Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Defending the India-U.S. civil nuclear agreement, the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday said it would cater for the development of a strategic reservoir of nuclear fuel to guard against disruption of supplies over the lifetime of India’s reactors, and for advanced research and development in nuclear sciences.

“The 123 Agreement with the U.S. contains a specific mention that the Agreement would not affect unsafeguarded nuclear activities, i.e. activities involving our strategic programme which are not under safeguards.”

There was nothing in the Agreement that placed an embargo on India’s right to carry out a nuclear test if it thought that this was necessary in the country’s supreme national interest, said a statement issued after National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan met Samajwadi Party leaders here.

To a query by the SP leaders on the controversial Hyde Act passed by the U.S. Congress and its impact on the 123 Agreement, the PMO said substantive rights and obligations under the Agreement “are not affected by the national laws of the parties. It is the 123 Agreement and its provisions that indicate the obligations of both sides. The 123 Agreement clearly overrides the Hyde Act and this position would be clear to anyone who goes through the provisions.”

More In: Today's Paper