DEWINE ANNOUNCES COSPONSORSHIP OF BILL ON U.S.-INDIA CIVILIAN NUCLEAR COOPERATION
U.S. Senator Mike DeWine today announced his cosponsorship of the Administration's bill regarding the U.S.-India Civilian Nuclear Agreement (S. 2429), which was introduced by Senator Richard Lugar (R-ID). The bill would authorize the President to waive the application of certain requirements under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 with respect to India. The bill was drafted following a July 2005 meeting between President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh where the two leaders declared their resolve to "transform the relationship between their countries and establish a global partnership." This bill would allow for the U.S. to sell certain advanced technologies and materials that India needs to further advance its nuclear power generation in exchange for India's agreement to declare 14 out of its 22 nuclear facilities as non-military and subject to international inspections and other controls.
"I am pleased that this agreement would ensure that a majority of India's nuclear reactors are placed under international review, improving nuclear safety in the region," said Senator DeWine. "This agreement also has important economic implications for the U.S. by allowing our country to sell certain advanced technologies to India."
In order for the new agreement between President Bush and Prime Minister Singh to be implemented, the U.S. must change the conditions of the Atomic Energy Act that created the Non-Proliferation Treaty commitments. This would then allow for the U.S. to export nuclear fuel and technology that are sought by India.
A longtime supporter of a stronger relationship between the U.S. and India, Senator DeWine is a member of the U.S. Senate Caucus on India. The group's goal is to develop closer cooperation between the U.S. and India. In 2000, he cosigned a letter to the Senate and House leadership requesting that then Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee be invited to address a joint session of Congress. The request was accepted. Shortly after the Tsunami in January of 2005, Senator DeWine traveled with Senators Frist, McConnell, and Coleman to the affected region including India. During his visit, Senator DeWine had the opportunity to meet with the Indian Prime Minister, Minister of Health and Foreign Minister. He expressed his condolences for India's loss in the Tsunami disaster and spoke with the Minister of Health about curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS in India and worldwide.
This bill currently has eight other cosponsors including Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), Senator George Allen (R-VA), Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN).