India and the United States of America have completed negotiations for agreeing on the ‘arrangements and procedures’ for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel of US origin.
According to a statement issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, ‘negotiations on these arrangements and procedures commenced in July 2009 and were concluded during the last round of negotiations held in New Delhi on 2-4 March, 2010’. “These arrangements, negotiated pursuant to Article 6(iii) of the Agreement for Cooperation between the Government of India and the Government of the United States of America concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, will enable Indian reprocessing of U.S.-obligated nuclear material under IAEA safeguards,” says the ministry.
The US too has issued a statement welcoming this development that brings the prospect of Indo-US nuclear trade one step closer. “These arrangements will enable Indian reprocessing of U.S.-obligated nuclear material under IAEA safeguards,” said a statement issued by the US Embassy in New Delhi.
US Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer said, “These arrangements will help open the door for U.S. firms in India’s rapidly expanding energy sector, creating thousands of jobs for the citizens of both our countries. The United States and India are one step closer to ensuring greater access to clean and affordable energy and electricity for all Indians, particularly those most in need,” also adding, “Along with the great progress our countries are making in the realm of civil nuclear energy, we recognize that Prime Minister Singh shares President Obama’s bold vision for a nuclear weapons-free world. We applaud India’s outstanding track record on nonproliferation issues, and we look forward to our continuing cooperation in this area.”