04 December, 2020

N-Tape: Side A, Side B

The deal is needed, but India had better be honourable about testing

Illustration by Sorit
N-Tape: Side A, Side B
Even if the Americans have so hopelessly complicated their democracy, and we our politics, some things really are quite clear through the haze of punditry clouding this nuclear business. One, that if India carries out a nuclear test, it cannot go like Oliver and say 'Please, can I have some more, I just blew up what you gave me.' The French too have made that clear; it's just that they don't make a fuss about some things the American way.

Just as quietly, the French also denied India their reprocessing technology, the best bet in the world to cut dependence on new supplies, though there is political promise of fuel supply. The Americans have written their enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) denial into law, in the Hyde Act. And we sound surprised, even betrayed, that the Americans would not break their law to please us. They must be pleased in Dublin, Wellington and Vienna. Weren't these two conditions on testing and technology transfer just what they wanted written into an agreement at the Nuclear Suppliers Group meeting early...


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