India and US in landmark nuclear deal

NEW DELHI, Aug 3, 2007 (AFP) – India and the United States unveiled on Friday the text of an operating agreement for their controversial civilian nuclear technology deal, with key provisions on fuel supplies and safeguards. The agreement, which took two years to complete, spells out how a plan for Washington to share nuclear technology with New Delhi will work, including thorny issues like reprocessing rights and a fuel reserve for India.

“The United States will support an Indian effort to develop a strategic reserve of nuclear fuel to guard against any disruption of supply over the lifetime of India’s reactors,” the text says.

The deal also seeks to address Pakistan’s concerns, ruling out the use of any transferred nuclear material for nuclear explosive devices or for military purposes.

The Indian governent hailed the accord last week before its publication pointing out it was only about cooperation in civil nuclear energy, not the balance of power in the region.

But Islamabad warned Thursday that the accord threatens regional stability, saying it would allow its arch rival to produce more atomic bombs.

The US Congress in December approved legislation allowing US exports of civilian nuclear fuel an