The Arms Control Association is an "exceptional organization that effectively addresses pressing national and international challenges with an impact that is disproportionate to its small size." 

– John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
January 19, 2011

India Test-Launches Submarine Missile

Wade Boese

India took a recent step toward its longtime goal of deploying nuclear weapons at sea by test-firing a missile from beneath the ocean’s surface. The submarine that this missile type is supposed to arm is scheduled to be put to sea for the first time next year.

 Official details about the Feb. 26 missile test are scant, and the Indian government did not respond to Arms Control Today inquiries requesting information. India’s media, however, reported on the event at length, albeit with some conflicting data.

In addition, the Pakistani government confirmed March 5 that it had been “duly informed” of the test in advance by India. The two rivals agreed in October 2005 to give each other prior notice of their surface-to-surface ballistic missile flight tests. (See ACT, November 2005. ) That notification suggests that the missile tested was a ballistic missile and not a cruise missile as some reports stated. A cruise missile is powered through its entire flight and can maneuver, unlike a ballistic missile, which is only powered during the early stages of its flight and then follows a trajectory dictated by gravity to its target.

The missile India fired from a submersible platform about 50 meters deep in the Bay of Bengal waters was most frequently cited as the K-15. Some reports also called it the Sagarika, which is a missile that two years ago India’s defense minister told lawmakers did not exist.

All reports generally agree that the tested missile can fly approximately 700 kilometers and carry a nuclear warhead. Most reports also declare the experiment was the missile’s inaugural undersea launch. Agence France-Presse Feb. 18 quoted S. Prahlada, a top official of India’s Defence Research and Development Organization, as telling reporters, “[W]e have completed all preparations for the first-ever launch of the missile.” But some reports indicated the missile may have been previously tested secretly, perhaps several times.

Rajesh Basrur, author of the book Minimum Deterrence and India’s Nuclear Security, told Arms Control Today in a March 20 e-mail that the previously reported tests were “component tests” and “the recent one was the first ‘undersea’ trial.” He added, “[T]hat would partly explain the publicity given to it.”

Another expert on Indian nuclear weapons, Bharat Karnad, also e-mailed Arms Control Today March 23 that the February launch was a “full-system test.” Formerly a member of India’s National Security Advisory Board and a participant in crafting India’s 1999 draft nuclear doctrine (see ACT, July/August 1999 ), Karnad contended the launch was a success but “some kinks appeared thereafter in [the missile’s] flight which need ironing out.”

India has at least a few years to try and perfect the missile. Sureesh Mehta, India’s top naval official, disclosed last December that the first Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) would be ready for sea trials in 2009. If the trials go well, it could be inducted into service two or three years later.

Largely kept secret, the ATV would be India’s first indigenous nuclear-powered submarine and India’s first submarine able to fire nuclear-armed missiles. India reportedly is building three of the boats. It began developing nuclear power submarines in the 1970s, but their development was delayed by troubles in building a power reactor small enough to fit onboard.

India’s interest in nuclear-armed submarines has been no secret. The 1999 draft nuclear doctrine endorsed a sea-based nuclear delivery capability. In its May 2006 “vision document,” the Indian navy stated its intent to conduct operations from “conventional war fighting to nuclear deterrence.”

Basrur and Karnad stated that India wants nuclear-armed submarines due to the notion that they are more “invulnerable” than air or ground systems. The thinking is that such arms more persuasively dissuade an adversary that, in a first strike, it will be able to minimize or eliminate the possibility of retaliation. India claims it particularly needs survivable forces because it has forsworn the first use of nuclear weapons. Basrur disagrees, contending that submarine-delivered nuclear weapons invite instability by increasing “risk precisely because they are hard to detect…thereby reducing reaction time and encouraging early warning and launch.” 

Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir, chief of Pakistan’s naval staff, reacted to the Indian test by reportedly calling it a “very serious issue” and warning it could provoke “a new arms race in the region.” In a lengthy interview several months ago with Asian Defence Journal, however, Tahir discounted the possibility that Pakistan would pursue a sea-based nuclear force, stating, “[P]resently, we do not have [the] technological capability and we cannot afford it.”

Other countries with nuclear-armed submarine missiles are China, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and France, which recently commissioned its latest nuclear-armed submarine (see page 35 ). Israel, which neither confirms nor denies its widely believed nuclear arms possession, also allegedly has equipped submarine-based cruise missiles with nuclear warheads. (See ACT, November 2003 .)

Indian Politics Stymie U.S.-Indian Nuclear Deal

Wade Boese

With U.S. officials warning that time is running out on an initiative to rollback restrictions on global nuclear trade with India, that country’s coalition government failed March 17 to persuade its leftist allies to drop their opposition to the U.S.-Indian effort. Another meeting to sway the holdouts is supposed to take place sometime in April.

The government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is trying to win over the leftist parties because they have threatened to withdraw support for the ruling coalition if it takes certain steps toward implementing what the leftists charge is a deal that will erode India’s sovereignty and security. Such a split could trigger early elections that risk unseating Singh’s government.

The key issue at the March conclave was whether Singh’s government should finalize a safeguards agreement it negotiated over the past several months with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Safeguards are measures that the agency applies to a country’s declared civilian nuclear materials, technologies, and facilities to guard against their use for nuclear weapons purposes.

As part of a March 2006 agreement with President George W. Bush, Singh pledged to put eight additional Indian thermal nuclear reactors under IAEA safeguards, leaving another eight outside of safeguards and free to contribute to India’s nuclear weapons sector. New Delhi also plans to keep its two fast breeder reactors, which can produce large quantities of the nuclear bomb material plutonium, outside of safeguards. It further retains the option to designate any future reactors of any type that it builds off-limits to the IAEA.

Singh’s government is seeking the leftist parties’ endorsement of the new safeguards arrangement so it can be completed and presented for approval by the IAEA’s 35-member Board of Governors. The leftist parties have warned that they will break with the government if it proceeds with the safeguards agreement without their consent.

The text of the India-specific safeguards agreement remains secret and unfinished. A source familiar with the IAEA-Indian talks told Arms Control Today March 19 that “the sides are close to a final text, but India has to confirm the text” before it can be presented to the board, which typically has agreed to safeguards arrangements by consensus. It can, however, approve them with a simple majority vote.

At the March meeting, Singh’s government did not share the safeguards text with the representatives of the leftist parties, opting to brief them instead. The Hindu, one of India’s largest daily newspapers, reported afterward that leftist leaders said they need more details and that deliberations might take another three to four months.

That prospect conflicts with recent statements by U.S. government officials and legislators that the IAEA Board of Governors and the voluntary Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) must act rapidly on the U.S.-Indian initiative so U.S. lawmakers can take it up before this summer when Congress will recess and then turn its attention to the November elections. (See ACT, March 2008 .) The 45 members of the NSG, including the United States, seek to coordinate their nuclear export rules, one of which restricts trade with countries, such as India, that do not subject their entire nuclear enterprise to IAEA safeguards and remain outside the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. India largely has been ostracized from the international nuclear market since conducting a 1974 nuclear blast that used material derived from Canadian and U.S. exports designated for peaceful purposes.

U.S. lawmakers in December 2006 approved legislation with a provision that the NSG must clear India for expanded nuclear trade before Congress will vote on a U.S.-Indian nuclear trade agreement negotiated last summer. (See ACT, September 2007 .) Meanwhile, the NSG is waiting on IAEA board approval of the Indian safeguards agreement.

The next NSG meeting is scheduled to occur May 19-22, which is prior to the next regular IAEA board meeting June 2-6. A special meeting of the board, however, can be convened at the request of the IAEA director-general or any board member, including the United States or India. The source familiar with the IAEA-Indian talks said that there are “no plans for a special session of the board” but noted that could change quickly if the Indian government gives final approval to the negotiated safeguards text.

Still, the window might already be closed. Nicholas Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, told the Hindustan Times Feb. 29 that the “Indian government needs to move in the month of March on the IAEA Board of Governors” in order to give the NSG and Congress time to act. Noting that “it’s not going to happen overnight,” he warned that the NSG process will be “complicated” and “require many meetings.” Burns further cautioned that if Congress did not get around to passing the agreement this year, he thought “it’s very likely that we will not see it continued by a new administration.”

Reshaping the U.S.-Indian Nuclear Deal to Lessen the Nonproliferation Losses

Charles D. Ferguson

For decades, India’s nuclear programs have been defined by two contradictory forces: the country’s vast ambitions and its limited uranium reserves. Its ambitions have led New Delhi to establish a significant civilian nuclear enterprise, to refuse to sign the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), and to develop and test nuclear weapons. Its limited uranium reserves, on the other hand, have clearly slowed India’s nuclear energy development, most likely hampered its nuclear weapons program, and intertwined the two efforts to a high degree.

The tension between India’s goals and resources has grown much stronger in the past decade. By bringing India’s nuclear weapons programs into the open, the country’s 1998 nuclear tests fueled calls to develop the full panoply of nuclear capabilities, including a nuclear triad. India’s recent impressive economic growth has strained the country’s energy system, increasing interest in nuclear energy. In particular, India would like to quintuple the production of electricity through nuclear energy by 2020.

To the Indian government, the civil nuclear cooperation agreement it signed with the United States last year looks like a way for New Delhi to escape this dilemma, giving it access to global uranium reserves without imposing limits on its nuclear weapons program. India’s right and left wings may claim the Congress-led government has somehow shortchanged their country. The truth is that, without the deal, New Delhi will be forced to confront painful trade-offs between its energy and national security goals, as a series of January interviews I conducted in India of nuclear scientists, policy experts, and energy and defense analysts made clear.

For the deal to go forward, the 45 members of the voluntary Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) must first agree to carve out an exception for India to its guidelines. These currently require a non-nuclear-weapon state, as India is legally defined under the NPT, to have comprehensive safeguards on all nuclear facilities before receiving civilian nuclear assistance from NSG countries.

The U.S. Congress too must sign off on the final nuclear cooperation agreement, meaning that it and the NSG will retain considerable leverage over India. They should use this power to condition the agreement in a way that does less damage to the nuclear nonproliferation regime.

