The Canadian-Indian Nuclear Horn (Dan 7)


 ‘Canada-India uranium supply deal likely’

Last Updated: Saturday, April 11, 2015 – 14:34

Toronto: A deal between Canada’s biggest uranium producer, Cameco, and India to supply fuel for nuclear power plants is likely to be signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the North American country this month, a Canadian daily has reported.

“There is a fairly late-stage negotiation on and I think it’s likely to conclude successfully,” The Globe and Mail on Friday quoted a source familiar with the Canada-India uranium supply talks as saying.

“I just don’t know whether it’s going to conclude by next week.”

Modi will visit Canada from April 14 to 16 on the last leg of his ongoing three-nation tour.

The report cited a Facebook post by the Indian Prime Minister in which he stated that he looked “forward to resuming our civil nuclear energy cooperation with Canada, especially for sourcing uranium fuel for our nuclear power plants”.

Canada had banned exports of uranium and nuclear hardware to India in the 1970s after New Delhi allegedly used Canadian technology to build a nuclear bomb. 

However, the two countries turned the page in 2013 with the signing of the Canada-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, which effectively meant that Ottawa no longer saw New Delhi as a nuclear pariah but as a safe, responsible nuclear power despite the latter’s refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Globe and Mail cited the source as saying that if the nuclear deal does not come through during Modi’s visit “then Ottawa and New Delhi will reiterate their commitment to Canada-India nuclear cooperation and say, ‘Cameco is in the middle of negotiations and we expect an announcement in due course’.”

Stewart Beck, who was Canada’s high commissioner to India from 2010 to 2014, is optimistic about the Cameco export deal as, according to him, high-level visits help clinch agreements.

Modi will be the first sitting prime minister of India to make a bilateral visit to Canada in 40 years. Four percent of Canada’s population is of Indian origin.

“The visit will, I think, increase the likelihood of a deal being concluded,” Beck said.

According to the report, top Cameco executives will be in Ottawa during Modi’s visit but the company said there are no plans for a private meeting with the Indian prime minister.

“We’ve been meeting with government officials and working towards a long-term supply agreement with India. At this point, we have not made any sales to India, but discussions continue,” Cameco spokesman Rob Gereghty was quoted as saying.

In case there is an agreement, Canada’s nuclear regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, will have to approve shipments of the fuel. The deal would be for five or 10 years or more, according to the report. 

Indian High Commissioner to Canada Vishnu Prakash said India’s energy needs are growing rapidly as more people move to cities and the economy grows.

“We have a multi-fold objective,” he was quoted as saying.

“One is to expand our capacity of energy generation.

Second, to have clean energy, and therefore there is a very strong emphasis on nuclear energy and renewable energy. And for all these reasons, we have been working closely with our partner countries, and Canada is one of our very important partners, to attain those objectives.”

The Canadian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7:7)


Modi’s Canada visit may clinch uranium deal


Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ottawa next month may see a much awaited commercial agreement being signed paving way for Canada to supply uranium to India. 

We look forward to resuming our civil nuclear energy cooperation with Canada, especially for sourcing uranium fuel for our nuclear power plants,” Modi posted on Facebook on Saturday. Sources told Deccan Herald that New Delhi and Ottawa might also announce joint research and development in the field of nuclear energy, focusing on augmenting capacity of Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors of India.

The prime minister will visit Canada from April 14 to 16 after touring France and Germany. He will meet his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper in Ottawa and will address business leaders in Toronto. Modi on Saturday noted that Canada was also the first country to have completed the requirements for civil nuclear cooperation with India after New Delhi secured the waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2008.

India and Canada signed the civil nuclear cooperation agreement in 2010 and followed it up by inking the administrative arrangement in 2012. Though India and United States clinched a nuclear deal in 2008, the protracted negotiations over administrative arrangement concluded only recently.

Cameco Corporation of Canada has since long been engaged in commercial negotiation for supplying uranium from its mines in the North American country to nuclear power plants in India.

Sources said that a breakthrough in the complex negotiation was expected soon and a deal might be clinched after Modi-Harper meeting in Ottawa. A senior government official said that New Delhi and Ottawa might also announce a joint research and development programme, primarily focusing on augmenting capacity of the Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors in India to 750 MW.

Ottawa had snapped its nuke ties with New Delhi after accusing the Indian government of using plutonium produced in reactor provided by Canada and installed in the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Trombay for its first nuclear test in Pokhran in 1974.

Canada had supplied the nuclear reactor CIRUS to India in mid-1950s under the Atom for Peace Programme for civilian use of nuclear energy. The “Smiling Buddha”, as the first nuclear test on May 18, 1974, was codenamed, had triggered international uproar and Canada had immediately cut off supply of nuclear materials and technology to India.

Modi on Saturday also referred to France-India nuclear agreement. “France is one of our most important strategic partners, which has stood with us at difficult moments. We remember the understanding and support extended by France in 1998 after the Pokhran Tests,” he posted on Facebook.

