Hillary to Report on Reprocessing Deal to US Congress

Washington, May 5 (IANS) US President Barack Obama has authorised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to inform the US Congress about the conclusion of the nuclear fuel reprocessing arrangements under the landmark India-US civil nuclear deal.

The White House announced the delegation of the certification and reporting functions under section 201(b) of the United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act in a presidential memo to her Tuesday.

Section 201(b) requires the President to inform the Congress the reasons for entering into reprocessing arrangements with a detailed description, including the text, of the proposed arrangement.

The president is also required to issue a "certification that the United States will pursue efforts to ensure that any other nation that permits India to reprocess or otherwise alter in form or content nuclear material that the nation has transferred to India or nuclear material and by-product material used in or produced through the use of nuclear material, non-nuclear material, or equipment that it has transferred to India requires India to do so under similar arrangements and procedures."

For approval, the reprocessing deal does not require a vote in the US Congress. It would come into effect unless it's disapproved by a joint resolution of Congress within 30 working days of being informed.

Last week Clinton was delegated the authority to inform the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee of "any material inconsistencies" with respect to the content and timing of notifications that New Delhi is to provide to the International Atomic Energy Agency under paragraph 14(a) of India's Safeguards Agreement.

The US law also requires the president to report on a variety of activities that could be undertaken pursuant to the nuclear agreement.

These include all provision of sensitive nuclear technology to India, any United States efforts to help India develop a strategic reserve of nuclear fuel, any negotiations that have occurred or are ongoing under Article 6(iii.) of the Agreement; any transfers beyond the territorial jurisdiction of India and any enrichment carried out pursuant to Article 6 of the Agreement.

India and US announced on March 29 that they have concluded an agreement for a nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in India. But the administration is yet to notify the Congress about it.

India had reportedly insisted on conclusion of the reprocessing agreement before awarding any contracts to the US firms under the nuclear deal. India in turn is committed to adopting a nuclear liability bill to permit US firms to undertake nuclear projects under US law.


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Title: Hillary to Report on Reprocessing Deal to US Congress

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