This article deals with Rs 60,00,000 Crore Thorium Scam and India–United States Civil Nuclear Agreement
Realizing monazite’s potential Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru led Congress Government banned export of monazite under Indian Atomic Energy Act, 1962
Way back in 26 January 2006 , DAE issued an illegal notification (just 6 months after the Bush-Manmohan Nuke deal) putting Rare earths/Atomic Minerals under Open General Licence. But for this purpose Parliamentary approval (as of date) was needed for amendment to Act. No. 67 of 1957.
“…The notification was illegal because it required an amendment to the list of Atomic Minerals detailed in the First Schedule of the Mining Development Regulation Act (Act 67 of 1957). The notification illegally opened up ATOMIC MINERALS to Open General Licence without an approval of Parliament to amend the Atomic Minerals list in the Act 67 of 1957. Today the Act remains unamended and includes atomic minerals such as: monazite, ilmenite, rutile, leucoxene, zircon. These and other rare earths SHOULD NOT be under OGL and should be restricted for exploration and extraction ONLY BY Indian Rareearths Limited (IRL) under DAE. The illegal notification of 26 January 2006 was illegally operationalised and miners were allowed to extract and export atomic minerals under OGL….”
After that, Customers in India as well as foreign countries are being offered monazite of all kinds by a number of companies with bases in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh.A casual search on the Internet threw out details of at least six companies which sell monazite of any kind, ilmenite and zircon. According to one of the contact persons, monazite (any quantity) would be delivered anywhere in the world.
All this happened after DAE issued an illegal notification ( Department of Atomic Energy vide ref. SO.61(E) ) that de-listed – Monazite, zircon, ilmenite and leucoxene from the prescribed substances list and hence, for the handling of these minerals, licence from the Department of Atomic Energy under the Atomic Energy (Working of the Mines, Minerals and Handling of Prescribed Substance) Rules, 1984 is not required.
There are a large number of websites online that speak of the Great Thorium Robbery.
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“…Since India has the worlds best Thorium reserves, the white man is tripping over each other to offer us OBSELETE Uranium powered nuclear reactors. This is like trying to palm off a useless 20 year old MS DOS laptop to you , so that you will NOT bu the latest processor model…”
“…Our president Abdul Kalam had told on national television years back that India must develop Thorium based nuclear reactors. Thorium contains 150 times more energy than Uranium and is the MOST efficient combustible . It is found along with actinides Uranium and Plutonium in the Periodic table. Since Thorium is only slightly radio active , it is clean with no burden of nuclear waste disposal…”
The sea beach along Manavalakurichi in Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu is unique in many ways. It has the world’s largest deposit of monazite, ilmenite, garnet, zircon and rutile, all strategically and economically important minerals and metals. According to World Nuclear Association (WNA), the global body of nuclear industry, India is home to 3,00,000 tonnes of thorium deposit.
What is not known to the outside world is that a Tirunelveli businessman literally controls the mining industry in southern Tamil Nadu. He owns 96 out of the 111 garnet mining licences issued by the Indian Bureau of Mines. The Union Government has issued 44 licences for mining ilmenite and he owns all the licences.The value of 30 per cent thorium reserves of the world at Manavalakurichi is 720 times more than the 2G spectrum scam, according to leading geologists.
It’s a scam that could put Coalgate and the 2G scam to shame. Investigation reveals how precious nuclear fuel to the tune of 60 lakh crore rupees is being squandered in Southern India.
Since the UPA government assumed office in 2004 with Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister, 2.1 million tones of monazite, equivalent to 195,300 tonnes of thorium at 9.3 per cent recovery, has disappeared from the shores of India. Thorium is a clean nuclear fuel of strategic importance for both nuclear energy generation and nuclear-tipped missiles. The beaches of Orissa Sand Complex, Manavalakurichi in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu and the Aluva-Chavara belt on the Kerala coast have been identified under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, as the main monazite bearing areas in the country. In most other countries, thorium reserves are embedded in rocks which require elaborate processing to extract. Public sector Indian Rare Earths Limited having divisions at Chatrapur in Orissa, Manavalakurichi in Tamil Nadu, Chavara and Aluva, and its own research centre in Kollam in Kerala, is the only institution authorised to extract thorium from monazite sands. If the Comptroller and Auditor-General were to audit the accounts of the IREL and the Department of Atomic Energy, custodians of fissile minerals, the coalgate scam would look like small change. The missing thorium, conservatively estimated at $100 a tonne, works out to about Rs 48 lakh crore, putting all other UPA scams in the shade.