The NSG has an opportunity to condition this exception on India’s behaviors, including continuing to refrain from testing nuclear explosives and placing permanent safeguards on any foreign technologies and fuel, as well as designated indigenous facilities. Moreover, the NSG should hold back on transferring enrichment and reprocessing technologies, which could further enhance India’s weapons production capabilities, and only supply as much reserve fuel as needed for reasonable power plant requirements. U.S. leadership could also influence India to become a more responsible nuclear-armed state through signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and committing to a cutoff of weapons-usable fissile material in addition to adhering to conditions on civilian nuclear commerce.

Two Intertwined Visions

The roots of the current controversy over the nuclear deal go back to India’s emergence as an independent nation in the late 1940s. At that time, Dr. Homi Bhabha, widely viewed as a father of India’s nuclear programs, sought to develop these efforts in a way that exploited indigenous resources. He was well aware that India’s uranium resources were only sufficient to power a modest nuclear energy program of about 10,000 megawatts per year and even less would be available if some were used for weapons. To compensate, Bhabha laid out a three-stage plan for India to hoard these limited indigenous uranium deposits and to leverage its abundant thorium deposits to bootstrap itself to a massive production of electricity through nuclear energy and to produce weapons-grade plutonium.

This vision of self-sufficiency, which arose in part from India’s desire to escape its colonial heritage, has remained a guiding vision for India’s nuclear establishment even as its practical fulfillment has receded further into the future. India’s positions in the discussions on a nuclear cooperation agreement with the United States in many ways reflect a compromise between those who want to be self-reliant and stick almost exclusively with Bhabha’s three-stage plan, which one interviewee called “a sacred cow,” and those who are willing to bring in outside foreign suppliers. India’s preference for autarky was reinforced by its isolation from international nuclear trade after a 1974 nuclear test, which relied on U.S. and Canadian technology and nuclear materials. This is also reflected in India’s current negotiating posture, which seeks to ensure that foreign suppliers cannot shut off access to fuel and reactors if New Delhi tests nuclear explosives or commits some other proliferation transgression, such as transferring nuclear technologies to states of concern.

Moreover, while Bhabha sought to ensure that fissile materials would be available for a nuclear weapons program, India in recent years has fleshed out what it means when it says that it seeks a “credible minimal deterrent.” In its draft nuclear doctrine published soon after the 1998 tests, New Delhi explicitly stated its objective was to deploy a triad of nuclear forces. The triad would consist of land-based ballistic missiles, nuclear-capable aircraft, and nuclear-armed submarines. As with the U.S.-Soviet experience during the Cold War, such a triad is designed to provide India with survivable nuclear forces and a second-strike capability. It would also mean that India’s arsenal would increase from an estimated few dozen operational warheads today to as many as 200 or more, a level akin to China and the United Kingdom. The nuclear deal would not prevent India from building up to these projected operational and reserve capacities within several years.[1]

The Deal and India’s Fissile Material

To produce enough weapons-usable fissile material (highly enriched uranium or plutonium), India needs sufficient uranium. This uranium would have to come from the country’s limited indigenous sources because foreign suppliers would not give permission to have their uranium used to make weapons. Currently, the military has to share these scarce uranium resources with the civilian sector as nearly all of India’s thermal reactors, are fueled with indigenous uranium. All told, the current total annual uranium demand is about 475 tons. The military reactors require about 45 metric tons of uranium annually:  The CIRUS and Dhruva weapons-grade plutonium-production reactors require about 35 metric tons and another military program to make fuel for nuclear-powered submarines, the uranium-enrichment facility at Mysore, uses an estimated 10 metric tons of uranium annually. By contrast,  the civilian thermal reactor fleet currently requires about 430 metric tons of uranium per year to be fully fueled.[2] The uranium demands of the civilian sector have grown since the late 1990s more reactors came online in the late 1990s and the India was able to operate its reactors at a higher pitch.

Indigenous supplies have not kept up with this rising demand. Estimated uranium mining has fallen to around 300 tons per year because of poor planning in the uranium mining and milling sectors and opposition from an emerging environmental movement. Notably, New Delhi has kept its two weapons-grade plutonium-production reactors fully fueled during the last several years while curtailing electricity production.

This energy crunch could not have come at a worse time. Indian electricity demand is soaring to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding economy. According to the Indian government and the International Energy Agency, India’s electricity demand will increase at a rate of 6 to 8 percent annually at least through 2020.

India’s nuclear energy boosters, such as Subhinder Thakur, the head strategist for the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), an enterprise of the government of India, claim “the mismatch is temporary.” Thakur said the Uranium Corporation of India, the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research, and the Nuclear Fuel Complex are working together to resolve the uranium shortage within the next few years.

Despite this optimistic assessment from the NPCIL, India confronts continued resistance from environmentalists about opening new mines or expanding old ones, especially in the northeastern part of the country. Also, India’s plans to increase its thermal reactor power production within the next five to six years would drive up the demand for domestically mined uranium in the near term. In particular, to keep the newest indigenous reactors fully fueled would require about 140 tons of uranium per year. Adding this to the current uranium demands means that if the plants were run at full capacity, India annually would consume an estimated 600 tons of uranium.

Therefore, if the political conflicts surrounding mining were not resolved by the time these plants were built and if the nuclear deal were to fall through, India would be forced to stop running about half of its indigenously fueled reactors or only operate this fleet at approximately 50 percent capacity. With the deal, India has plans to place enough reactors under safeguards to reduce the demand for domestically mined uranium to just more than 300 tons for the unsafeguarded power production reactors by 2014—the amount that it is mining today. Assuming that India could import the uranium for the safeguarded reactors, the deal could reduce pressure on India to open up new or expand existing uranium mines. From the perspectives of the NSG and the United States, this significant difference between the deal and no deal scenarios offers tremendous leverage.

Still, the United States and the other NSG countries have not yet taken advantage of this opportunity to extract crucial concessions that would reduce the deal’s damage to the nonproliferation system. Instead, the deal would permit India to reach its goal of 20,000 megawatts of nuclear-generated electricity by 2020, if foreign suppliers could build enough reactors, and to fulfill its nuclear weapons aspirations. If the deal goes through, about one-half of India’s nuclear-generated electricity would come from indigenously produced and currently operating foreign-supplied reactors and the other half would come from additional foreign-supplied reactors, including the two 1,000-megawatt reactors Russia is completing at Kudankulam. Therefore, the Indian government has asked foreign suppliers to bid on building up to eight large reactors by 2020.[3] Current and former government officials, however, admitted to me that this planning scenario is ambitious and faces significant financial and construction hurdles.

Plutonium Production

To be sure, Indian officials I interviewed, as well as some deal supporters in the United States, contend that whether or not the deal goes through will not significantly affect India’s weapons-grade plutonium production.[4] Given New Delhi’s dedication to maintaining such production at full capacity, the deal’s potential impact in this regard is indeed murky.

New Delhi has neither published its weapons-usable fissile material holdings nor indicated how large a nuclear arsenal it intends to make. Unofficial estimates by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) indicate that India may have amassed 575 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium as of the end of 2004.[5] ISIS has also estimated that India may have consumed about 131 kilograms of this plutonium in nuclear weapons tests, as reactor fuel, and in processing losses. The CIRUS reactor could produce about 9 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium annually, and Dhruva could make about 23 kilograms annually. If these estimates are accurate, India may have had available 540 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium as of the end of 2007. Using the conservative International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) estimates that 8 kilograms of plutonium are needed to make a nuclear bomb, the stockpiled Indian plutonium could fuel a minimum of 67 first-generation fission bombs. Some analysts have argued that more advanced designs could use as little as a few kilograms of plutonium.[6] Therefore, the upper bound estimate for India’s current warhead capacity is somewhat more than 100 nuclear weapons.

It does appear that, in at least one respect, the deal could stimulate near-term growth in weapons-grade plutonium production. Under the deal, India has pledged to shut down the aging CIRUS reactor by 2010. CIRUS is contentious because India obtained it from Canada in the late 1950s and gave assurances “that the reactor would be used only for peaceful uses.” The United States had provided the heavy water for the reactor. This reactor, however, produced plutonium for India’s 1974 “peaceful” nuclear test, which spurred the United States and other countries to form the NSG. India has considered replacing this 40-megawatt thermal (MWth) reactor with a larger capacity 100 MWth reactor.[7] This replacement reactor could produce about two-and-a-half times the amount of plutonium produced annually by CIRUS, or about 23 kilograms compared to 9 kilograms.

In addition to its weapons-grade plutonium stockpile, with or without the deal, India can make hundreds of nuclear weapons from several tons of unsafeguarded reactor-grade plutonium in spent nuclear fuel it has already accumulated, although the deal could somewhat affect future production. It is unknown how much reactor-grade plutonium India has separated from spent fuel, but the unsafeguarded reactors have produced more than 20 times the amount of plutonium that India has obtained from the two weapons-plutonium-production reactors. The deal did not place any of this past production under safeguards.

The most direct and immediate means of using this material would be as fissile material in nuclear weapons. Although weapons-grade plutonium is ideal for weapons use, reactor-grade plutonium can also serve this purpose.[8] Reportedly, India may have used reactor-grade plutonium in one of its May 1998 tests.[9]

Moreover, this feedstock of unsafeguarded plutonium could fuel India’s planned breeder reactor program (the second stage of Bhabha’s three-stage plan), which will remain outside of safeguards. The five planned breeder reactors by 2020 would require two initial cores of plutonium before recycling of plutonium would make the breeders more than self-sufficient. If only the first 500-megawatt electric Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor were dedicated to weapons production, it could produce up to 140 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium each year, more than four times the current rate of production from CIRUS and Dhruva.[10]

It should be noted that, in a few years, the deal might lower the future rate of production of reactor-grade plutonium. Without the deal, India would have only six reactors under safeguards: the U.S.-built Tarapur 1 and 2, the Canadian-built Rajasthan 1 and 2, and the two Russian reactors under construction at Kudankulam. With the deal, India has agreed to place eight additional indigenously made reactors under safeguards, meaning that eight pressurized heavy-water reactors and their produced plutonium would remain outside of safeguards. Over the course of the next seven years, the net result would be that the annual production rate of unsafeguarded plutonium would be set to peak at about 2,000 kilograms per year in the next two years and fall to about 1,250 kilograms per year by 2015, when safeguards would be applied to all of the reactors subject to the deal.

Therefore, the deal would serve to lower India’s future unsafeguarded plutonium production rate by about one-third.[11] In that respect, the deal is arguably positive for nonproliferation as long as permanent safeguards are applied. Nonetheless, existing and future stocks of spent fuel would be more than sufficient to fuel the breeder program or to provide direct fissile material for nuclear weapons. Furthermore, the deal as structured has given implicit U.S. approval to India’s nuclear weapons program under the guise of bringing India into “the nonproliferation mainstream.”

Directing India Onto a More Responsible Path

To truly bring India into the nonproliferation mainstream, the NSG and Congress must insist on certain conditions. These conditions are minimal in the sense that they would not roll back India’s nuclear weapons program and would not significantly curtail India’s weapons-usable fissile material production capabilities. In that sense, India will have won what it has most sought, recognition of its nuclear weapons program. Even if the deal dies, the United States in effect has already bestowed that recognition. Nonetheless, as a price for that acknowledgement, India should be willing to accept more responsible behavior that would lessen the damage to the nonproliferation regime.

Nuclear trade should be contingent on India refraining from nuclear testing. Also, such commerce should depend on maintenance of permanent safeguards on all designated nuclear facilities. Moreover, the NSG should hold back on transferring enrichment, reprocessing, and heavy-water technologies that could further enhance India’s weapons production capabilities. In addition, the United States should press for India to sign the CTBT and adhere to a weapons-usable fissile material cap. Fully implementing these measures, however, will depend on Chinese and Pakistani actions.

Although most Indian policymakers and analysts have supported the country’s unilateral testing moratorium since 1998, all interviewees agreed that India’s accession to the CTBT has become increasingly tied to the U.S. position on the treaty. India will not ratify the treaty unless the United States does so. Although there is no direct nuclear threat between India and the United States, Indian analysts have made a direct connection between U.S. nuclear actions and India’s place in the world. Summing up this view, Professor Pratap Mehta, the executive director of the Center for Policy Research, based in New Delhi, said India “cannot support a world order that gives into the U.S. maintaining its nuclear primacy.” Moreover, he said that “as long as the U.S. holds out on modernizing its arsenal, India will not sign the FMCT [fissile material cutoff treaty] or the CTBT.”

Acknowledging U.S. influence, top defense expert K. Santhanam, who had a leadership role during the 1998 tests, drew a more direct connection to China and Pakistan. He expressed willingness for India to continue indefinitely the testing moratorium as long as China and Pakistan refrain from testing.

All of the five original nuclear-weapon states, including China, have signed the CTBT. Even if ratification by the United States remains out of reach for the time being, India should be encouraged in tandem with Pakistan to take a step beyond the moratorium and sign the treaty.

Similarly, fissile material production depends crucially on Chinese and Pakistani production. All of the five legally recognized nuclear-weapon states but China have committed to stop making fissile material for weapons. China is believed to have stopped weapons-usable fissile material production, but Beijing has never officially said so. If China would make a public pledge not to make fissile material for weapons, it would put added pressure on India to specify when it would stop stockpiling nuclear weapons material. To bring Pakistan into this arrangement, India could offer a series of alternating unilateral moves. For example, India could verifiably shut down one of its plutonium-production reactors for a period of time. Pakistan could take a similar step with one of its production reactors. Verification could be achieved through third-party commercial satellite monitoring of the status of the reactors.

Although turning back the growth in India’s nuclear arsenal appears unlikely for the foreseeable future, the NSG and the United States have opportunities to shape the future direction of India’s strategic weapons program. They should take it.

India’s Nuclear Energy Program: Ambitious Dreams, Sober Realities

Charles D. Ferguson

New Delhi’s nuclear planners can never be accused of thinking small. Even at the very beginning of India’s nuclear efforts, Homi Bhabha proposed an ambitious three-stage plan for Indian nuclear development that sought to develop original technology that would allow the country to compensate for its insufficient uranium reserves.

Thermal reactors—today’s typical power reactors—represented the first part of Bhabha’s vision. Thermal reactors use slow or thermal energy neutrons to fission uranium-235, a naturally occurring fissile isotope of uranium.

Bhabha envisioned that, in a second stage, spent fuel from these thermal reactors would be reprocessed to separate plutonium for fueling breeder reactors, which would “breed” more plutonium.

In the third and final stage, this plutonium would fuel reactors that would irradiate thorium to make uranium-233. India has about one-third of the world’s known supply of thorium, which is not useful by itself but can transform into the fissile material U-233. U-233 can power nuclear reactors and provide the fissile material for nuclear weapons. This material could therefore provide additional fuel for India’s electrical power production reactors and additional material for nuclear weapons.

If India were able to develop the thorium fuel cycle, it could have available as much as 155,502 gigawatt-years of electrical energy (GWe-yr), in comparison to the potential for 328 GWe-yr from indigenously fueled thermal reactors; 10,660 GWe-yr from indigenous coal (which now provides 69 percent of Indian electricity); and 42,231 GWe-yr from plutonium breeder reactors.[1] Currently, India has an installed electrical generating capacity of about 140 GWe, and the rate of electricity demand is expected to increase by 6 to 8 percent per year through 2020 during this period of projected ambitious economic growth.[2] Thus, the thorium cycle holds out the potential to provide a huge portion of India’s projected electricity needs for several hundred years.

Indian engineers have recognized, however, that significant hurdles block the way toward commercializing the thorium fuel cycle. High costs and major technical problems are likely to delay full commercialization of the thorium cycle until at least 2050, according to Indian energy experts.

To fully realize the thorium cycle, Indian engineers first face the mainly financial challenge of proving the commercial viability of the plutonium breeder program. India has operated a small 40-megawatt pilot-scale breeder reactor since 1985.Although India is building a commercial-scale breeder reactor, which is projected to be completed in 2011, and is planning to build four more of these reactors by 2020, ramping up to a fleet of breeder reactors will likely take decades, and it is uncertain if this program will succeed commercially. Thus, full realization of India’s civilian nuclear energy vision appears blurry, and this program could remain stuck at a low level for the next few decades.

Indeed, after nearly half a century of investment, nuclear energy provides only about 4,000 megawatts of electricity, or 3 percent of India’s electricity needs. That compares to about 20 percent in the United States. Even if the nuclear deal were to go through and India were to meet all of its goals for nuclear power generation, nuclear-generated electricity would only account for about 5 percent of India’s projected electricity demands in 2020. —CHARLES D. FERGUSON


1. Subhinder Thakur, Interview with author, Mumbai, January 4, 2008. Similar estimates appear in R. B. Grover and Subhash Chandra, “Scenario for Growth of Electricity in India,” Energy Policy, November 2006, pp. 2834-2847. For data on coal use, see World Coal Institute, www.worldcoal.org/pages/content/index.asp?PageID=402.

2. John Stephenson and Peter Tynan, “Will the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative Light India?” in Gauging U.S. Indian Strategic Cooperation, Henry Sokolski, editor (Strategic Studies Institute, 2007), p. 24.

India’s Planned Nuclear Triad: Seeking a “Credible Deterrent”

Charles D. Ferguson

If the U.S.-Indian nuclear deal were to move forward without any conditions, it would allow India to achieve its goal of deploying a triad of land-, sea-, and air-based nuclear weapons without hampering its nuclear energy ambitions.

India’s desire for a nuclear triad arises out of its stated need for a “credible minimal deterrent.” Exactly what that means is still being debated within the country, although the emphasis is clearly on “credibility” not minimalism. “Minimal” has been dropped at times from government pronouncements, but Indian analysts have consistently underscored the notion of credibility.[1] Even those who are strong supporters of eventual nuclear disarmament generally agree that credibility requires a second-strike capability.

Second-strike capability demands survivable nuclear forces. To achieve this, Indian analysts have borrowed from the U.S.-Soviet experience during the Cold War and have sought to acquire nuclear-armed submarines. In late February, India took a decisive step toward a sea-based nuclear capability by conducting a test of the K-15 ballistic missile from a submerged pontoon. The K-15 has a reported top range of 700 kilometers, allowing it to strike many targets in Pakistan. Deployed K-15 missiles on submarines could also target high-value sites in China.

The Indian military has been less successful in building nuclear submarines from which to launch such missiles. India’s nuclear-powered submarine program has limped along since 1985, although the Indian navy is trying to ready its first nuclear submarine for sea trials next year. India also received some experience in nuclear submarine operations from 1988 to 1991 when it leased a nuclear-powered attack submarine from the Soviet Union. A Russian crew manned this submarine while training Indian sailors. Presently, Russia is building an Akula-class nuclear submarine for lease to India.

Despite the substantial delays in deploying nuclear-powered submarines, these types of warships are not essential for deploying nuclear-armed forces at sea. India could use conventionally powered submarines as missile carriers, surface ships carrying nuclear-armed cruise missiles, or aircraft carriers with nuclear-capable bombers. Russia is refitting an aircraft carrier for India. Having fallen behind schedule, Moscow will likely complete the refit by late 2010. India has renamed the Admiral Gorshkov carrier as the Vikramaditya, which would be capable of helping protect India’s submarine fleet as well as launching fighter-bomber aircraft.[2] Of these platforms, Indian defense planners prefer the submarine force, whether nuclear or conventionally powered, to optimize survivability of this leg of the envisioned triad.

At this stage, India has not indicated how large its nuclear-armed submarine force could become. Submarines are least vulnerable to a pre-emptive attack when deployed; in port, a submarine is more exposed to attack. Even when deployed, a small submarine force could be vulnerable to anti-submarine warfare. If Pakistan develops effective anti-submarine capabilities, Indian defense planners would feel pressure to build a larger fleet of submarines, thereby increasing the perceived need for more weapons-usable fissile material and more nuclear weapons.

