New Dehli would face hard choices between its military and civilian nuclear programs if the US-India nuclear deal were to fail completely.”

    As you correctly state, nuclear generation only contributes 3% to the grid. So what prevents India from discontinuing the civilian program altogether and dedicating all resources to military use for the next 5 or 10 years?

  19. RT (History)

    Anon,

    Find me the Indian govt document or any source without vested interest for those numbers. Those with vested interests like Henry Sokolski do not count because arms control hardliners, like any lobby group, often embellish and occasionally even fib to make their point.

    Show me such a source that says India makes x bombs and no more than x bombs per year and needs y tonnes of Uranium to do so.

    Quoting the word of an anonymous person on BBC who may not even exist does not count. If that scientist is so confident why doesn’t he/she give his name?

    As to the claims of Article I violation, it is just that – a claim by some arms control hawks. These same folks were silent when the US agreed to nuclear cooperation with China without requiring even nominal IAEA safeguards. These folks were also silent when the US covered up Chinese NPT violation in 1996. Like I said before, arms control hardliners are okay with proliferation as long as it is under the covers of the NPT but they just don’t want to see India in the club.

    In any case if the GOTUS determines that this deal is NPT compliant, it carries more weight than the words of an anonymous web poster or some arms control hawk. Even the CRS report by a person transparently opposed to this deal said that the “NPT violation” may just be a matter of perception.

    It is good that Congress has chosen to totally ignore arms control hardliners in passing this deal. Folks like you must realize now that India matters today as much as China did when its NPT violations are covered up. Treaties are for weaklings like Iraq. Powerful countries have no rules that cannot be broken or bent. In fact, that the NPT rules do not apply to 5 nations is a mark of their power. India’s power has reached that level now and those rules do not apply to it as well.

    Let’s see a Sweden or New Zealand openly defy the US by calling the alleged NPT violation. They won’t. They may whine in closed meetings but that’s all those folks can do. They have to accept that India is in the club now and deal with it, just like they dealt with the existing five NWS.

  20. Maverick (History)

    “Update

    I forgot to mention that comments containing the phrases “nuclear apartheid” or ”[reference to arms controllers] ayatollahs” will not be approved. If you have to ask why, I doubt you’d understand the answer.”

    LOL Oh… I have to know the reason for this.

    I need it for my collection of quotable quotes.

    And Anonymous – the US Uranium Enrichment sector recieves a far bigger subsidy than its Indian counterpart.

    If the USG can pay for that mess called the USEC. I think they can easily prop up the Indian
    enrichment sector for a fraction of the cost.

    Outsource Uranium enrichment to India – we’ll make you Uranium and MOX fuel assemblies for cheap!!

    Hey if you share your LWR, PWR and PBMR designs with us, we’ll make you the first 10 years of fuel rods for free.

    I love outsourcing.

  21. RT (History)

    BTW, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee just cleared the bill to the floor in a 16 to 2 vote. It was amusing to see so many Senators line up to be co-sponsors of the bill once they saw the tide turning India’s way.

  22. Paul (History)

    TR’s “nuclear hypocrisy” arguments are not principled objections.

    “My position is clear. I want a nuclear arms control treaty where every country is treated equally, regardless of current or past nuclear weapons posession. ”

    Literally impossible. Seriously, think about it.

    “However, as long as this is not a reality, I want India to be part of the upper level.”

    Hypocrisy. You think an in-group is fine as long as India gets to be part of it.

    you also concede that the alternative – the unchecked spread of nuclear weapons – would risk getting a lot of people killed.

    The rest of this is irrelevant, but I will address this line:

    “What is your excuse for seeking an indefinite global nuclear hegemony by the Big-5? ”

    a) I don’t support that

    b) What’s your excuse for increasing the likelihood of nuclear war for (as you admit) the sake of Indian nationalism?

  23. RT (History)

    Paul,

    Why is it impossible for every country to be treated equally? Because some “superior” and “developed” nations think they are better than the rest of us? The Geneva Convention comes to mind as a case where every nation state is treated equally. Why isn’t the NPT the same way? Sure, it made sense to write into the treaty the reality of 1968 when 5 countries already ahd nukes. But why didn’t the NPT say that the 5 existing nuclear powers would cease fismat production as of 19xx and begin disarmament as of 19yy if the treaty is about disarmament?

    Secondly, you say you don’t support the global nuclear hegemony of the Big-5 but still support the NPT which in effect does just what you say you do not support. Something does not jive there. Even those that took part in crafting the NPT acknowledge that it has built in dual standards.

