The proposed US legislation binds India to revealing such critical national security secrets as the amount of uranium mined in India each year, the rate of production of nuclear explosives and their number and capabilities (US ally Pakistan would find this data very useful in planning a nuclear first strike), and full intrusive determination as to whether any imported uranium is going into the production of nuclear weapons. What is incomprehensible is why Manmohan Singh agreed to such conditions.
US ?experts?, joined by those perennial India-baiters from the Scandinavian countries, keep claiming that the route India has taken, of using thorium as the feedstock, will not work. They may be reminded that in the 1960s, they were similarly dismissive of the AEC'splan to produce plutonium by chemically dissolving irradiated uranium, and yet by 1995, the Commission had set up a functioning plutonium plant. The reason why the US and the European powers are against thorium is that such a technology would give an advantage to India, which alone possesses vast stocks of the mineral. Incidentally, there are reports that the Government of India is allowing foreign entities to take away huge stocks of thorium. If true, this would be an act of irresponsibility with few parallels.
Mysterious NGOs have come forward to stop uranium mining in locations within India where the mineral is present in abundance, and yet nothing has been done by the Sonia sarkar to expand domestic production of this critical material. Instead, the UPA boss has gone ahead with forcing the signing of an agreement that would permanently bound India. The tragedy is that this is taking place?at not by coincidence?at the precise time when the country has reached the final stages of its thorium-based Fast Breeder Reactor Programme. Uranium-233 was produced as far back as in 1993, while the first reactor using this fuel was commissioned domestically two years later. In 1996, uranium reprocessing began in earnest, and today the country is on track to generate vast amounts of energy by the thorium route by 2011 at the latest. Unless the public of this country understands the facts and mobilizes to prevent this strangulation of India'sfuture, this period will go down in infamy in the history of our tortured land.
The question is: Why is (UPA) so eager to sign away India'snuclear future,and at such a horrendous financial and technological cost? The answer may lie in the fact that an indigenous programme would generate almost zero slush money, whereas importing $ 40 billion-$ 60 billion of nuclear components would?at a minimum, calculated well below the standard ?Defense Rate??generate around Rs 16,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore in ?political? money.