The other two legs of the triad would also require ready-to-deploy nuclear weapons. In the absence of clarifying information from the Indian government, there has been considerable debate about the deployment status of India’s nuclear weapons. Estimates of weapons that are fully assembled or can be fully assembled within days to weeks vary from a few to up to 100 with many analysts settling on about 30 to 50.[3]

There is even more certainty about the numbers of aircraft India has. India has more than 300 nuclear-capable planes, but it is uncertain how many are devoted to the nuclear mission. The most likely nuclear delivery systems are the Jaguar IS and Mirage 2000H fighter-bombers. Russian-acquired older MiG-27 and newer Su-30MKI fighter-bombers might also have a nuclear role.[4] India plans to upgrade its military aircraft within the next few years by purchasing 126 multipurpose planes for up to $12 billion. During a late February 2008 official visit to India, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates reportedly promoted sales of U.S.-made aircraft.[5] It is uncertain how many aircraft India has armed or would consider arming with nuclear weapons.

Although the number of nuclear-armed land-based missiles is also uncertain, tests of these missiles are easier to track. The Prithvi I, with a range of 150 kilometers and a payload of 1,000 kilograms, has been approved for the Indian army. The Dhanush is the naval version of the Prithvi II, which is under development and has a range of approximately 350 kilometers. In addition, India has been developing longer-range Agni missiles. Although the Agni I with a 700-kilometer range and the Agni II with a range greater than 2,000 kilometers have reportedly been “inducted” into the army’s missile groups, their operational status is uncertain. In addition, the Agni III with a range greater than 3,000 kilometers is still under development and was test-launched on April 12, 2007. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that the Agni I and II will become fully operational in the next two years. Both can be deployed on road or rail launchers.[6] Once operational, these missile systems would significantly enhance India’s nuclear strike capabilities and could strike parts of China. India is estimated to have up to 100 ballistic missiles with more than half of those in the longer-range Agni class, but it is uncertain how many of these could be armed with nuclear warheads.[7]

Perceived pressures to deter China as well as Pakistan could increase the numbers of deployed and reserve Indian nuclear weapons. Although the actual size of the Indian arsenal is unknown, accounting for even modestly sized bomber, land-based missile, and submarine legs in a triad can give a rough estimate of the potential future size. For aircraft, India may choose to have a few dozen nuclear bombs. Presently, for example, India has about 48 Mirage 2000H planes and about 70 Jaguar ISs, but probably only a portion would have nuclear bombs devoted to them. In the missile leg, a few dozen Prithvi and Agni missiles could be devoted to nuclear missions. In the submarine leg, to ensure survivable forces, India would likely plan at a minimum for one submarine in the shipyard, one in port readying for deployment, and one or two at sea. Assuming up to a dozen missiles per submarine, India may have at least a few dozen warheads for the submarine force. If multiple warheads are placed on the missiles, the warhead numbers could expand by three or more times.

In sum, India’s triad including a single-warhead missile force based on land and underwater and a bomber fleet could exceed more than 100 operational weapons in the coming years. In addition, this warhead amount could increase by a factor of two or more depending on the size of a reserve fissile material stockpile. —CHARLES D. FERGUSON


1. For an extensive, recent Indian report on this issue, see “India’s Credible Minimum Deterrence: A Report,” IPCS Special Report, No. 13, February 2006.

2. Viktor Litovkin, “India to Get Renamed Aircraft Carrier From Russia,” RIA Novosti, June 11, 2007.

3. Arms Control Association, “Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: India,” Fact Sheet, November 2007; Sharon Squassoni, “Indian and Pakistani Nuclear Weapons,” CRS Report for Congress, RS21237, February 17, 2005.

4. Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, “India’s Nuclear Forces, 2007,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July/August 2007, pp. 74-78.

5. Ken Fireman, “Gates Says U.S.-India Ties to Expand Regardless of Nuclear Deal,” Bloomberg, February 26, 2008.

6. Norris and Kristensen, “India’s Nuclear Forces, 2007,” p. 76.

7. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “Nuclear Forces: India 2005,” www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=19273&prog=zgp&proj=znpp; Natural Resources Defense Council, “Nuclear Notebook,” July/August 2007.

Charles D. Ferguson is a fellow for science and technology at the Council on Foreign Relations. He co-authored The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism (Monterey Institute of International Studies and the Nuclear Threat Initiative, 2004).


1. For a different analysis that reaches similar conclusions, see Raja Menon, “Nuclear Stability, Deterrence and Separation of India’s Civil and Weapon Facilities,” Strategic Analysis, Vol. 29, No. 4 (October-December 2005).

2. Zia Mian et al.,“Plutonium Production in India and the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal,” in Gauging U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation, ed. Henry Sokolski (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, 2007), p. 109.

3. Note that there is a discrepancy between NPCIL and Government of India Planning Commission estimates of the number of foreign-supplied reactors by 2020. The NPCIL cites up to eight 1,000-megawatt reactors from foreign suppliers while the commission cites six of these reactors. The difference is accounted for by the NPCIL’s more ambitious projections of 23,180 megawatts of electricity (including contributions from a few breeder reactors); the commission calls for 20,000 megawatts, which it characterizes as “optimistic.” Government of India Planning Commission, “Integrated Energy Policy: Report of the Expert Committee,” August 2006, p. 47.

4. Ashley J. Tellis, “Atoms for War?: U.S.-Indian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation and India’s Nuclear Arsenal,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2006.

5. David Albright, “India’s Military Plutonium Inventory, End-2004,” Institute for Science and International Security, May 7, 2005.

6. Thomas B. Cochran and Christopher E. Paine, “The Amount of Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium Needed for Pure Fission Nuclear Weapons,” Natural Resources Defense Council, April 13, 1995.

7. The thermal power rating (MWth) specifies the power that is produced by the reactor core. Knowing this number, one can estimate the plutonium production capacity. By contrast, the electric power rating (MWe) tells the electrical power production capacity. Because of energy conversion loses, MWe is always less than MWth.

8. U.S. Department of Energy, “Nonproliferation and Arms Control Assessment of Weapons-Usable Fissile Material Storage and Excess Plutonium Disposition Alternatives,” 1997.

9. George Perkovich, India’s Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global Proliferation (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999), pp. 428-430.

10. Alexander Glaser and M. V. Ramana, “Weapon-Grade Plutonium Production Potential in the Indian Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor,” Science and Global Security, Vol. 15, No. 2 (2007), pp. 85-105.

11. Mian et al., “Plutonium Production in India and the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal,” p. 115.

Nonproliferation Experts Call on State Department to Come Clean on Questions Concerning U.S.-Indian Nuclear Deal



For Immediate Release: March 5, 2008
Press Contacts: Daryl Kimball, (202) 463-8270 x107; Fred McGoldrick (617) 298-2024

(Washington, D.C.) As U.S. and Indian officials race against the clock to win domestic and international approval for a controversial proposal to relax rules governing nuclear trade with India, leading critics of the proposal are calling on the U.S. government to make public its responses to congressional questions aimed at sorting out ambiguous and contradictory statements about the deal.

Today, two former senior nonproliferation officials, Fred McGoldrick and Henry Sokolski, joined Arms Control Association Executive Director Daryl G. Kimball and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Senior Associate Sharon Squassoni in calling upon the State Department to drop a virtual “gag” order on its unclassified responses to a detailed set of over 40 questions about the pending U.S.-Indian nuclear trade deal sent in October by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

“The administration’s responses should be made publicly available so that U.S. and Indian lawmakers and the public can evaluate whether the draft U.S.-Indian accord conforms to the terms and conditions established by Congress,” Kimball said. “The administration’s unwillingness to make their answers more widely available suggests they have something to hide from either U.S. or Indian legislators,” he said. Key questions the committee asked the State Department to answer include:

  • will the U.S. government terminate nuclear trade with India if it resumes testing?
  • whether the United States intends to transfer sensitive nuclear technology through the agreement, or outside the agreement that can be used to make nuclear weapons material?
  • will the new safeguards agreement between India and the IAEA apply in perpetuity as called for in U.S. law, or be subject to unspecified “corrective actions” as India demands?, and
  • would the U.S. government be legally required to help India secure nuclear fuel supplies from other states even if U.S. nuclear cooperation is suspended?

“Given that the administration’s answers are not classified, they should be willing to share them with all members of the Congress and with the public,” said Fred McGoldrick, former director of nonproliferation and export policy at the U.S. State Department.

“This proposed agreement with India will have profound and adverse consequences for the international nonproliferation regime. The draft text contains numerous ambiguities, and the Congress and the public need to know how the administration interprets various provisions in the text,” McGoldrick added. For an analysis of the text see: www.armscontrol.org/pressroom/2007/20070803_IndiaUS.asp.

Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, who served as deputy for nonproliferation policy under Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, agreed. “Sitting on the answers to these questions is no way to clear the air on the deal’s controversial provisions, which the Indian public is rightly worried about,” he said.

Under a 2006 law known as the Henry J. Hyde Act, Congress granted the U.S. president limited and conditional authority to waive the longstanding U.S. legal restrictions on nuclear trade with countries, such as India, that have tested nuclear weapons, have not joined the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), and do not allow comprehensive international nuclear safeguards. In 2007, Washington and New Delhi negotiated a bilateral nuclear trade agreement, which President George W. Bush may submit to Congress for approval later this year.

“The proposed nuclear cooperation agreement papers over key differences between Washington and New Delhi, such as whether nuclear cooperation would be cut off if India tests a nuclear device,” said Sharon Squassoni.

For months, Indian officials have insisted that they seek full nuclear cooperation, including access to uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing technologies, which can be used to produce nuclear bomb material. They also have sought to secure nuclear fuel supply guarantees and multi-year fuel reserves to give India the option to resume testing without penalty.

“As a result, the agreement contains undefined terms, and unorthodox approaches which make it unlike any other agreement the United States has previously signed. All members of Congress and the public deserve to see the administration’s responses to the many questions about the U.S.-Indian nuclear deal,” stated Squassoni.

U.S. and Indian officials also have made contradictory statements about the relevance of the restrictions and conditions on nuclear trade in the Hyde Act on U.S. and international nuclear trade with India.

On March 3, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the parliament that India’s future nuclear trade with the U.S. and other states would not be governed by the requirements of the Hyde Act. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, however, told the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Feb. 13 that U.S. policy governing nuclear trade with India would be “completely consistent” with the Hyde Act.

