India’s desperate pursuit of nuclear energy will be expensive and risky. Small wonder industry wants to dilute its liability.
Under the winter sky of January flamboyant French President Ni colas Sarkozy sat next to Indian President Pratibha Patil and watched the Republic Day parade last year. Eight months later India and France shook hands to sign an agreement on civil nuclear cooperation. Business followed diplomacy. French company Areva agreed to set up two nuclear reactors in India and supply fuel for them.
This year the chief guest at the Republic Day function was Kazakhstan Pre sident Nursultan Nazarbayev, an un - familiar face in India. Kazakhstan has one of the largest uranium ore reserves. It has joined the list of India’s nuclear friends. Last month it was Mongolia, another uranium-rich country.
Other countries that have signed ci vil nuclear agreements with India in the past 18 months are USA, South Korea and Russia. “Diplo matic ties sh ould be made with any big or small cou ntry with resources and that includes the 45 nations in the Nuclear Suppliers Group,” said T P Sreenivasan, former governor for India at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.
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