G-8 nations vow to curb ENR technology, surprise India

G-8 nations vow to curb ENR technology, surprise India

In a joint statement on non-proliferation, the G-8 nations also pushed other members of the 45-nation NSG to reach a consensus within this year to disallow transfer of ENR to countries which are not signatories to NPT.

The statement was issued after the Summit that was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in L'Aquila in Italy.

The move, which would have an impact on India, comes even though the NSG had last September given New Delhi "clean" and "full" waiver for civil nuclear cooperation with the world despite it being a non-signatory to NPT.

"To reduce the proliferation risks associated with the spread of enrichment and reprocessing facilities, equipment and technology, we welcome the progress that continues to be made by the NSG on mechanisms to strengthen controls on transfers of such enrichment and reprocessing items and technology," said the statement.

While noting that the NSG has not yet reached consensus on this issue, the G-8 nations said "we agree that NSG discussions have yielded useful and constructive proposals contained in the NSG's 'clean text' developed at the November 20,2008 Consultative Group meeting." 

Pending completion of work in the NSG, the statement said, "we agree to implement this text on a national basis in the next year."

It also urged the NSG to "accelerate its work and swiftly reach consensus this year to allow for global implementation of a strengthened mechanism on transfers of enrichment and reprocessing facilities, equipment and technology."

The decision of the G-8, which includes the US, took India by surprise even though officials here insist that New Delhi does not need the technology as it possesses it.

The issue of ENR transfer had been a sticking point between India and the US during negotiations for the bilateral civil nuclear agreement, with Washington refusing to yield on it citing its non-proliferation policies.

However, the NSG, while granting the waiver at its plenary in Vienna on September last year, stated that "participating governments may transfer nuclear-related dual-use equipment, materials, software and related technology to India for peaceful purposes and for use in IAEA safeguarded civil nuclear facilities".

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