“Clear responses about the proposed U.S.-Indian nuclear trade deal are needed now, not later, because decisions may soon be taken by other nuclear supplier states that could undermine U.S. nonproliferation law and policy,” Kimball said.

For more information on the U.S.-Indian nuclear deal see www.armscontrol.org/projects/india/

Country Resources:

U.S.-Indian Deal in Limbo as Clock Ticks

Wade Boese

Bush administration officials and some U.S. lawmakers are prodding India to accelerate its efforts to advance a civil nuclear trade initiative or risk losing it. At the same time, domestic political opponents in India are pressing the Indian government not to move ahead on the initiative or chance losing power.

President George W. Bush agreed with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh nearly three years ago to disassemble the legal and regulatory barriers to India’s participation in the civilian nuclear trade market. (See ACT, September 2005. ) The United States had taken the lead in erecting those barriers following India’s 1974 explosion of a nuclear device derived in part from U.S. and Canadian nuclear supplies designated for peaceful purposes.

Congress gave its preliminary and conditional approval to the initiative in December 2006 through legislation known as the Hyde Act after Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), who at that time chaired the House International Relations Committee. (See ACT, January/February 2007. ) Before Congress can take a final vote on an agreement granting India access to U.S. nuclear fuel and technologies, the voluntary 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) must first exempt India from a restriction against nuclear trade with non-nuclear-weapon states, like India, that do not subject their entire nuclear complex to international oversight. Although India possesses nuclear arms, it is classified as a non-nuclear-weapon state by the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which India has never signed.

NSG members, which seek to coordinate their export controls, are waiting on India to complete a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) before considering exempting India from the group’s trade rule. Safeguards are mechanisms, such as inspections and remote monitoring, placed on a country’s civilian nuclear facilities and materials to verify that they are not being used for nuclear weapons purposes. In addition to six thermal nuclear reactors already under IAEA safeguards, Singh in March 2006 committed to place an additional eight of 16 such reactors under safeguards. (See ACT, April 2006. )

Confidential talks on a new, India-specific safeguards arrangement for those eight reactors began last November between India and the agency, but no final agreement has emerged. General speculation is that the delay stems from India linking its willingness to abide by safeguards, which are supposed to be in perpetuity, to guaranteed nuclear fuel supplies. In a Feb. 18 speech to the India International Centre in New Delhi, Shyam Saran, special envoy on the nuclear initiative for Singh, stated, “Our position right from the outset had been that we have no problem with permanent safeguards provided there are permanent supplies of fuel.”

Whatever the reason for the prolonged negotiations, U.S. supporters of the initiative are anxious. They had hoped that the safeguards agreement would be completed in time for the IAEA Board of Governors to take the necessary step of approving it at the board’s March 3-7 meeting. The next regular board meeting is not scheduled until June 2-6, which is after the planned May plenary of the NSG and presents a sequencing problem for the initiative. Both the IAEA Board of Governors and the NSG can convene extraordinary meetings to take decisions.

Some U.S. lawmakers say that the IAEA and NSG steps must be done before June in order for Congress to take up the initiative for a final vote because of the abbreviated congressional calendar caused by the upcoming November presidential and congressional elections. Visiting New Delhi Feb. 20 with Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters, “It is important for India to move the agreement as rapidly as possible, preferably within weeks.”

Similarly, Nicholas Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, said Feb. 11, “[W]e don’t have all the time in the world.” David Mulford, U.S. ambassador to India, delivered the same message in a Feb. 10 interview with India’s CNN-IBN, and he added, “My opinion is that if this is not processed in the present Congress, it is unlikely this deal will be offered again to India.” The trio of senators similarly said that if the deal did not go through this year, it would likely be renegotiated by a future administration.

But Singh’s government is receiving pressure from the opposite direction from its domestic critics who assert the initiative will make India subservient to the United States or impinge on India’s nuclear weapons program. Leftist parties that align themselves with Singh’s governing coalition have threatened to withdraw their support from the government if they are unsatisfied with the final IAEA safeguards agreement. Such a move could trigger new elections that could oust Singh’s government.

The main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), also has stepped up its attacks on the initiative after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Feb. 13 testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the United States will seek an exemption for India at the NSG “consistent” with the Hyde Act. Indian politicians of all stripes dislike the Hyde Act because it conditions future trade on India’s behavior, including continuation of a nuclear test moratorium. The act also effectively bars, except in special circumstances, transfers to India of uranium-enrichment, plutonium reprocessing, and heavy-water production technologies, which can be used to produce essential nuclear bomb materials.

India prefers what it calls a “clean” NSG exception. As Saran explained in his Feb. 18 speech, “It is our expectation that there would be a fairly simple and clean exemption from these guidelines without any conditionalities or even expectations regarding India’s conduct in [the] future.”

The BJP responded to Rice’s statement by demanding that Singh’s government apologize for misleading and betraying India. BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar asserted Feb. 15, “[T]he primary objective of the Hyde Act is to cap, then roll back, and ultimately eliminate India’s nuclear weapons capability.”

Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), who took over as acting chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee after Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) passed away Feb. 11, signaled that he would prefer an NSG exemption that reflected the Hyde Act and not a clean one. He told Rice that if the United States pursued a clean exemption for India, “we would essentially be creating two standards for nuclear trade for India, one for the United States and one for the rest of the world.”

Contradictions Still Plague U.S.-Indian Nuclear Deal

Daryl G. Kimball

Two and a half years after President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced their proposed U.S.-Indian civil nuclear cooperation deal, the ill-conceived arrangement faces a highly uncertain future. In the next few weeks, decisions will likely be made at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) that will determine whether the deal occurs at all and, if so, at what cost to the global nuclear nonproliferation system.

As soon as this month, the IAEA Board of Governors may be convened to consider a new India-specific safeguards agreement. If approved, the 44 other members of the NSG might then act on a U.S. proposal to exempt India from long-standing guidelines that require comprehensive IAEA safeguards as a condition of nuclear supply. If these bodies agree, the United States and other suppliers could finalize bilateral nuclear trade deals with India.

Although many states are willing to bend some rules to help India buy new reactors and the additional fuel needed to run them, there is growing resistance to forms of nuclear trade that could indirectly enable India’s nuclear weapons program or that would allow continued nuclear trade if India breaks its pledge not to resume nuclear test explosions. There is good reason for such concern because India violated past agreements on peaceful nuclear cooperation when it tested its first nuclear device in 1974 and has refused to allow comprehensive IAEA safeguards.

Contrary to claims of its proponents, the deal does not bring India into the nonproliferation mainstream. In fact, given India’s refusal to join the five original nuclear-weapon states in halting the production of fissile material for weapons, foreign supplies of nuclear fuel could free up New Delhi’s existing (and limited) uranium stockpile and increase its capacity to produce more nuclear bomb material. Unlike 177 other states, India has not yet signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Meanwhile, Indian officials are highly sensitive to concerns that the deal could affect its nuclear weapons program. To preserve India’s military options, the Singh government has bargained hard for unprecedented fuel supply assurances and unspecified “corrective measures” in the new safeguards agreement to offset disruptions that might occur if India resumes testing.

Indian leaders are also demanding terms of trade with other nuclear suppliers that sidestep the minimal but vital nonproliferation conditions and restrictions established by Congress in 2006 implementing legislation. The law, known as the Hyde Act, would require the termination of U.S. nuclear trade if New Delhi resumes nuclear testing or violates its safeguards commitments.

To improve its fuel production and spent fuel reprocessing capabilities, the Singh government has fought tooth and nail to secure access to uranium-enrichment and plutonium reprocessing technologies. The Hyde Act effectively bars the transfer of these sensitive nuclear technologies, which India could potentially use to enhance its military nuclear program.

Yet, India is demanding an NSG exemption without any of these and other conditions or restrictions. To date, the Bush administration has carried India’s water. The current U.S. draft proposal calls for a “clean” exemption, and the bilateral U.S.-Indian nuclear cooperation agreement contradicts the Hyde Act in several areas.

But at a hearing Feb. 13, the new chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), challenged Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on this approach, noting that would give other nuclear suppliers, such as France and Russia, a commercial advantage and undermine U.S. nonproliferation objectives. Rice told Berman that the United States would pursue India-specific nuclear trade guidelines that are “completely consistent” with the Hyde Act.

Days later, India’s special envoy, Shyam Saran, contradicted Rice, saying that “it is our expectation that there would be a fairly simple and clean exemption from these guidelines, without any conditions or even expectations regarding India’s conduct in the future.” He asserted that India has “no problem with permanent safeguards provided there are permanent supplies of fuel.”

Saran noted that, in the U.S.-Indian nuclear cooperation agreement, the Bush administration pledged to help India amass a strategic fuel reserve and provide fuel supplies for the lifetime of its safeguarded reactors. Yet, at the urging of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the Hyde Act stipulates that fuel supplies should only be “commensurate with reasonable reactor requirements.”

Now is the time for Congress and responsible members of the NSG to hold the Bush administration to Rice’s pledge to support international guidelines for trade with India that, at the very least, incorporate the minimal requirements mandated by U.S. law. If India’s leaders cannot even abide by these minimal standards and decide to reject the deal, that is their choice. Additional concessions to India will only further compromise the already beleaguered global nonproliferation system.

Two and a half years after President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced their proposed U.S.-Indian civil nuclear cooperation deal, the ill-conceived arrangement faces a highly uncertain future. In the next few weeks, decisions will likely be made at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) that will determine whether the deal occurs at all and, if so, at what cost to the global nuclear nonproliferation system.

As soon as this month, the IAEA Board of Governors may be convened to consider a new India-specific safeguards agreement. If approved, the 44 other members of the NSG might then act on a U.S. proposal to exempt India from long-standing guidelines that require comprehensive IAEA safeguards as a condition of nuclear supply. If these bodies agree, the United States and other suppliers could finalize bilateral nuclear trade deals with India. (Continue)

Rice’s Pledge to Make Global Rules on Nuclear Trade with India “Consistent” with U.S. Law Requires Shift in U.S. Policy



For Immediate Release: February 14, 2008
Press Contacts: Daryl Kimball, (202) 463-8270 x107

(Washington, D.C.) Responding to a question from Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) at a hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that she would support an India-specific exemption from the international nuclear trading guidelines of the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) that is “completely consistent” with the conditions and restrictions established in a 2006 law approved by Congress.

