India and Canada are likely to sign a civil nuclear cooperation agreement within the next few days.
“We don’t look back, we look at the future,” Vivek Katju, Secretary (West) with India’s External Affairs Ministry said on Tuesday this week, “There has been progress on finalizing an agreement on cooperation in nuclear energy.” Katju is a senior career bureaucrat, a former ambassador to several countries and a member of the Indian Foreign Service, 1972 batch.
Katju confirmed that the nuclear energy agreement would cover sale of uranium as well as areas such as research and nuclear waste management. Asked if the proposed agreement allowed sale of nuclear energy reactors by Canadian companies, Katju referred reporters to the Department of Atomic Energy. According the Indian media,the pact is expected to include this provision. The agreement is expected to be on the lines that India has signed with countries such as the US, France and Russia.
India Expert believes the the G20 summit in Canada this weekend offers the perfect backdrop for the signing of several agreements between Canada and India. The nuclear agreement could have the most impact and open up India’s vibrant market for Canadian purveyors of the “heavy water” technology and expertise which supplies almost all of India’s atomic power today.