US offers India bigger global role in N-research
New Delhi, February 8
Only select powers like Russia, the European Union, China and Japan have been offered membership of GNEP.
An American diplomatic source told The Tribune that India had been offered greater global role in nuclear energy research - a new area wherein the American cooperation is not linked to the success or failure of the July 18 Indo-US nuclear agreement.
Indian diplomats, on the other hand, did not seem so sure-footed on this, saying that such things were normally technically correct, but practically it was invariably a different ball game.
The American offer of GNEP membership to India came up during the three-and-a-half-hour long discussion between the American delegation led by US Under Secretary of State for Energy David Garman and the Indian side led by Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran today which were held under the ambit of the newly-launched Indo-US Energy Dialogue.
The Americans offered India intensive cooperation in three specific areas of energy generation: nuclear, hydrogen and clean coal. The Americans conveyed to the Indian side that India was welcome to join several new and big energy-related international consortiums in the energy sector, which would inevitably take the Indian graph higher globally.
The Americans also gave a presentation on GNEP which seeks to develop worldwide consensus on enabling expanded use of economical, carbon-free nuclear energy to meet growing electricity demand. This will use a nuclear fuel cycle that enhances energy security, while promoting non-proliferation.
Washington has turned focus on nuclear energy in a big way after a gap of more than three decades in view of skyrocketing oil prices, which have given a high degree of diplomatic and political leverage to the oil-rich countries.
The following are the key elements of new measures announced by the US to expand the use of nuclear power while reducing the threat of nuclear proliferation:
GNEP would achieve its goal by having nations with secure, advanced nuclear capabilities provide fuel services — fresh fuel and recovery of used fuel — to other nations who agree to employ nuclear energy for power generation purposes only. The closed fuel cycle model envisioned by this partnership requires development and deployment of technologies that enable recycling and consumption of long-lived radioactive waste.
The partnership would demonstrate the critical technologies needed to change the way used nuclear fuel is managed - to build recycling technologies that enhance energy security in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, while simultaneously promoting non-proliferation.
The second meeting of the Steering Committee of the India-US Energy Dialogue also considered the following issues, according to the Ministry of External Affairs: