India-US extend MoU for Cooperation on Nuclear Energy
India and the United States have extended the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Energy agreement for another ten years. The agreement is also called the 123 agreement. India buys the nuclear material from United States based on this agreement. The extension of the agreement was signed at the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP).
India-US Civil Nuclear Agreement
The U.S.-India deal took more than 3 years as it had to go through several complex stages, including amendment of U.S laws. This was mainly because India is not a signatory of Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It is mandatory for the countries to sign the NPT to become a member of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). In spite of this, the NSG granted the waiver to India (allowed India to sign the agreement with the US), allowing the access to civilian nuclear technology and fuel from others.
Why did India sign the agreement?
India signed the agreement because India believed that it was the best in nuclear weapon technology and also India wanted to keep its credentials in the technology. Also, India was in need of nuclear materials to run its nuclear power plants as well.
The main objective of Non-Proliferation Treaty was to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to create cooperation in the uses of nuclear energy and to achieve goal of nuclear disarmament. India is not a signatory of Non-Proliferation Treaty. This made it difficult for the country to obtain nuclear weapons, nuclear technology and nuclear raw materials from the rest of the countries holding nuclear reserves.
Nuclear Power in India
There are 22 nuclear power reactors in India. Currently, 3.22% of electricity in India is generated through nuclear power.
Nuclear Fuel Reserves in India
India has limited Uranium reserves in the world. It approximately holds 54,636 tonnes of assured nuclear resources. According to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, the nuclear resources of India are only sufficient to generate 10 GW of power for about 40 years. Therefore, it is important for India to import nuclear materials from foreign countries.
What is GCNEP?
It is the first world nuclear energy partnership centre. It was established in Kheri Jasaur village of Bahadurgarh tehsil.
Category: International Current Affairs