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What ails the India-US N-deal?

The clear demarcation of Indian nuclear reactors as either civilian or military threatens the nuclear deal signed between India and the US last July.

Under that agreement, signed by US President George W Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the US would try and recognise India as a civilian nuclear power, and thus allow it nuclear technology and fuel denied under the sanctions which followed India's first nuclear test on May 18, 1974. This is subject to the United States Congress allowing the necessary changes in US law.

Indo-US nuclear tango

In return, India, would have to: i. identify and separate its civilian and military nuclear facilities and programmes; ii. declare its civilian facilities to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); iii.voluntarily place civilian facilities under IAEA safeguards; iv. sign an Additional Protocol for civilian facilities; v. continue its unilateral nuclear test moratorium; vi. work with the United States to conclude a Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty (FMCT); vii. refrain from transferring enrichment and reprocessing technologies to states that do not have them, as well as support international efforts to limit their spread; viii. secure its nuclear materials and technology through comprehensive export control legislation and through harmonisation and adherence to Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and NSG guidelines.

The first item on that list has now become a major bone of contention.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George Bush after signing the agreement on July 18, 2005, in Washington, DC.

Text: Ramananda Sengupta. Photograph: Getty Images

Also See: US wants a win-win nuclear deal with India

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