The law, known as the Henry J. Hyde Act, would grant the U.S. president limited and conditional authority to waive the longstanding U.S. legal restrictions on nuclear trade with India, which has tested nuclear weapons, has not joined the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), and does not allow comprehensive international nuclear safeguards.

“Rice’s pledge to support NSG guidelines that are consistent with the minimal but vital conditions established for U.S. nuclear trade with India requires a shift in the Bush administration’s policy. Such a shift would be an overdue step in the right direction,” said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association (ACA).

“At present, India is seeking an NSG exemption without conditions. The current draft U.S. proposal at the NSG supports India’s demand and, if adopted, would mean that other NSG states do not have to adhere to the same restrictions and conditions on nuclear trade with India that apply to the United States,” Kimball said. The March 2006 U.S. pre-decisional draft proposal for exempting India from NSG trade guidelines is available from www.armscontrol.org/projects/India/20060327_DraftNSGProposal.asp

“We expect that Secretary Rice will remain faithful to her pledge to Congress and adjust the U.S. approach at the NSG so that other states’ terms of trade with India must meet the same standards established in U.S. law and policy,” Kimball said.

The NSG was established in response to India’s 1974 nuclear test explosion, which utilized plutonium harvested from a foreign-supplied reactor in violation of peaceful nuclear use agreements with the United States and Canada.

“In response to Rice’s comments, we expect the member states of the NSG to insist that any decision to modify their rules on nuclear trade with India should explicitly prohibit the transfer of sensitive uranium enrichment, plutonium reprocessing, or heavy water production equipment or technology. NSG states should also stipulate that any exemption from NSG trade guidelines that might be granted to India would be revoked if that nation resumes nuclear testing,” Kimball suggested.

The Hyde Act establishes several common sense restrictions and conditions on nuclear trade with India, including:
• The immediate termination of all NSG trade with India if New Delhi resumes nuclear testing or violates its safeguards commitments. India, which has not signed the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, is seeking terms that would allow continued nuclear trade even if India resumes testing.
• A requirement that the IAEA-India safeguards agreement applies in perpetuity to all nuclear materials, equipment, and technology and all civilian nuclear facilities in India. New Delhi is seeking an unprecedented “Indian-specific” safeguards agreement that would allow it to remove certain reactors from safeguards if fuel supplies are interrupted, even if that is because it resumes testing.
• A clear prohibition on the transfer of enrichment, reprocessing, and heavy water production technology to India. IAEA safeguards cannot prevent India from using knowledge gained from the importation of these sensitive technologies in its nuclear weapons program.
• A stipulation that NSG states may not grant India consent to reprocess the nuclear fuel they supply except in a facility under permanent and unconditional safeguards. Reprocessing allows for the harvesting of plutonium for weapons and is not essential to India’s ability to generate nuclear power.

“If the administration fails to support an NSG policy with the conditions established in the Hyde Act, other less constrained suppliers such as Russia and France will gain commercial advantage and undermine U.S. nonproliferation objectives,” Kimball said.

Kimball and other nonproliferation experts have called on Congress to support a resolution (H. Res. 711) introduced in October by Rep. Berman and his Republican colleagues, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen that calls on the president only to pursue changes to NSG guidelines that are consistent with the restrictions and conditions established in the Hyde Act.

Following the adoption of the Hyde Act in late-2006, Washington and New Delhi negotiated a bilateral nuclear trade agreement in mid-2007. Before the United States or other nuclear suppliers can finalize bilateral nuclear trade deals with India, the IAEA Board of Governors must approve a new “India-specific” safeguards agreement covering several additional power reactors that India has agreed to classify as “civilian.” After three months of talks, Indian and IAEA officials have not come to terms on that agreement.

If the safeguards agreement is approved, NSG members would then be asked to act on the proposal to exempt India from longstanding NSG guidelines that require comprehensive IAEA safeguards as a condition of nuclear supply.

The Arms Control Association (ACA) is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to promoting effective arms control policies. For more information on the U.S.-Indian nuclear deal see www.armscontrol.org/projects/india/

Country Resources:

Experts and Organizations from 23 Countries Call on States to "Fix the Proposal for Nuclear Cooperation with India"



For Immediate Release: January 9, 2008
Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, Exec. Director, Arms Control Association 1-202-463-8270 x107;
Philip White, Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, Tokyo, and Coordinator, Abolition 2000 U.S.-India Deal Working Group 81-3-3357-3800

(Washington, D.C.-Tokyo, Japan): In a letter sent to more than four-dozen governments this week, a prestigious and broad array of more than 130 experts and nongovernmental organizations from 23 countries said the U.S. proposal to exempt India from longstanding global nuclear trade standards “would damage the already fragile nuclear nonproliferation system and set back efforts to achieve universal nuclear disarmament.”

The international appeal to “Fix the Proposal for Nuclear Cooperation with India” calls upon governments “to play an active role in supporting measures that would ensure this controversial proposal does not: further undermine the nuclear safeguards system and efforts to prevent the proliferation of technologies that may be used to produce nuclear bomb material,” or “in any way contribute to the expansion of India’s nuclear arsenal.”

Among the former government officials and experts endorsing the appeal is Amb. Jayantha Dhanapala, the former UN Undersecretary General for Disarmament Affairs and President of the 1995 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference. Other notable signatories include the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nongovernmental organizations from South Asia, East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Africa, and North America endorsed the letter, which was organized by the Tokyo-based Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center and the Washington-based Arms Control Association.

In the coming weeks, the 35-member International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors and the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) will likely take up the issue. The appeal is part of a global NGO campaign to influence governments’ views about the controversial nuclear trade proposal.

Current international guidelines severely restrict trade with states, such as India, that do not allow comprehensive international safeguards over all their nuclear facilities and material. The 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) bars direct or indirect assistance of another state’s nuclear weapons program. India, which detonated a nuclear bomb in 1974 made with plutonium harvested from a Canadian reactor with U.S. origin material in violation of bilateral peaceful nuclear use agreements, has not joined the NPT, continues to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons, and has not signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Nevertheless, in July 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush pledged to seek changes in longstanding U.S. laws and international guidelines to permit increased civil nuclear trade with India. In return, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pledged to allow additional IAEA oversight of certain Indian nuclear reactors under a new “India-specific” safeguards agreement now being negotiated with the agency.

“Contrary to the claims of its advocates,” the signatories write, “the proposed arrangement fails to bring India into conformity with the nonproliferation behavior expected of other states. India’s commitments under the current terms of the proposed arrangement do not justify making far-reaching exceptions to international nonproliferation rules and norms.”

Noting that the IAEA Board and the NSG traditionally operate by consensus, the signatories also note that each member state “has a pivotal role to play.” The appeal calls upon the governments to consider additional conditions and restrictions on nuclear trade with India.

Among other recommendations, the appeal urges governments “to actively oppose any arrangement that would give India any special safeguards exemptions or would in any way be inconsistent with the principle of permanent safeguards over all nuclear materials and facilities.” India is reportedly seeking IAEA safeguards that could allow India to cease IAEA scrutiny if nuclear fuel supplies are cut off, even if that is because India renews nuclear testing.

The appeal insists that NSG states “should under no circumstances” allow for the transfer to India of plutonium reprocessing, uranium enrichment, or heavy water production technology, which may be replicated and used to help produce nuclear bomb material. India is seeking access to these sensitive technologies from the United States and other suppliers.

Noting that the nuclear cooperation proposal could help India expand its nuclear weapons arsenal, the appeal also urges governments to insist that India “join the original nuclear -weapon states by declaring it has stopped fissile material production for weapons purposes and … make a legally-binding commitment to permanently end nuclear testing.”

The appeal argues that “in the very least,” NSG states should “clarify that all nuclear trade shall immediately cease if India resumes nuclear testing for any reason.” To do otherwise “would undercut the international norm against nuclear testing and make a mockery of NSG guidelines,” according to the supporters of the appeal.

For the full list of endorsers and the text of the appeal to “Fix the Proposal for Nuclear Cooperation with India,” see <www.armscontrol.org/pressroom/2008/NSGappeal.asp>.

Country Resources:

Fix the Proposal for Renewed Cooperation with India


January 7, 2008

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Foreign Affairs
c/o Nuclear Measures Subdirectorate
Pretoria, Republic of South Africa

cc: Abdul Minty, NSG Chair; Permanent Mission of South Africa to the IAEA

Dear Minister Dlamini-Zuma:
In the coming weeks the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors will likely be asked to consider a new “India-specific” safeguards agreement that would cover a limited number of additional “civilian” reactors. Shortly thereafter, the members of the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) will be asked to take a position on the Bush administration’s proposal to exempt India from longstanding NSG guidelines that require full-scope IAEA safeguards as a condition of supply.

Contrary to the claims of its advocates, the proposed arrangement fails to bring India further into conformity with the nonproliferation behavior expected of other states. India's commitments under the current terms of the proposed arrangement do not justify making far-reaching exceptions to international nonproliferation rules and norms. Consequently, the proposed arrangement would damage the already fragile nuclear nonproliferation system and set back efforts to achieve universal nuclear disarmament.

We are writing to urge your government to consider the full implications of the proposed agreement and to play an active role in proposing and supporting measures that would help ensure that this controversial proposal does not:

  • further undermine the nuclear safeguards system and efforts to prevent the proliferation of technologies that may be used to produce nuclear bomb material;
  • in any way contribute to nuclear proliferation and/or the expansion of India’s nuclear arsenal; or
  • otherwise grant India the benefits of civil nuclear trade without holding it to the same standards expected of other states parties of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Because the NSG and IAEA traditionally operate by consensus, your government has a pivotal role to play. Please consider the following:

1) India is seeking unprecedented "India-specific" safeguards over the additional facilities it has declared “civilian”. Such safeguards could allow India to cease IAEA scrutiny if fuel supplies are cut off because it renews nuclear testing. Indian officials suggest that they will seek safeguards that are contingent upon the continued supply of nuclear fuel from foreign suppliers. India may also assert that it has the option to remove certain “indigenous“ reactors from safeguards if foreign fuel supplies are interrupted, even if that is because it has resumed nuclear testing. Such proposals should be rejected whether they might be included in the actual safeguards agreement or accompanying statements.

