Civil Nuclear Energy Current Affairs

India, Russia to collaborate on Bangladesh nuclear plant

India is collaborating with Russia to build Rooppur nuclear power plant in Bangladesh. It will be first initiative under an India-Russia nuclear deal to undertake atomic energy projects in third countries. It will also be India’s first atomic energy venture abroad.

Rooppur Nuclear project (capacity of 2*1200 MWs) is Bangladesh’s first atomic energy project. It is being built with Russia’s help near Dhaka. After commissioning of two units, each with capacity of 1200 MWs, Bangladesh will be third South Asian country after India and Pakistan to harness atomic energy for energy purpose.

Background

In December 2014, India and Russia had signed ‘Strategic Vision for Strengthening Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy’ to explore opportunities for sourcing materials, equipment and services from Indian industry for construction of Russian-designed nuclear power plants in third countries. Moreover, India had signed a civil nuclear cooperation deal, along with two more agreements, with Bangladesh in April 2017 under which two sides can supply and manufacture equipment, material for atomic power plant.

Comment

The nuclear deal with Bangladesh allows Indian nuclear establishment to grow, internationally as for years it was not been able to grow due to sanctions imposed on New Delhi post 1974 Pokhran tests. However, it is not clear what kind of nuclear collaboration India is having with Bangladesh since both countries are not members of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), an elite grouping of 48 members that prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling  export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons.

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India and Japan Sign Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement

After years of negotiations, India and Japan have signed a bilateral Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement on 11 November, 2016. With this, India has become the first non-NPT country with which Japan has signed a Civil Nuclear Agreement.

The civil nuclear agreement between the two countries was not realized so gar manly because India did not fit into Japan’s ‘Hikaku San Gensoku’ or three non-nuclear principles. These principles adopted in a resolution by Japanese parliament provide that Japan would neither possess nor manufacture nuclear weapons, nor shall it permit their introduction into Japanese territory.

The talks for Civil Nuclear Agreement between the two countries had started when a joint statement in 2006 with joint statement by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. However, the discussions took five years to move to negotiation stage in 2010. The cause of delay was political opposition within Japan from anti-nuclear lobbies and media.

Till now, India has also signed civil nuclear deal with 10 other countries viz. United States, Russia, South Korea, Mongolia, France, Namibia, Argentina, Canada, Kazakhstan, and Australia.

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