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India Japan Civil Nuclear Cooperation Pact Essential for Bringing a Network of Nuclear Energy Cooperation for India

India – Japan Civil Nuclear Cooperation pact that was signed in Tokyo during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan on November 11, 2016 came into force on Thursday, July 20, 2017 when India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Japanese Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu exchanged diplomatic notes marking operationalisation of the pact.  This civil nuclear cooperation deal that took over six years of negotiations provides for collaboration between their industries in the field and allows US and French nuclear firms, which have alliances with Japanese companies, to conduct nuclear commerce with India. India had signed a landmark nuclear deal with the US in 2008, clearing the path for the country to source nuclear power plants and technology from international markets but with Japanese companies in possession of critical technologies, such as steel shields covering a nuclear reactor core, an accord with Japan was pivotal for India. India and Japan have been cooperating in this area through multilateral for a including the ITER International Fusion Energy Organisation.

  • India-Japan cooperation in the peaceful uses of Nuclear Energy landmark pact provides for the development of nuclear power projects in India and thus strengthening of energy security of the country.
  • Nuclear energy provides a safe, environmentally friendly and sustainable source of energy which contributes to energy security.
  • India and Japan have advanced capabilities in the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology which can contribute to welfare of their respective people.
  • Both the nations are initial members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and have reaffirmed their support for its objectives and its applicable safeguard system and its importance in the international cooperation in the development and uses of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
  • They have reaffirmed their commitments to achieve the highest standards of radiation and nuclear safety based on scientific approach, operating experience and best practices followed by the nuclear industry, as well as to ensure that the use of radiation and atomic energy in all its applications is safe for the health of radiation workers, members of the public and the environment.
  • They have commitments to nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear safety and nuclear security in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including effective national export controls and adequate physical protection of nuclear material.
  • There is desire to develop cooperation between both the nations on the basis of respect for sovereignty, equality, mutual benefit and reciprocity, and
  • To promote full cooperation between them in the development and uses of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes on a stable, reliable and predictable basis.
  • The deal allows Japan to export nuclear technology to India, making New Delhi the first Non-NPT signatory to have such a deal with Tokyo.
  • Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy
  • The pact opens up the door for collaboration between Indian and Japanese industries in Civil Nuclear programme.
  • The pact enables India to obtain high-quality components for nuclear reactors, especially ones that the country was negotiating for with Westinghouse (Electric Co.) and (French). Westinghouse Electric Company is a subsidiary of Japan’s Toshiba Corp. Areva, too, accesses key reactor components from Japanese firms.
  • This deal was essential for bringing a network of nuclear energy cooperation for India, especially with the U.S. as prominent American nuclear companies are owned by the Japanese nuclear majors like Toshiba.
  • There was political resistance in Japan against a nuclear deal with India, particularly after the disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in 2011 as Japan is the only country to suffer atomic bombings during World War II.
  • Japan is a major player in the nuclear energy market and an atomic deal with it will make it easier for US-based nuclear plant makers Westinghouse Electric Corporation and GE Energy Inc to set up atomic plants in India as both these conglomerates have Japanese investments.
  • Japan will also assist India in nuclear waste management and will undertake joint manufacturing of nuclear power plant components under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • Other nations who have signed civil nuclear deal with India include the US, Russia, South Korea, Mangolia, France, Namibia, Argentina, Canada, Kazakhstan and Australia.

India currently has 5.7 gigawatts (GW) of nuclear power generation capacity. This accounts for 2% of the total power capacity, but this is expected to change with a sharp increase in power generation from atomic plants over the next 16 years as Asia’s third largest economy moves away from fossil fuels for its energy needs. India’s Department of Atomic Energy’s target is to have 63GW of nuclear power capacity by 2032.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi after signing the pact had said, “The memorandum we signed on civil nuclear energy cooperation is more than just an agreement for commerce and clean energy, it is a shining symbol of a new level of mutual confidence and strategic partnership in the cause of peaceful and secure world. No friend will matter more in realising India’s economic dreams than Japan. We have made enormous progress in economic cooperation as also in our regional partnership and security cooperation.”

According to the External Affairs Ministry, “This Agreement is a reflection of the strategic partnership between India and Japan and will pave the way for enhanced cooperation in energy security and clean energy. It seeks to promote full cooperation between the two countries in the development and uses of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes on a stable, reliable and predictable basis.”

   Fukushima                                                        India – Japan

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S Jaishankar & Kenji Hiramatsu                    Nuclear Power Plant 

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