Canada, India Resolve Impasse Over Nuclear Power

From The Vancouver Sun

By Mark Kennedy

Canada and India have resolved a dispute over how to implement a two-year-old nuclear co-operation agreement that will see Canadian uranium exported to Indian authorities for the production of energy.

The development was announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper Tuesday on the second day of his visit here, shortly after a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Man-mohan Singh.

“Our government is committed to promoting greater trade and investment with India,” Harper said in a written statement.

He added that the nuclear deal will help Canadian companies “play a greater role in meeting India’s growing energy needs.”

Canada and India have been haggling over “administrative” arrangements on a nuclear deal that was announced with great fanfare by Harper and Singh in Toronto in 2010.

That nuclear co-operation agreement came after decades of distrust sparked by India’s use of Canadian nuclear technology for a weapons test in 1974.

When the nuclear accord was reached two years ago, it appeared to easily clear the way for Canada to sell its uranium and build reactors in India. But the issue became mired in negotiations over the details. Canada insisted that it wants India to provide information in the future to demonstrate that Canadian nuclear materials are used for peaceful purposes – not for further nuclear weapons proliferation.

India balked at this request, saying it wants to work through the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Under the administrative deal reached by negotiators, both countries will establish a “joint committee” to share information.

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