“France has been a consistent supporter of India’s Membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group,” he added. – See more at:

Obama Visit Isolates Pakistani Horn (Daniel 8:8)

India, U.S. Reach Nuclear Deal
By Jameel Khan, David Sterman
January 26, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced a landmark nuclear deal amid Obama’s historic three-day visit to New Delhi, where expectations have been high for a revival of bilateral relations between the world’s largest democracies (BBC, VOA News, White House, Times of India, Post). “Today we achieved a breakthrough understanding on two issues that were holding up our ability to advance our civil nuclear cooperation,” Obama said on Sunday at a joint conference with Modi in New Delhi. “And we are committed to moving towards full implementation,” he said (Post). Replying in English, Modi said, “I am pleased that six years after we signed our bilateral agreement, we are moving toward commercial cooperation consistent with our law, our international legal obligations, and technical and commercial viability.” The deal makes it easier for U.S. and foreign firms to invest in India’s nuclear industry (Post).

Other milestones include a renewal of the 10-year Defense Framework Agreement in which both countries will agree to joint development and production of defense systems; an expressed commitment to reducing carbon emissions and a “strong climate change agreement” in Paris later this year; and a host of other bilateral efforts which both countries detailed in a joint statement released on Sunday (DNA News, White House). On Monday, Obama will join Modi to attend India’s 66th Republic Day Parade, where he will become the first U.S. president to attend the occasion. Obama is also expected to join Modi for meetings on Monday at the U.S.-India CEO Forum, where they will discuss trade, investment, and visa issues with India’s leading business leaders (NDTV). Despite the trip’s grand nature, not all was smooth. Obama’s trip was cut short by the White House’s decision for him to travel on Tuesday to Saudi Arabia, where he will pay his condolences to the late King Abdullah and meet the new monarch (Guardian). On policy specifics, India and the United States fell short of a China-like climate change deal to specify goals on cutting carbon emissions (Times of India). And on stage presence, Obama was caught chewing gum during the Republic Day Parade according to media reports (Times of India). The recent revival of ties follows a year of strained relations after the 2013 arrest of senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York. Commenting on better relations today, Obama said, “the United States and India have declared a new declaration of friendship that elevates and formalizes our partnership” (Post). Deplaning Air Force One, Obama and Modi on Sunday greeted each other on the tarmac with hugs and handshakes.

China’s official state-run news agency Xinhua in a commentary report on Sunday said that U.S. President Barack Obama’s “shortened three-day [India] visit is more symbolic than pragmatic, given the long-standing division between the two giants, which may be as huge as the distance between them” (Hindustan Times, Xinhua). While acknowledging the apparent “closeness between the two countries,” the report pointed out past quarrels and a “superficial rapprochement” amid the warming ties, saying: “After all, only one year ago, U.S. diplomats were expelled from New Delhi amid widespread public outrage over the treatment of an Indian diplomat in New York and Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister and then chief minister of Gujarat, was still banned from entering the United States” (Xinhua). Liking Obama’s trip to a needed foreign policy win to report progress back to the U.S. Congress, the report also said the bilateral meetings would not see agreement on the pressing issue of climate change — a priority of the Obama administration — saying that “India is heavily dependent on coal-fueled plants” and that “economic growth and eradication of poverty is more urgent for Indian officials than cutting carbon emissions” (Xinhua).

Across India’s border, Pakistan on Sunday sent its Army Chief Raheel Sharif to Beijing on a two-day visit to meet senior Chinese military officials to discuss defense and security issues (India Today, Zee News). Sharif’s trip comes amid recent pressure from India and the United States to reign in extremism within its borders. Meeting with defense counterpart General Qi Jianguo and General Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China’s powerful Central Military Commission (CMC), the bilateral talks touched on a range of regional security issues including long-term defense collaboration, counterterrorism cooperation, intelligence sharing and training exchanges. Infiltration by Uygur militants in China’s restive Xinjiang region remains a shared security concern between the two countries. “China will, as always, give firm support to Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism,” General Fan was quoted saying in a Xinhua report (Zee News).

First Lady Michelle Obama is expected to receive a gift of 100 hand-woven banarasi saris — a traditional Indian silk garment worn by women — from the holy city of Varanasi, according to several news outlets and local businessman Pervez Matin (Al Arabiya, Economic Times, Deccan Chronicle, Indian Express, NDTV). “We have used pure gold and silver threads for the sari that we have prepared for Michelle,” said Pervez Matin, whose family has been in the weaving business for three generations (Deccan Chronicle). Months of painstaking preparations have gone into the saris, which normally cost around 150,000 Indian rupees ($2,400). Some reports suggest that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the request to gift the saris.

Banarasi saris are those specifically made in Varanasi, where the city has earned a reputation for weaving India’s finest garments with the staple embroidery of gold and silver. Varanasi’s 40,000 weavers are mostly Muslim and have been in the craft for generations (NDTV). Despite its fame, India’s centuries-old sari industry is facing competition from countries like China, where garments are increasingly made with cheaper costs. Ahead of the Obama’s visit, an excited Indian media doled out fashion pleas for the First Lady to sport a sari during her trip (Hindustan Times). While the verdict is still out on the First Lady’s remaining outfits, one saving grace was Michelle Obama’s choice to wear a tailored dress and matching jacket made by Indian-American designer Bibhu Mohapatra as she stepped off Air Force One with husband and U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday in New Delhi (Economic Times).

— Jameel Khan