India, South Korea nuclear pact soon

By Arvind Padmanabhan, IANS
Thursday, November 11, 2010

SEOUL - India is expected to ink a civil nuclear pact with South Korea soon, knowledgeable sources said here Thursday.

“It is just a matter of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s,” said a key source on the margins of the G20 Summit, where the Indian delegation is led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon had told reporters in Hanoi last month that the text of the agreement had been virtually finalised.

“It now awaits signature,” he said after the meeting between Manmohan Singh and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak during the ASEAN Summit.

The sources said some “minor issues” remained to be resolved.

South Korea is the sixth largest exporter in the area of nuclear commerce. Its state-run Korea Electric Power Corp signed a pact with the public sector Nuclear Power Corp of India in August for cooperation on technical matters and data exchange.

In June, Canada, which had led India’s nuclear isolation in the mid 1970s and late 1990s, became the ninth country with which India has a peacetime atomic energy pact.

The other countries are the US, France, Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Argentina, Namibia and Britain.

According to official data, India currently has 19 nuclear reactors at six locations, all operated by the state-run Nuclear Power Corp of India, with a capacity to produce 4,560 MW of electricity.

The plan is to quadruple this capacity to 21,180 MW by 2020, taking the share of nuclear energy in India’s total installed electricity-generation capacity of around 150,000 MW, from around 3 percent to a little over 10 percent.

(Arvind Padmanabhan can be reached at

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