As part of the final document of the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, all NPT states parties endorsed the principle of full-scope safeguards as a condition of supply. A decision by the 45-nation NSG to exempt India from this requirement for India would contradict this important element of the NPT bargain.

We urge your government to actively oppose any arrangement that would give India any special safeguards exemptions or would in any way be inconsistent with the principle of permanent safeguards over all nuclear materials and facilities.

2) India pledged in July 2005 to conclude an Additional Protocol to its safeguards agreement. Given that India maintains a nuclear weapons program outside of safeguards, facility-specific safeguards on a few additional “civilian” reactors provide no serious nonproliferation benefits. States should insist that India conclude a meaningful Additional Protocol safeguards regime before the NSG takes a decision on exempting India from its rules.

3) The United States has put forward a draft NSG guideline that would allow NSG states to continue providing India with nuclear supplies even if New Delhi breaks its nuclear test moratorium pledge. Indian officials say they want changes to NSG guidelines that do not impinge upon their ability to resume nuclear testing. The U.S. proposal on India at the NSG would, in the case of a resumption of nuclear testing by India, make the suspension of nuclear trade optional for NSG members. Such an approach would undercut the international norm against nuclear testing and make a mockery of NSG guidelines. If the NSG members agree by consensus to exempt India from the full-scope safeguards standard, they should in the very least clarify that all nuclear trade by NSG member states shall immediately cease if India resumes nuclear testing for any reason.

4) India is seeking exemptions from NSG guidelines and IAEA supply guarantees that would allow supplier states to provide India with a strategic fuel reserve that could be used to outlast any fuel supply cut off or sanctions that may be imposed if it resumes nuclear testing. The U.S.-India bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement includes political commitments to support an Indian strategic fuel reserve and an “India-specific” fuel supply arrangement. If NSG supplier states should agree to supply fuel to India, they should do so in a manner that is commensurate with ordinary reactor operating requirements.

5) India is seeking and the United States has proposed an NSG guideline that would open the way for other nuclear suppliers to transfer sensitive plutonium reprocessing, uranium enrichment, or heavy water production technology to India even though IAEA safeguards cannot prevent such technology from being replicated and used in its weapons program. India detonated a nuclear device in 1974 that used plutonium harvested from a heavy water reactor supplied by Canada and the United States in violation of bilateral peaceful nuclear use agreements. U.S. officials have stated that they do not intend to sell such technology, but other states may. Virtually all NSG states support proposals that would bar transfers of these sensitive nuclear technologies to non-NPT members and should under no circumstances endorse an NSG rule that would allow the transfer of such technology to India.

6) Absent a decision by New Delhi to halt the production of fissile material for weapons purposes, foreign fuel supplies would allow India not only to continue but also to potentially accelerate the buildup of its stockpile of nuclear weapons materials. This would not only contradict the goal of Article I of the NPT, but it would also foster further nuclear competition between India and Pakistan. Has your government conducted an independent assessment of the impact of foreign fuel supplies on India’s weapons production capacity and the security balance in South Asia?

7) UN Security Council Resolution 1172 calls on India and Pakistan to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and stop producing fissile material for weapons. Your government is bound by the UN Charter to support the implementation of this resolution. Before India is granted a waiver from the NSG’s full-scope safeguards standard, it should join the other original nuclear weapon states by declaring it has stopped fissile material production for weapons purposes and, like the 177 other states that have signed the CTBT, make a legally-binding commitment to permanently end nuclear testing. India’s verbal commitment to support negotiations of a global verifiable fissile material cut off treaty is a hollow gesture given the fact that states have failed to initiate negotiations on such a treaty for over a decade.

If your government is truly dedicated to the goal of stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, ending nuclear arms races, and strengthening rules governing the transfer of nuclear material and technology, it will insist upon these and other vital nonproliferation measures. We look forward to your responses to our questions and recommendations.  
Daryl G. Kimball,
Executive Director,
Arms Control Association (Washington, DC, USA)
Steven Staples
Rideau Institute on International Affairs (Canada)
Global Secretariat to Abolition 2000
Hideyuki Ban
Citizens' Nuclear Information Center (Tokyo, Japan)
 Additional endorsements continue below

Contact Addresses:
Abolition 2000 US-India Deal Working Group
c/o Citizens' Nuclear Information Center, Akebonobashi Co-op 2F-B, 8-5 Sumiyoshi-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 162-0065, Japan
Tel: 03-3357-3800  Fax: 03-3357-3801
Arms Control Association
1313 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
[email protected]

Endorsements continued (Updated January 10, 2008)

Individual Endorsements (organizations listed for identification purposes only)

Tadatoshi Akiba
Mayor of Hiroshima (Japan)

Amb. Richard Broinowski (Australia)
Adjunct Professor, School of Letters, Art and Media
University of Sydney
Former Ambassador to Vietnam, Republic of Korea, Mexico, the Central American Republics and Cuba

Jayantha Dhanapala (Sri Lanka)
Former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs
President of the 1995 NPT Review & Extension Conference (Recipient of the 2007 Intl. Peace Bureau MacBride Prize)

Amb. Robert Grey Jr., (Washington D.C., USA)
Director, Bipartisan Security Group and Former U.S. Representative to the Conference on Disarmament

Fred McGoldrick (Boston, Mass., USA)
Consultant and Former Director of Nonproliferation and Export Policy U.S. Department of State

Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C., Canadian Senator Emeritus and Former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament

Roland Timerbaev (Moscow, Russia)
Ambassador (Ret.), Executive Board Chair
Center for Policy Studies

Leonard Weiss (USA)
Former Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs and chief architect of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Act of 1978

Praful Bidwai (India)
Senior journalist and author
Fellow of the Transnational Institute and co-winner of the IPB MacBride Prize

Dr. Helen Caldicott (Australia)
Co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility
Founder of Womens Action for Nuclear Disarmament
Founder Nuclear Policy Research Institute

Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy (New Delhi, India)
Professor of International Studies
Jawaharlal Nehru University

Noam Chomsky (Cambridge, Mass. USA)
Emeritus professor of linguistics and philosophy
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Joseph Cirincione (Washington, D.C., USA)
Senior Fellow and Director for Nuclear Policy
Center for American Progress

Gwynne Dyer (Canada)
Freelance journalist, columnist, broadcaster, and lecturer on international affairs

Trevor Findlay (Ottawa, Canada)
Director, Canadian Centre for Treaty Compliance
Associate Professor
Norman Paterson School of International Affairs

Frank von Hippel (Princeton, NJ, USA)
Professor of Public and International Affairs
Program on Science and Global Security
Princeton University

Wade L. Huntley, Ph.D. (Vancouver, Canada)
Director, Simons Centre for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Research
Liu Institute for Global Issues
University of British Columbia

Michiji Konuma
Member of The Committee of Seven for World Peace and Emeritus Professor of Keio University and Musashi Institute of Technology

Zia Mian (Princeton, NJ, USA)
Research Scientist, Program on Science and Global Security Princeton University

Dr. William C. Potter (Monterey, Calif., USA)
Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar Professor of Nonproliferation Studies
Monterey Institute of International Studies

M.V. Ramana (Bangalore, India)
Senior Fellow, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Environment and Development

Ernie Regehr, O.C. (Canada)
Co-Founder Project Ploughshares
Adjunct Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo and Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation

Sharon Squassoni (Washington, D.C. USA)
Senior Associate
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Tatsujiro Suzuki (Japan)
Member of Japan Pugwash Group
Co-founder of Peace Pledge, Japan

Tomihisa Taue
Mayor of Nagaski City (Japan)

Hideo Tsuchiyama (Japan)
Member of The Committee of Seven for World Peace
Emeritus Professor and former President of Nagasaki University

Hiromichi Umebayashi (Japan)
President, Peace Depot

Achin Vanaik (India)
Professor of International Relations and Global Politics
Department of Political Science, Delhi University
Fellow of the Transnational Institute (Co-recipient of the 2000 International Peace Bureau MacBride Prize)

Alyn Ware (New Zealand)
Vice-President of International Peace Bureau

International NGOs

Peter Becker
International Secretary
International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms

Regina Hagen
International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation

Tomas Magnusson
International Peace Bureau (Recipient of the 1910 Nobel Prize for Peace)

Susi Snyder
Secretary General
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

Rene Wadlow
Representative to UN, Geneva
Association of World Citizens

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (Recipient of the 1985 Nobel Prize for Peace)

Associate Professor Tilman Ruff
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) Working Group

National and Local NGOs (listed by region)

South Asia


Dr Mahesh Kumar Arora
Anubhooti Society (Jaipur, Rajasthan, India)

Dr. Prakash Louis
Bihar Social Institute (Patna, Bihar, India)

Harsh Kapoor
South Asians Against Nukes (India)

Prof. E. P. Menon
India Development Foundation (Bangalore India)

ConvenorChampa -The Amiya & B.G.Rao Foundation (New Delhi, India).