    As to your last allegation, it creates a strawman. The passage of this deal has little effect on the prospects of nuclear war. In fact, the continuing obstinacy by the Big-5 on disarmament is the biggest threat to world safety. A few dozen extra Indian nukes pale in comparison to 20,000 assembled and disassembled US and Russian weapons.

    I don’t want India to contribute to nuclear war prospects but I don’t want people sitting under a cushy nuclear umbrella telling India that they can keep nukes but Indians cannot.

    The fact that the Big-5 especially US, UK and China continue to build or plan building newer nukes 36 years after the passage of the NPT suggests that they do not intend to fulfill even their miniscule NPT obligations. That is the real dagger to the treaty and not this civilian nuclear deal.

    If you can get the US, UK, Russia, China and France to commit to a minimalist nuclear arsenal (say a couple of hundred weapons) and destruction of their excess fissile material within a specific timeframe, even if it is 30 years from now, I’ll sign up to supporting a campaign in India to freeze and rollback the Indian weapons program.

    However, I will not support a unilateral neutering of India.

  24. Paul (History)

    “Nuclear Club Bad” vs. “Nuclear Club Good if India is a Member” are inconsistent claims.

    Hypocrisy.

  25. RT (History)

    Paul,

    “India should disarm” versus “NPT 5 can keep their nukes indefinitely” is an even bigger hypocrisy.

  26. Andrew

    Ok, I’m obviosuly nowhere near as well-versed on this issue as most of the posters here, but can someone explain to me clearly why this deal couldn’t greatly increase the amount of energy India gets from nuclear energy?

    “Moreover, this deal won’t magically lead to an increase in India’s use of nuclear energy. Nuclear-generated electricity accounts for 3 percent of India’s energy consumption. If the plans for India’s Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) go along as planned—and the AEC, from Homi Bhabha on, has a long, long history of making plans which fall far short of projections—then, by 2025, nuclear energy will account for, at most, 8-10 percent of India’s energy consumption. (Assuming the deal goes through, however, foreign nuclear suppliers won’t sell reactors to India until it figures out how its going to deal with insurance and liability issues, which won’t be easy, especially as long as India keeps the private sector out of nuclear energy.) Whether we’re talking about India, the US, or other states—nuclear energy ain’t gonna substitute for oil and other fossil fuel consumption any time soon.”

    This post basically claims that the deal won’t impact Indian nuclear energy use by a substantial amount. First, it seems wrong to claim that going from 3% to 8-10% (tripling the percent of nuclear energy use) is not going to matter much for the price of oil in a country as big as India(not stated directly, but implied by the post). Second, earlier in the same post, the author argues that the deal will help the Indian military nuclear program by freeing up uranium for it. If the deal is able to free up uranium for the military, wouldn’t it de facto be increasing the supply (and therefore use) of uranium for energy purposes? Unless you are claiming that abundant supply of nuclear fuel would not lead to abundant use of nuclear energy. That doesn’t make sense to me because it sounds like (from what I’ve read here) nuclear energy is uneconomical in India due to the poor quality and availability of uranium, which may account for why there is no private sector interest in it. Since supply (of uranium) seems to be the biggest inhibitor of nuclear energy, increased supply should translate directly into increased use (especially with demand for energy growing, not shrinking), possibly beyond the 10% figure stated earlier. If it only decreases demand for fossil fuels in the long term, so what? Fossil fuel consumption is a long-term problem, so why not take steps now? I know there are other reasons this deal may be bad, but it just seems to me the energy benefits haven’t been adequately addressed here.

  27. Paul (History)

    That is the last comment I will approve that misrepresents mine/our position on this question.

    RT needs to look up the definition of hypocrisy.

  28. Anonymous (History)

    RT, the NPT is not a disarmament treaty, but a NONproliferation treaty.

    During the negotiations which led to the NPT, Nigerian and Italian delegations moved to insert language, which would explicitly condition continuing nonproliferation on disarmament. However, the majority of international delegations—not just the nuclear-weapons states, by the way—voted down such language. Such states understood, especially in the context of the Cold War, that universal disarmament would be unlikely anytime soon, and that the spread of nuclear weapons to every states would be dangerous and, in likelihood, deadly. Article V expresses, not a requirement, but an aspiration.

    I can understand why India chose not to sign the NPT. It’s a proud, proud nation, full of proud, proud people.

    But the majority of non-nuclear-weapon states that signed the treaty do not want nuclear weapons, and think that the NPT system is not hypocritical, but to their distinct advantage(*).

    (*) They also tend not to have acute “Rodney Dangerfield” complexes or Freudian-like “nuclear envy” complexes.

