KARACHI: India now plans to become a striking nuclear Power in Asia with the help of the 380,000 kw American atomic reactor, which, under the recent US-India bilateral agreement overriding international inspection and control, is proposed to be installed at Tarapur, 70 miles from Bombay.
Valued at 100 million dollars, and set for completion by the middle of 1967, the American reactor on Indian soil will be the largest of its kind outside Britain, barring super-nuclear Powers — U.S.A. and U.S.S.R.
The fears in political quarters, that India might well assume a more deadly posture in South and South-East Asia by using this so-called ‘boiling water’ reactor as a nuclear weapons producing plant, are based on India’s five-time performances of aggression since its birth 16 years ago.
Of immediate concern, however, is the fact that India, which has been serving on various international agencies and which boasts of its ever readiness for cooperation at all international levels, has stubbornly refused to submit to inspection and control by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
And India has successfully drawn on the American “fear complex” to make the United States agree to supply the 380,000 kw atomic reactor under inspection to be done by American experts only.
Political observers pointed out that India preferred the American inspection to international control in the belief that it would be easier for it to convince the United States of the need to divert its atomic know-how for making bombs to meet the so-called Chinese military posture.
In this game India has achieved complete success. What is astonishing is that the Kennedy administration, in agreeing to install the atomic reactor near Bombay, has overruled all advice given by the American experts on the political and economic implications of the Indian project.
The US, it is learnt, considered the project as a commercial deal for fear that India may shop elsewhere, particularly in the U.S.S.R. … On the economic side, the Indian reactor project has been described as “a white elephant” by no less an authority than Sir Roger Makins, Chairman of the International Atomic Energy Commission. — Staff Correspondent