After two days parliamentary debate Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s United Progressive Alliance (UPA) of 12 parties survived a confidence vote 275 to 256. The confidence vote was necessary because of the Prime Ministers push for ratification of a nuclear deal struck three years ago between the United States and India.
The deal provides India access to American civilian nuclear technology. India has agreed to submit its civilian nuclear program to the oversight of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The pact does not directly address India’s nuclear weapons program or its non-signatory status to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The deal gives India access to fuel and nuclear reactors.
The nuclear pact would end more than three decades of nuclear isolation for India, opening its civilian reactors to international inspections in exchange for the nuclear fuel and technology it has been denied because of its refusal to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and its testing of atomic weapons.
This is good news, I think. As I’ve been exploring energy issues the conclusion I’m coming to is that nuclear power is going to play an increasing role in the production of energy throughout the world. For safety’s sake, lots of a international cooperation is going to be necessary.