No compromise on spent fuel reprocessing: Kakodkar
Bangalore, Sep 13 (IANS) India would not compromise on reprocessing the spent fuel under the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement, Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) chairman Anil Kakodkar said here Wednesday.
"We are not unduly worried whether the Indo-US nuclear deal comes through or not. Our position is we will not accept any proposal that does not allow reprocessing of spent fuel," he told reporters here on the sidelines of an official function.
Referring to the US concerns on spent fuel, he said India's position was already made clear to the US administration and it was up to them to appreciate this country's energy requirements.
"The proposed deal notwithstanding, our nuclear programme will go on as scheduled. We hope the deal will come through within the framework agreed upon. If it doesn't, why bother?" Kakodkar said, after inaugurating the Emergency Response Centre of the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration & Research on the outskirts of the city.
Clarifying that spent fuel cannot be left in perpetuity, he said India's strategy to adopt the closed nuclear fuel cycle was appreciated worldwide and backed by other countries.
"Recyling of spent fuel is important because where there is no recycle of plutonium and uranium, we have to reprocess the spent fuel, as part of credible waste management and to protect the environment," Kakodkar pointed out.
In this context, the Atomic Energy Department secretary said discussions were held with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on India-specific safeguards.
"On our part, we have identified a separation plan, which has been discussed and agreed upon by both sides. As per the July 18, 2005 agreement, the US is expected to amend its laws and revise the guidelines for the Nuclear Suppliers Group to facilitate export of nuclear fuel and technology," Kakodkar said.
Admitting that the amendment process in the US Congress was taking time, the AEC chief said India would have to wait for the outcome of the processes leading up to the final treaty.
"We have to look at the deal from our interest, which is to carry forward the development programmes in a three-stage process. While we have to carry the domestic programme as per our requirements, we are keen international cooperation opens up to secure fuel supplies for generating nuclear power," he added.