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Ireland in Indian Nuclear Pickle

by Colman Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 08:27:16 AM EST

From Monday's Irish Times:

Under legislation passed in Washington, the US is now ready to share vital nuclear equipment with India, despite the latter's refusal to sign up to the 1968 United Nations' Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which was created partly as a result of Irish pressure from the 1950s.

Ireland is a member of the 45-strong Nuclear Suppliers' Group, which has the power to veto nuclear sales to countries that have remained outside of the non-proliferation treaty, which India has consistently refused to sign.

Saved from oblivion - from the diaries -- whataboutbob


Last November, Shyman Saran, an envoy from Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh, travelled to Dublin for talks with Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern, senior officials and the Oireachtas committee on foreign affairs.

"From a purely non-proliferation point of view, the case against the deal is obvious. Facilitating nuclear co-operation with a non-member of the NPT is in principle deeply disturbing," Mr Ahern has told the Oireachtas committee.

However, the Minister has acknowledged that India's rapidly-increasing economic importance is weighing heavily on members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and on those included in the New Agenda Coalition set up in 1998 to bring about a nuclear weapons-free world.

"And there is no doubt that India is increasingly taking attitudes to the agreement as a litmus test of countries' relations with it," Mr Ahern told the committee.

One member of the committee, Fianna Fáil TD Michael Mulcahy said the choice now facing the Government "is a very difficult one", as it tries to protect the non-proliferation treaty and, yet, not damage trade ties to India.

Last year, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern led a major trade mission to New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore in a bid to increase exports, which currently stand at a little over €100m a year, but which are expected to grow significantly in coming years.

Ah, soft power, don't you just love it?


The United States is particularly keen to improve links with India to create a counter-balance to China, and also because rapidly-rising energy demand in India means that US nuclear power companies could secure up to $100 billion (€76 billion) worth of sales in coming years.

..


France, which has one of the world's largest civilian nuclear power operations, has already expressed support for the Indian deal, arguing that India has never sold nuclear secrets to "rogue" states and because it is a democracy.

Nuclear proliferation: it's bad unless there's money in it.

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So...Bush says, who needs the NPT, and does a deal...does this mean the whole NPT is going to collapse. I swear, Bush is going to turn out to be even worse for the world than we even thought...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Mon Jan 8th, 2007 at 07:34:03 AM EST
The whole Iran campaign is predicated on denying to Iran its rights under the NPT, as well.

The NPT is quickly becoming irrelevant, and we have had informed commentators here on ET that have indicated that it is a scam in the first place, precisely because the way the technology is handled is all politically determined, and not based on the technological realities of nuclear energy.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 8th, 2007 at 07:42:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We need to replace the NPT with internationalization of the nuclear fuel cycle.

India brings some real commercial insight to nuclear energy to the table.   They are committed to thorium fuel - which can in theory make the manufacture of nuclear weapons extremely difficult, if used correctly.

Regrettably though the heavy water (CANDU) technology is well suited for making weapons grade plutonium as well.

India needs to be pressured to abandon its nuclear weapons, but so does the United States, Britain, Russia...

Interestingly the Russians, who have the most experience with dismantling nuclear weapons and getting rid of the fissionable cores permanently, made big bucks in the 1990's selling the uranium from those cores to the west.

India is hurting itself and its prestige by making this an issue.   They need to begin to negotiate from a weapons reduction/disarmament profile.

by NNadir on Mon Jan 8th, 2007 at 10:19:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We need to replace the NPT with internationalization of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Could you elaborate on what "internationalization of the nuclear fuel cycle" would look like?

India needs to be pressured to abandon its nuclear weapons, but so does the United States, Britain, Russia...

As signatories of the NPT, aren't they obligated to "to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control"?

Who can put pressure on the nuclear powers to do this, and how?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 10:55:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The NPT is quickly becoming irrelevant, and we have had informed commentators here on ET that have indicated that it is a scam in the first place

Besides Ireland, the Nuclear Suppliers' Group includes France, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and -- surprise, surprise -- China.

Japan, France and Canada disappoint, but among all these others aren't there any besides Ireland that are contemplating a veto?

And a very simple question: Why doesn't China just veto the deal, since some believe that it is motivated by a "the desire to counter the rise of China, in this case by accelerating New Delhi's ascent as a global power", and a more nuclear-enabled India as its neighbor doesn't seem to have any upside for China?

Is there a general, albeit unstated, recognition and resignation that India is going to get that nuclear equipment one way or another and better have this in an open transparent manner that can be monitored more easily rather than have it done covertly?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 10:48:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
unless there's money in it

Or unless you're an enemy of my enemy.

We all bleed the same color.

by budr on Mon Jan 8th, 2007 at 09:50:01 AM EST
Are nuclear pickles safe to eat?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Tue Jan 9th, 2007 at 07:59:03 AM EST
They get glowing reviews.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 9th, 2007 at 08:02:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think this is a real interesting piece of news...and feared it would just slide off into oblivion on a busy news day...so I have resurrected it!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 08:29:53 AM EST


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