India's Nuclear Separation Plan: Issues and Views [Updated July 12, 2006]   [open pdf - 248KB]

"On July 18, 2005, President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed a joint statement that announced the creation of a 'global partnership,' which would include 'full' civil nuclear cooperation between the United States and India. This is at odds with nearly three decades of U.S. nonproliferation policy and practice. President Bush committed to persuading Congress to amend the pertinent laws to approve the agreement, as well as persuading U.S. allies to create an exception to multilateral Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) guidelines for India to allow for nuclear cooperation. India committed to separating its civilian from its military nuclear facilities, declaring civilian facilities to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and placing them under IAEA safeguards, and signing an Additional Protocol, which provides enhanced access and information for IAEA inspectors. The United States is obligated under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to ensure that any cooperation it provides to a non-nuclear weapon state does not contribute to that state's capability to produce nuclear weapons. In 1978, Congress passed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Act, which strengthened the restrictions on U.S. nuclear cooperation to include comprehensive (full-scope) safeguards on all nuclear material in non-nuclear weapon states, specifically to help ensure that peaceful cooperation would not be diverted to weapons purposes. The 1978 Act followed India's 1974 peaceful nuclear explosion, which demonstrated to most observers that nuclear technology originally transferred for peaceful purposes could be misused. That test also provided the impetus for creating the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). In 1992, the NSG adopted the full-scope safeguards condition for nuclear exports, and the 1995 NPT Extension Conference and the 2000 NPT Review Conference both endorsed the NSG's new requirement."

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