The pact on India’s right to re-process spent nuclear fuel of U.S. origin is likely to be announced by the two countries on March 22.

This is one of the few important steps left towards implementation of the historic Indo-U.S. civil nuclear deal which envisages a clearly defined accounting of reprocessing of nuclear material under international safeguards.

India and the U.S. had ironed out their differences and finalised the pact on the ‘arrangements and procedures’ for reprocessing U.S.-origin spent fuel in India during their final meeting on the subject in the first week of this month in New Delhi as per the 123 Agreement, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) sources said.

“Both countries had finalised the text of the accord early this month and are likely to make a formal announcement on Monday after obtaining approval of their political leadership,” sources said.

“Wait till the formal announcement for more details,” they said when asked about various other aspects of the pact.

The negotiations were held between a team of India’s Department of Atomic Energy officials led by it director, strategic planning group, R.B. Grover and Richard Stratford, the non-proliferation and disarmament expert in U.S. State Department.

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