News Release

U.S.-India Nuclear Deal * Subsidizes Industry * Leaves Victims Vulnerable * Violates NPT


Al Jazeera reports: “Critics have expressed concern after U.S. President Barack Obama announced a breakthrough agreement with India on civilian nuclear cooperation, saying little is known about the deal and it’s unclear whether compensation would be paid to victims of any nuclear disaster.”
Reuters reports Daniel Roderick, president and CEO of Toshiba-backed Westinghouse, called the deal a “breakthrough.”

Available for a limited number of interviews, Alvarez is a specialist in nuclear policy, a former senior policy adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Energy and now a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies.He said today: “This agreement to shield U.S. corporations from liabilities due to negligence provides nuclear accident victims with little to no chance for compensation. In doing so, it leaves potential victims of a nuclear accident in the same fix as the real victims of the Bhopal chemical catastrophe. The liability limit is capped at $122 million — 80 times less the limit set in the U.S. for nuclear accidents.

“Last year, a study by the the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission estimated that a major accident involving a spent nuclear fuel pool fire in the U.S. would impact 9,400 square miles with a long term displacement of 4,000,000 persons. Even though the probability of such accidents is considered to be extremely low, private insurance refuses to cover nuclear power plants. In a developing nation, such as India, fear of liability from nuclear accidents is much greater than in the U.S. due to the lack of a robust nuclear safety infrastructure.”

ALICE SLATER, aslater at
Slater is with the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and the Abolition 2000 coordinating committee. She said today: “Selling nuclear technology to India violates the Non-Proliferation Treaty’s prohibition on providing ‘peaceful’ nuclear technology to non-NPT parties.

“India, together with Pakistan and Israel, never signed the Non-Proliferation treaty so the U.S. is violating its treaty obligations by promoting nuclear power sales in India. And the U.S. has also received a commitment from India to pass limited liability laws for nuclear reactor manufacturers, as the manufacturers of this toxic technology are unwilling to bear the full financial burden of any potential Fukushima or Chernobyl-type catastrophe. Obama has thus enabled the reactor manufacturers to peddle their toxic technology to India with the possibility of inflicting new nuclear nightmares upon Asia without any crippling financial liability for the manufacturers should a future nuclear meltdown occur.

“Finally, by encouraging India to go nuclear the U.S. is actually exacerbating climate change, since by not investing in this costly and unforgiving nuclear technology, the world could avoid much more toxic carbon pollution by investing those costly sums in solar, wind, hydro, geothermal energy technology and efficiency measures, which begin earning those carbon savings much more swiftly.”

Also, see IPA news release: “Gandhi Derides Policies of Materialism and Militarism” featuring Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.