INDIA-US NUCLEAR RELATIONS: DISSIPATING COOD WILL
Sanior Indian ottlclala, concerned isouc aafeCy hatarda at efte General Blectrlc built Tarapur raaeeera, are arcing Prime Minister Gandhi toaJor iaaua of the OS failure to supply spare parca wAen Secretary SAuJt* visits later tnia month, rne Chairman of the Tntfian Atomic Bnaryy Commission told US officials on Mayftae one of tn* two reactors at th* power station Aad been iftat down because ic coujd no Jonjrer be operated safely and warned tAat tAi* wouldia*or puMJe controversy.
tht Chairman has publicly denied the existence ot
any hazards, tba Indian prasa has raportad radiation releaaea and overexposure of plant personnel at tha Tarapur reactor*. US technical exports baliare that the Tarapur reactors can no longer
b* operated eaftly without th* us jperentf th*t th*
pOta/ltJjJ KI for dil ! VOl vfjic/ th* r* -ji- of
eion into eAe crowed 1 i j; araa. Tn ourAtlAttl in eJle Jjirfi ja pad.JeTJCiMr offsr y
Tha Spare parts Issue
Problenj with the RM^nr,
Aaseeeaenta of OS technical exp*rte who have atudled the Indian spar* parte request* information, eupplled by tha Indlam on the reaetpre, Indian pree* repor t
aii.r: chat tha Tarapur caactori can nooperated Tafaly without tha OS epare parta and thatextets for an accident Involving tha releaaeInto tht environment. Recent Indian presethat Tarapur workers hava alraady baan expoeed toexcess of internationally acceptedtha atmosphere.
rr.at -Indian offlclala had noted high radiation
levels at tha plant because defective fual eleaente had baan ueed toenj^ratlon alnca tha US cut of;'
th* US failure to aupply spare partiesultant reactor shutdown wouldajor public Isaue. "pQ
India made its first formal request to the United states for spare parts In2 and aubmitted Its first detailed list of needa In July. The United States has told the Indiana that any export of parts must comply with the Nuclear Non-proliferation Act, or the law must be amended, and that It would be helpful if Congress could be assured that India had no current plans to reprocess Tarapir fuel, which the Indians confirmed to US representatives In J
believe that Indian objectives on the Tarapur issue a
prolonged shutdown of the Tarapur Enactors. Because the Indian civil nuclear program has come under strong press and oppoaitlon attack for cost overruns, safety hazards, and failure to provide cheap, reliable electricity, we balleve that th* Indian nuclear astab-ishment is reluctant to shut down Tarapur for an extended period, even if major safety problems exist.
Secure the spare parts, in our view, India genuinely needs the parts from the United States. He believe that Indian Industry lacks tht experience or proprietaryto make the parts quickly enough toong shutdown of Tarapur. According to US and fortign reactor vendors, moreover, only tha United States can supply the parts for tha American-made reactors. We ballave that Indian nuclear officials would also Ilka to avoid the high costs of aelf-auffIclancy for tha remainingears o. tha projected uaeful Ufa of tha reactors.
Avoid broader confrontation on nuclear Issues with the
United state.,In our judgment. New Delhi wants to
retain US good will so that Waehington will take Xndlai
w mimib cne
resulted from her visit to Waahington and toalance in Indian relations with both the United states and the Soviae Union.
anynta that would extend or expand the US role In the IndUn nuclear program. He believe that the inaian nuclear establishment continues to use thetndence to justify its costly and autarchic civil power program. According to press reports, opposition parties criticised last fall's agreement
between India and tha United Statea for refueling the Tarapur reactor becauae It failed to terminate all OS controls over the nuclear program. In responae, Gandhi haa told the Indian parliament that all eafeguards on the Tarapur reactor and lta spent fuel will end when the agreement with tha Onited States expires In.
Tarapur and India'" Nuclear Policy
In our view, an extended shutdown of the Tarapur reactoremonstration that the plant has major aafety problesa would enhance the chances that Raja Ramanna, currently Director of the Bhaba Atonic Research Center, would aucceed Honl Sathna as chairman of tha Atonic Energy Conmlsslon. Sethna will reach retlrenent age this fall andmustrecelva fornal permission to
working energetically to replace Sethna as the country's eenlor nuclear policy adviser. Ramanna argues that Sejhnihai .failed toorkable civil nuclear power program. gl^Hin Ramanna
tiei wirntne Soviet Onion, including acceptanceoviet offer to provideower reactors. Inmmmmmmtmafamam
India to sake substantial progress in expanding iti generating capacity.
In our Judgment, the Indian nuclear establishment Is likely to press Gandhi toirm commitment from Secretary Shultx to resolve the spare parts Issue. He believe that New Delhi willarder line In the diacusslons If revelations of alleged aafety hazards at the Tarapur reactors continue in the Indian press. The Indians nay even threaten to reprocess Tarapur spent fuel in order to pressure the Onited States to reverse what they regard as inexcusable delay and bad faith in its failure to deliver the spare parts. In our view,lnor but fully documented release of radioactivity from Tarapur into the crowded Bombay area would provoke an outburst of anti-American aentlnent by the Indian public that would threaten to discredit nuclear officials such as Sethna who haveesolution ofIssues with the Onited States. Orvder these circumstances, we believe that Ramanna and others whoess cooperative posture toward OS nuclear nonprollferation Interests could take control of the nuclear program.Original document.