The United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act, which US President George W Bush signed on Monday, will strengthen the partnership between the world's two largest democracies and help the two countries meet the energy and security challenges of the 21st century.
The Act will allow the two countries to share civilian nuclear technology and bring India's civilian nuclear program under the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Nuclear cooperation will help India produce more of energy from clean, safe civilian nuclear power, and also help both the economies grow.
The following, according to the US administration, are the highlights of the act.
- The act will help strengthen cooperation between India and the United States on energy, one of the most important challenges of the 21st century.
India is now the world's fifth largest consumer of energy, and its demand for electricity is expected almost to double by 2015. The United States has a clear interest in helping India meet this demand with nuclear energy. By helping India expand its use of safe, clean nuclear energy, this Act lays the foundation for a new strategic partnership between our two nations that will help ease India's demands for fossil fuels and ease pressure on global markets.
- This act will help promote economic growth. It helps open an important new market for American businesses by paving the way for investment in India's civilian nuclear industry for the first time. This new trade will help American companies gain new customers abroad and create new jobs here at home.
- The act will help make it possible for India to reduce emissions and improve its environment. Today, India produces nearly 70 percent of its electricity from coal. Burning coal produces air pollution and greenhouse gases, but nuclear power can generate massive amounts of electricity without producing any air pollution or greenhouse gases.
By sharing advanced civilian nuclear technology, we will help India meet its growing demand for energy and lower emissions at the same time.
- This act will help keep America safe by paving the way for India to join the global effort to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.
India has conducted its civilian nuclear energy program in a safe and responsible way for decades.
Now, in return for access to American technology, India has agreed to open its civilian nuclear power program to international inspection.