  29. RT (History)

    Anon,

    Your ideas are a novel reinterpretation of the NPT’s goals and fly in the face of the 13 steps that was passed in the 2000 RevCon. Nonproliferation and disarmament are two equal pillars of the NPT. You cannot have one without the other. If you think disarmament is a mere aspiration, you will have to come to grips with the fact that nonproliferation is a “nice to have” as well.

    Most of the NPT NNWS only signed on to the treaty after getting nuclear

    umbrella assurances from NATO or Warsaw Pact. So much for their noble

    intentions. They just outsourced their nuclear deterrent. BTW, If the likes of Japan or South Korea do not have nuclear envy then why do they oppose the US-India deal so viscerally. They do so because they volunatrily neutered themselves in the hope of getting status crumbs

    but see India getting the big prize without neutering itself and by

    standing on principle.

    Anyway, People like you are the reason why some Indians will celebrate the NPT’s demise because it is patent that you guys are aghast at the prospect of Indians sitting next to you in the high table. Your contempt for India is palpable. But it will matter no longer. The snake oil you guys peddled under the “arms control” label is past the sell by date and has no more takers. You guys better find a new career.

    I’ll go drink to that cheerful development tonight.

  30. Anonymous (History)

    Andrew, before taking a stab at your question, I should clarify a few things. According to the US Energy Information Agency, nuclear energy accounts, not for three percent of India’s total energy consumption, but rather three percent of India’s total electricity generation. Since electricty constitutes only a small portion of India’s total consumption, nuclear energy accounts for far, far, far less than three percent of India’s total energy consumption.

    Nuclear fuel may be a necessary condition for more nuclear-generated electricity, but it will not be a sufficient condition.

    First, India’s AEC has had problems meeting its plans and projections. In 1985 Raja Ramanna, a pioneer of India’s nuclear program and a key physicist in India’s 1974 Pokhran test, predicted that India would have an installed nuclear capacity of 10,000 MW by 2000. (In 1969 Vikram Sarabhai, the father of India’s space program, predicted 43,500 MW by 2000!) Today, India has only about 3300 MW. Problems have included huge cost overruns, in certain instances nearing 200 percent, as well as, shall we say, overly optimistic construction timelines. And, over the two coming decade, some exisitng reactors—having lived well past their safe operation lifetimes—will need to be decommissioned, and will decrease installed nuclear capacity.

    Second, New Dehli would like to get foreign vendors to build nuclear reactors in India. Foreign vendors, however, won’t even think of building in India until New Dehli figures out how it would insure these facilities (the private sector, especially banks, won’t do it), and deal with a host of liability issues.

    I’m not saying that the Indians can’t figure all of this out. I’m just saying it’s not going to be as easy as people might think.

  31. damien morton

    Years ago, when I visited India, I was amused to find that on all maps of India in my guidebooks, there was a disclaimer to the effect that India doesnt recognise any of its borders.

    Responsible Democracy indeed!

  32. Amit Joshi

    “Years ago, when I visited India, I was amused to find that on all maps of India in my guidebooks, there was a disclaimer to the effect that India doesnt recognise any of its borders.

    Responsible Democracy indeed!”

    India respects its borders. OTOH, your guide books were printed outside India and do not respect India’s stated borders (kashmir). It is a legal matter since the Indian Parliament is under obligation to recover all Indian territories lost in war.

  33. jkelly

    @RT

    Question, Pakistan would like a similar deal as the one promised to India. Do you support this? They should have a seat at the table too, no?

  34. RT (History)

    If Pakistan can convince the P-5 and other stakeholders, then sure.

    The point here is that “arms control” as defined by the world powers is a function of a country’s geopolitical clout and international standing. India political clout and its responsible outward proliferation behavior is a key driver for this deal.

    OTOH Pakistan’s reputation today is in tatters and it is known as a paragon of nuclear irresponsibility and a center of global terrorism. Therefore, they are unlikely to be able to convince anyone that they deserve nuclear breaks.

    But if Pakistan is able to make a persuasive argument at the NSG or elsewhere, then good for it.

  35. Andrew

    Anon,

    Thanks for answering the question. It sounds like technical and administrative challenges may be the big impediments to expanding India’s nuclear energy program, not just supply of good uranium. Still, with increasing energy demand in India and the high global price of oil lighting a fire under the butts of politicians in both India and the Western nations, it seems to me that if this deal goes through, there is a very real possibility of greatly expanding India’s nuclear energy program. When political will (domestic and international) and market forces team up to encourage something to happen, it usually happens.

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