India Japan Sign Civil Nuclear Agreement

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India and Japan signed the civil nuclear agreement during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tokyo.

This Agreement provides for bilateral cooperation in the field of Nuclear Energy. This would provide for the development of nuclear power projects in India and thus strengthening of energy security of the country. The present agreement would open up the door for collaboration between Indian and Japanese industries in our Civil Nuclear programme.

The two countries had reached a broad agreement for cooperation in civil nuclear energy sector during Abe’s visit to India in December last year.

The deal would allow Japan to export nuclear technology to India, making it the first non-NPT signatory to have such a deal with Tokyo. It would also cement the bilateral economic and security ties as the two countries warm up to counter an assertive China.

It will boost bilateral economic and security ties and facilitate US-based players to set up atomic plants in India.

There was political resistance in Japan – the only country to suffer atomic bombings during World War II – against a nuclear deal with India, particularly after the disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in 2011.

Japan is a major player in the nuclear energy market and an atomic deal with it will make it easier for US-based nuclear plant makers Westinghouse Electric Corporation and GE Energy Inc to set up atomic plants in India as both these conglomerates have Japanese investments.

Other nations who have signed civil nuclear deal with India include the US, Russia, South Korea, Mangolia, France, Namibia, Argentina, Canada, Kazakhstan and Australia.

Negotiations between the two countries for a civil nuclear deal began in 2010. However, those talks were suspended after the March 2011 accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant.

India was largely excluded from international trade in nuclear plant and materials for over three decades because of its position outside the comprehensive safeguards regime of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

Special agreements ended its isolation in 2009 and the country may now engage in nuclear trade with those countries with which it has since signed cooperation agreements: Australia, Canada, France, Kazakhstan, Russia, the UK and the USA.

Foreign technology and fuel are expected to boost India’s nuclear power plans considerably. Nuclear power is the fourth-largest source of electricity in India after thermal, hydroelectric and renewable sources of electricity. India has 21 nuclear reactors in operation in 7 nuclear power plants, having an installed capacity of 6780 MW and producing a total of 30,292.91 GWh of electricity while 6 more reactors are under construction and are expected to generate an additional 4,300 MW.

India’s nuclear power market is estimated at $150 billion and the country aims to boost energy generated from atomic plants to a quarter of the total by 2050 from about 3.5 percent now, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The pact could benefit Japanese nuclear-component makers including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Hitachi Ltd. that face shrinking business prospects after the 2011 Fukushima disaster led to the shutdown of the country’s reactor fleet for safety checks.

Japan’s nuclear components are critical to the progress of U.S. and French atomic projects in India. The civil atomic agreement between Japan and India may lead to a deepening of ties and the eventual transfer of defense technologies after Abe relaxed his country’s arms export ban in 2014.

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