The reported offer of China to sell 1000 MWe reactors to Pakistan has raised a number of issues. China applied for NSG membership in 2004 only after being satisfied that it can safeguard its nuclear commerce with Pakistan even after joining NSG. It must be clearly understood that China’s application for joining NSG was at the repeated appeals of NSG and not the other way around.
After wining the elections, Hassan Rouhani has insisted that Iran is ‘ready to show more transparency’ over its nuclear programme, but has also affirmed that it has ‘inalienable rights’ to enrich uranium as a member of the NPT.
The Koondankulam plant has finally attained criticality but doubts will continue to be raised about the safety of the reactors. What do nuclear risk assessment methods tell us about the possibility of future accidents at KKNPP?
India’s admission to the NSG has, as on the previous times when the India-US Nuclear Deal and the NSG exemption of 2008 were under discussion, caused many of those opposed to the Indian nuclear programme to come out with various policy suggestions on how to get India to agree on additional conditionalities. In addition there is a move by many to use the Indian admission for membership as a means to legitimize the illegitimate nuclear commerce between China and Pakistan. All these are predicated on the assumption that India is desperate to join the NSG. India should reject any move by the nonproliferation lobby to devise a criterion-based admission procedure.
In the aftermath of recent North Korean actions and threats, there has been in recent times some open debates and discussions about the prospects of South Korea “going nuclear” i.e. developing its own nuclear weapons. This brief argues that short of abrogating all its bilateral and multilateral treaties and obligations with heavy costs, the prospects of it doing so in the short/medium term are not that easy and may not be cost effective.
There is a lot of inaccuracy and assumption in reporting Chasma 3 nuclear cooperation between China-Pakistan. It is not conceivable in engineering terms as to how a 300 MWe Chasma 3 can be transformed into a 1,000 MWe project.
In the larger scheme of things, fiscal prudence is a good trait and the reduction in deficits desirable, yet an overtly ambitious approach of reducing deficits into a number game may lead to developments that may hurt us not only in the security arena but in economic growth as well.
The Right of Recourse embedded in the Indian nuclear liability law has ensured that more than four years after the NSG granted exemption to enable nuclear commerce with India, India has not been able to finalise a single contract with any of the countries with which it has signed nuclear cooperation agreements for any nuclear facility.