Friday, June 23, 2006

U.S.-India Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Initiative

Congress should approve the U.S.-India Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Initiative (CNCI) before the 109th Congress adjourns. Vice President Dick Cheney is pushing for passage right now and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice testified in the House and Senate in support of this important program in April. AAEA supports the initiative and believes it complements the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP).

The CNCI legislation amends the Atomic Energy Act of 1978 (AEA) to lift the U.S. prohibition against sharing civilian nuclear technology with nations that have nuclear weapons programs and are not subject to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. India tested its first nuclear bomb in 1974 and is still not a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The conditions that India would have to meet to get an AEA exemption include:
  1. A plan to segregate its civilian and military nuclear facilities
  2. Negotiatie a treaty limiting the production of fissile material
  3. Adopt IAEA safeguards
  4. Work to prevent proliferation
The 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) would have to reach consensus to endorse the deal.

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