Sandeep Pandey
Asha Parivar (India)

Medha Patkar
National Alliance of People's Movements (India)

Sukla Sen
EKTA (Committee for Communal Amity) (Mumbai, India)

S. P. Udayakumar
People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (Tamil Nadu, India)


Ram Narayan Kumar
South Asia Forum for Human Rights (Kathmandu)


Aslam Khwaja
Executive Director
People's Development Foundation (Pakistan)

Sri Lanka

Upali Magedaragamage
Coordinator, Asian Network for Culture and Development (Maharagama, Sri Lanka)

South Asian Diaspora

Mr. Abi Ghimire
Canadian Network for Democratic Nepal (Canada)

Hari Sharma (President) and Board of Directors
South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (Vancouver, Canada)

Coalition for an Egalitarian and Secular/Pluralistic India (Los Angeles, CA, USA)

EKTA Los Angeles (Committee for Communal Amity) (Palos Verdes, CA, USA)

South Asia Forum (Huntington Beach, CA, USA)

East Asia


Shingo Fukuyama
Secretary General
Japan Congress Against A- and H-Bombs (Gensuikin)

Akira Kawasaki
Executive Committee
Peace Boat (Japan)

Ken’ichi Okubo
Executive Director
Japan Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms

Daisuke Sato
NoNukes Asia Forum Japan

Yoshiko Shidara
Women's Democratic Club

Aileen Mioko Smith
Green Action (Kyoto, Japan)

Hiroshi Taka
Secretary General
Japan Council against A- and H-Bombs (Gensuikyo)

Terumi Tanaka
Secretary General
Nihon Hidankyo (Japan Confederation of A- and H-bomb Sufferers) (Japan)
(Hidankyo was the recipient of the 2003 International Peace Bureau MacBride Prize)

Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition

South Korea

Park Jin-Sup
Vice Director
Eco-Horizon Institute (Seoul, South Korea)

Park Jung-eun
Chief Coordinator, Center for Peace and Disarmament
People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (South Korea) 

Wooksik Cheong
Peace Network (Seoul, South Korea)



Heinz Stockinger
PLAGE (Salzburg Platform Against Nuclear Dangers) (Austria)


David Heller
Friends of the Earth, Flanders & Brussels (Belgium)

Hans Lammerant
Bombspotting – Vredesactie (Belgium)


Laura Lodenius
Peace Union of Finland


Jean-Marie Matagne
Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire
Action of Citizens for the total Dismantling of Nukes (France)

Pierre Villard
Mouvement de la Paix (France)
Coordinateur de la Campagne pour le Désarmement Nucléaire


Rainer Braun
Executive Director
International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms, German section

Wolfgang Nees
NaturwissenschaftlerInnen-Initiative "Verantwortung für Frieden und Zukunftsfähigkeit" (Germany)

Ingrid Schittich
Association of World Citizens, German branch

Bundesverband der Deutschen Friedensgesellschaft - Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen (Germany)

Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie (Germany)

International Fellowship of Reconciliation, German Branch

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, German section


Mary McCarrick and Emily Doherty
Executive Committee Members
Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Joe Murray
Director, Action from Ireland (AFRi)

Roger Cole
Peace and Neutrality Alliance (Ireland)


Albino Bizzotto,
Beati i costruttori di pace (Blessed Are the Peacemakers) (Italy)

Lisa Clark,
Nuclear Weapons Working Group
Rete Italiana per il Disarmo (Italian Disarmament Network)

Nicola Cufaro Petroni
Secretary General
Union of Scientists for Disarmament (USPID) (Italy)


Ak Malten
Global Anti-Nuclear Alliance (The Netherlands)


Stine Rødmyr
Leader of No to Nuclear Weapons (Norway)


Anna Lisa Eneroth (President) and
Alexandra Sundberg (Secretary General)
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Swedish section

Anna Ek
Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society

Frida Sundberg (President SLMK) and
Gunnar Westberg (Co-President IPPNW, member of SLMK Board)
Swedish Physicians Against Nuclear Weapons (SLMK)

United Kingdom

Kate Hudson
Chair, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)

Dr. Rebecca Johnson
Executive Director
Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy (UK)

Jenny Maxwell
West Midlands Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Dave Webb
Yorkshire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Middle East and Africa


Nouri Abdul Razzak Hussain
Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization (Cairo)



John Hallam
People for Nuclear Disarmament Nuclear Flashpoints Campaign (Sydney, Australia)

Don Jarrett
President, Australian Peace Committee (Australia)

Pauline Mitchell
Campaign for International Cooperation and Disarmament Melbourne (Australia)

David Noonan and Dave Sweeney
Nuclear Free Campaigners
Australian Conservation Foundation (Australia)

Cam Walker
National Liaison Officer, Friends of the Earth Australia

Dr Sue Wareham OAM
Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia)

New Zealand

Dr Kate Dewes (Coordinator) and
Commander Robert D Green (Royal Navy (Ret'd))
Disarmament & Security Centre (Christchurch, New Zealand)

Barney Richards
National Secretary
Peace Council Aotearoa New Zealand

North America


Sr. Mary-Ellen Francoeur
World Conference of Religions for Peace (Canada)

Paul Hamel (President) and Phyllis Creighton (Secretary)
Science for Peace (Toronto Canada)

Dr. Jennifer Simons
Simons Foundation (Canada)

Laura Savinkoff
Boundary Peace Initiative (Canada)

Jessica West
Program Associate
Project Ploughshares (Waterloo, ON, Canada)

Physicians for Global Survival (Canada)

StopWar.ca (Canada)

United States of America

Rochelle Becker
Executive Director
Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility (San Luis Obispo, Ca, USA)

John Burroughs
Executive Director, Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy (New York, USA)

Glenn Carroll
Coordinator, Nuclear Watch South (Atlanta, USA)

David Culp
Legislative Representative
Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers) (Washington, D.C. USA)

Mary Davis
Director of Yggdrasil, a project of Earth Island Institute (Lexington, KY, USA)

Keith Gunter
Citizens' Resistance at Fermi Two (Monroe, MI, USA)

David Hartsough
Executive Director
Peaceworkers (San Francisco, CA, USA)

Alice Hirt
Don't Waste Michigan (Holland, MI, USA)

Michael J. Keegan
Coalition for a Nuclear Free Great Lakes (Monroe, MI, USA)

David Krieger
President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (New York, USA)

Terri Lodge
Arms Control Advocacy Collaborative (USA)

Michael McCally, M.D., Ph.D.
Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility (Washington D.C., USA)

Christopher Paine
Director, Nuclear Program
Natural Resources Defense Council (Washington, D.C., USA)

Jon Rainwater
Executive Director
Peace Action West (Berkeley, California, USA)

Don Richardson, M.D.
Western North Carolina Physicians For Social Responsibility (Asheville, NC, USA)

Susan Shaer
Executive Director
Women's Action for New Directions (Washington, D.C., USA)

Alice Slater (New York, USA)
Convener, Abolition 2000 Sustainable Energy Working Group

Jennifer O. Viereck,
Director, HOME: Healing Ourselves & Mother Earth (Tecopa, CA, USA)

Sisters of St. Francis Center for Active Nonviolence (Clinton, Iowa, USA)

Country Resources:

Revived U.S.-Indian Deal Heads to IAEA

Wade Boese

After appearing close to expiration, the U.S.-Indian civil nuclear cooperation deal was recently resuscitated when some Indian lawmakers relaxed their opposition to government talks with the world’s nuclear monitoring agency. The deal’s recovery, however, could be short lived if the consultations falter or fail to satisfy the lawmakers.

Almost exactly one month after Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh informed President George W. Bush that their two-year-old initiative had run into “difficulties,” Singh’s coalition government Nov. 16 announced that the deal had won clearance to move ahead. That approval came when India’s Communist parties and their allies, whose votes help keep the coalition in power, consented to the government holding talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which promotes and monitors civilian nuclear activities worldwide.

Indian officials traveled Nov. 21 to the agency’s Vienna headquarters to begin their discussions on a safeguards arrangement for the nuclear facilities that New Delhi designates as serving civilian rather than military purposes. Safeguards are mechanisms, such as inspections and remote monitoring, that are intended to ensure that civilian nuclear programs are not contributing to the development of nuclear bombs.

India conducted its first nuclear test in 1974 using a device derived in part from U.S. and Canadian exports designated for “peaceful” purposes. Now estimated to have a stockpile of up to 100 warheads, New Delhi has resisted foreign pressure to forswear future nuclear testing and stop producing nuclear material for bombs.

Only Indian facilities with IAEA safeguards would be eligible for any new nuclear commerce opportunities created through the Bush administration’s drive to peel back nearly three decades of various U.S. and multilateral nuclear trade prohibitions on India that grew out of its 1974 blast. To take advantage of Washington’s work, which is the heart of the July 2005 U.S.-Indian deal, New Delhi announced in March 2006 that eight more nuclear power reactors would join six others already under IAEA safeguards. Another eight reactors would be off-limits to international oversight and ineligible for foreign nuclear supplies.

India has said that it wants “India-specific” safeguards to apply to the reactors and other facilities it is classifying as civilian. Indian officials have not publicly explained how these safeguards might differ from India’s existing safeguards, but reports exist that New Delhi, among other things, wants flexibility to withdraw facilities from safeguards in the event that foreign nuclear supplies are cut off, even if it is the result of renewed Indian nuclear testing.

India-specific safeguards that depart dramatically from existing arrangements could face more difficulty winning the approval of the agency’s 35 member-state Board of Governors, which currently includes India’s neighbor and rival, Pakistan. The board, which next meets March 3-7, 2008, typically approves safeguards by consensus.

The Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition also pledged that a committee that includes the leftist parties would review any completed IAEA agreement. Whether that panel has the power to reject the agreement is unclear.

Still, if they are dissatisfied, the leftist parties could again threaten to withdraw their support for the coalition government. The earlier use of this threat helped stall the effort previously and led to creation of the committee because Singh’s Congress Party feared that a leftist withdrawal could trigger early elections that would unseat the government. The leftist parties have condemned the overall U.S.-Indian initiative, charging that Singh is cozying up too much to Washington and compromising Indian sovereignty.

The main Indian opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, has vehemently criticized the deal as a covert U.S. attempt to constrain India’s nuclear weapons complex. In a Nov. 7 statement, the party blasted Singh as making a “significant strategic blunder” and called for the deal to be “renegotiated and not hustled through as the UPA government is attempting.”

If Singh can navigate the deal through India’s turbulent politics and the IAEA, future nuclear cooperation will still depend on the Bush administration winning final approval for expanding nuclear trade with India from the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and Congress, which gave its preliminary and qualified approval last December. (See ACT, January/February 2007. ) Before Congress reconsiders the proposed U.S.-Indian bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement, U.S. law requires that the NSG, which operates by consensus, adjust current guidelines that restrict trade with states, such as India, that do not subject their entire nuclear enterprise to IAEA safeguards. The next plenary meeting of the NSG is scheduled for May 2008, but a special session could be convened if the IAEA Board of Governors approves a new safeguards agreement with India.

The Bush administration has indicated it wants the deal finalized in 2008, but with U.S. elections scheduled for next November, the time for congressional action could be short.


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