India Us Nuclear Cooperation Agreement

India-US Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: A Critical Analysis

The India-US nuclear cooperation agreement signed in 2008 was a landmark event in the history of nuclear energy. The agreement was signed between the United States and India to provide India access to nuclear fuel and technology for peaceful purposes. The deal was a turning point in the relationship between the two countries, which had been strained for decades due to India’s nuclear weapon program. The deal was seen as a recognition of India’s nuclear capabilities and an opportunity for the US to expand its nuclear market.

However, the agreement was not without controversies. Critics of the deal argued that it would contribute to the nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan, and that it would undermine the global non-proliferation regime. The US Congress also raised concerns about India’s nuclear liability laws, which were seen as inadequate to provide compensation in case of a nuclear accident.

Despite these concerns, the deal went through, and India and the US began to cooperate in the nuclear energy sector. India gained access to nuclear technology and fuel, while the US got an opportunity to expand its nuclear market.

However, the reality of the agreement has not lived up to its promise. The Indian nuclear power sector is still at a nascent stage, and the country’s ambitious plans to generate 63 GW of nuclear power by 2030 seem to be unrealistic. The nuclear project at Kudankulam has faced numerous delays and protests from locals, and the project at Jaitapur has also faced opposition from activists and residents of the area.

Moreover, the cost of nuclear power in India is still higher than other sources of energy. The recent decision by the Indian government to lower the tariff for solar power to Rs 2.50 per unit has made nuclear power even less competitive. This has led to a decline in interest from private sector companies in India’s nuclear energy sector, which was supposed to be a key beneficiary of the US-India nuclear cooperation agreement.

In conclusion, the India-US nuclear cooperation agreement was a significant development in the relationship between the two countries. However, the realities of the Indian nuclear power sector and the challenges it faces suggest that the deal has not lived up to its promise. The energy sector in India is undergoing a transformation with the emphasis on renewable energy. The India-US nuclear cooperation agreement may provide valuable support but it is unlikely to be a game-changer.