Tag Archives: US Japan India nuclear power

Entering the Nuclear Elite: India and the NSG

Countries supporting India's membership in the NSG

Six years after they began negotiating, India and Japan finally signed on November 2016 a landmark nuclear agreement opening the doors for India to commission nuclear reactors by global entities and possibly boosting India’s claim for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).  The deal is significant in view of the reservations of Japan, the only country to have been attacked by nuclear weapons, and for India’s efforts to diversify the sources of equipment and technology it will need to boost nuclear power generation.

The completion of the nuclear deal comes as the NSG is meeting in Vienna to discuss, among other issues, if non-NPT (nuclear non-proliferation Treaty) countries like India can enter this exclusive grouping. ..

[T]he Japan nuclear deal had a number of similarities with the US deal.  However, while the US deal was done in four stages, the Japan pact compressed all four stages – a 123 agreement, reprocessing, administrative arrangements and NSG – into one. In addition, Jaishankar said, Japan’s own concerns meant that nuclear safety and security received bigger space in this deal.
Japan, like the US, has built in a clause that it would cease cooperation if India conducted nuclear tests… India had taken on certain non-proliferation commitments in September 2008 while applying for the NSG waiver. India stood by these, and these have been the basis for its application to membership of the NSG….
Although India signed a nuclear deal with the US, it needed a similar deal with Japan to actually realise the deal. India commissioned six EPR reactors from Areva and another four from Toshiba-Westinghouse. Both companies use Japanese components which would not be forthcoming in the absence of a nuclear deal with Japan. In particular, Japan Steel Works is the global leader for manufacture of the reactor vessel, which is a core component.

Excerpts from India, Japan sign landmark civil nuclear deal, Times of India, Nov. 12, 2016

The Japan-India Nuclear Deal, 2015

Smiling Buddha (Pokhran-I) was the assigned code name of India's first successful nuclear bomb test on 18 May 1974. image from wikipedia

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s agreement in principle to supply nuclear power technology to India may run counter to Japan’s stated commitment against the proliferation of nuclear weapons.  The deal was reached on Dec. 12, 2015 during a meeting between Abe, who is visiting New Delhi, and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi.  If an actual nuclear power agreement is signed, it would mark the first for Japan with a nation that has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.  The latest move by Japan was met swiftly with criticism in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Japan and India began negotiating a nuclear power agreement in 2010 when the Democratic Party of Japan was still in power. Japan had wanted a provision in any such deal that would allow it to immediately stop any nuclear power cooperation should India resume testing of nuclear weapons, which has been on hold since 1998.  Although a joint declaration and a memorandum regarding a nuclear power agreement were released on Dec. 12, 2015 no provisions were included regarding a suspension of cooperation should India resume nuclear testing.  In the joint declaration, the two leaders confirmed that a nuclear power agreement would be signed after completion of the technological details through further negotiations between the two nations.

Excerpt from Japan’s nuclear power deal in principle with India a first with an NPT non-signer,  ASAHI SHIMBUN, Dec. 13, 2015

 

United States, India and Japan: Nuclear Cooperation and Beyond

India and Japan will firm up strategic ties during their summit meeting next week with a $4.5-billion grant for an ambitious infrastructure project, announcing Tokyo’s participation in next year’s India-U.S. naval exercises and holding talks on moving ahead with India-Japan-U.S. trilateral cooperation.    Talks will also be held on a bilateral civil nuclear cooperation accord. Although Japan will shortly sign similar pacts with Russia, Jordan, Vietnam and South Korea, prospects of an accord with India, a non Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatory, sailing through the Japanese Diet are dim…..[But there should] be no problem in Japanese companies supplying components to French and U.S. civil nuclear companies despite the absence of an India-Japan civil nuclear agreement. “Our understanding is that an agreement is required for a comprehensive partnership. But individual items can be sold by Japanese companies [which have a near monopoly on reactor vessels and its parts] to companies such as Areva under a licence from the government,” said sources.

Discussion on rare earthswill be held for the second summit meeting in a row. The decks have been cleared with the removal of Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL) from the Japanese End Users List in August this year. The Prime Ministers are likely to discuss this sensitive subject that entails a joint venture between IREL and Toyota Tsusho for a plant in Orissa. India stopped exporting rare earths seven years ago to stop depletion of mineral resources at a time when international prices were weak.

Sandeep Dikshit, India, Japan to firm up strategic ties, The Hindu, Dec. 25, 2011