Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi are about to commit a grave mistake if they decide to go ahead and sign the India-specific safeguard agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The whole ball-game on the India - US nuclear agreement decisively changed on June 8, 2008 when Mr. Ramendra Gupta, the Chairman and Managing Director of Uranium Corporation of India Ltd., categorically stated in an interview with Hindustan Times, “We have enough uranium resources.” He went on to add, “There is some mismatch for the time being which is expected to be over once these new projects (mining and processing) are commissioned. …And for 20,000 megawatt of power, we have enough uranium resources in the country.”
At present India is just producing about 4,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Therefore, the whole underpinning of the Indo-US nuclear deal, that India needs to import nuclear fuel as it does not have sufficient uranium reserves, falls through. Moreover, India also has the technology for uranium enrichment and the latest know-how for setting up the state of the art nuclear reactors. Thus, one does not see any need to sign the intrusive safeguard agreement, much less to operationalise the 123 agreement.