U.S. Nuclear Cooperation with India: Issues for Congress [Updated May 20, 2008]   [open pdf - 233KB]

This CRS report discusses the cooperation between the United States and India in the development of a civil nuclear energy program. The report begins by discussing recent developments in the U.S.-Indo nuclear cooperation. In December 2006, President Bush "signed the bill into law (P.L. 109-401)," however, there are certain actions that must be met before "nuclear cooperation can proceed." After this, the report goes into providing background information into U.S.-Indo cooperation in the nuclear sphere. U.S. involvement began during the mid-1950's when it helped India build a nuclear reactor. The report also looks into certain "issues for consideration" that arise due to this nuclear deal. One of these issues is the impact on other nations (especially members of the Nonproliferation Regime) as well as the impact on U.S. Nonproliferation policies. The report concludes by discussing potential issues for the U.S. Congress to consider as a result of this nuclear deal. The report also weighs the potential costs and benefits of the deal- "nonproliferation experts have argued that the potential costs of nuclear cooperation with India to U.S. and global nonproliferation policy may far exceed the benefits. At a time when the United States has called for all states to strengthen their domestic export control laws and for tighter multilateral controls, U.S. nuclear cooperation with India would require loosening its own nuclear export legislation, as well as creating a NSG exception. This is at odds with nearly three decades of U.S. nonproliferation policy and practice. Some believe the proposed agreement undercuts the basic bargain of the NPT, could undermine hard-won restrictions on nuclear supply, and could prompt some suppliers, like China, to justify supplying other states outside the NPT regime, like Pakistan. Others contend that allowing India access to the international uranium market will free up its domestic uranium sources to make more nuclear weapons."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33016
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