Published on Sep 3, 2013
It’s a scam that could put Coalgate and the 2G scam to shame. TIMES NOW investigation reveals how precious nuclear fuel to the tune of 60 lakh crore rupees is being squandered in Southern India. Not only does it expose the loot of our country’s natural resources, it also poses a very real danger of nuclear fuel falling into the wrong hands. The scam has raised questions of how thorium was illegally plundered.
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September 3rd, 2012
A mammoth Thorium scam, which has swindled the national exchequer of Rs 48 Lakh Crore is supposed to have been unearthed by RTI activists and the Statesman Newspaper. Sources state that the missing thorium, estimated at $100 a tonne will make all other scams the UPA has embroiled itself in, seem very dwarf-like. It has been stated that 2.1 million tones of monazite, which is equivalent to 195,300 tonnes of thorium at 9.3% recovery, has disappeared from Indian shores after 2004, the year Manmohan Singh became India’s Prime Minister.
Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 | by News desk
Dr. Subramanian Swamy, President of Janata Party has alleged that the recent exposure of indiscriminate looting of Thorium-rich Monazite from coastal India has been done under international pressure, following the signing of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal. Dr. Swamy was questioning the validity of the statements issued by Department of Atomic Energy, terming the reports of thorium loot as baseless.
“This has been done under international pressure and that too after the signing of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal,” said Dr. Swamy in the letter to Dr RK Sinha, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission. Expressing shock at the government’s decision in removing rare earth minerals like zircon, ilmenite and leucoxene from prescribed substances to open general license, Dr Swamy has questioned the DAE’s statement. The DAE version says that only 30% of Monazite reserves in the country was mineable. However, Dr. Swamy says that the statement stands in contradiction to what Minister of State in charge of PMO V Narayanasamy told the Lok Sabha on 10 August, 2011.
The statement made by Narayanasamy in 2011 runs thus: “The Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), a constituent of Department of Atomic Energy has established the presence of 10.70 million tonnes of Monazite in the country, which contains 9,63,000 tonnes of Thorium Oxide (ThO2). Indian Monazite contains about 9-10% of Thorium Oxide and about 8,46,477 tonnes of Thorium metal can be obtained from 9,63,000 tonnes of Thorium Oxide which will be used for future programmes of DAE,”
Posted on October 8, 2012
Customers in India as well as foreign countries are being offered monazite of all kinds by a number of companies with bases in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh. Finding it difficult to believe? A casual search on the Internet threw out details of at least six companies which sell monazite of any kind, ilmenite and zircon. A website by the name Alibaba.com has listed Hindusthan Mica Mart, Swarnim Metals Pvt. Ltd (Secunderabad), VSR Trading Private Ltd (Hyderabad),SN Industries Pvt Ltd (Visakhapatnam), SJ Enterprises (Chennai), Vivekananda Group (Tadipatri, AP), and Kalyan International with contact persons and their telephone/cell phone numbers. According to one of the contact persons, monazite (any quantity) would be delivered anywhere in the world.
“Ilmenite, rutile, leucoxene, garnet, sillimanite and zircon are separated from beach sands and are being exported. As per the latest notification of the Department of Atomic Energy vide ref. SO.61(E) dated January 20, 2006, these heavy minerals are de-listed from the prescribed substances list and hence, for the handling of these minerals, licence from the Department of Atomic Energy under the Atomic Energy (Working of the Mines, Minerals and Handling of Prescribed Substance) Rules, 1984 is not required. However, licence under the Atomic Energy Act is still required for handling/export of monazite and thorium, which are prescribed substances. This Department has not given any licences for export of beach sand as such,” said the Minister.In the words of the Minister himself, Andhra Pradesh has the highest monazite deposit in the country (3.74 million tonnes). No wonder, more and more mining companies are setting up base in Andhra Pradesh. Are you listening, Mr Narayanasamy?
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India–United States Civil Nuclear Agreement
BJP along with other opposition parties was completely opposed to India–United States Civil Nuclear Agreement, on the basis that it was, “..an assault on the nuclear sovereignty and foreign policy options” of India..”..
But WikiLeaks exposed BJP’s dpuble speak on India–United States Civil Nuclear Agreement.
“…Seshadri Chari, BJP National Executive member and RSS points man in the party figured in the diplomatic cables as having told an US embassy official in Delhi in December 2005 “not to read too much into the foreign policy resolution especially the parts relating to the US”, which had attacked the UPA’s “subservience” to Washington.
“…Chari dismissed the statement (resolution) as standard practice aimed at scoring easy political points against the UPA. BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar echoed these statements, saying that the BJP was not really upset about the US-India relationship, but merely wanted the Government of India and US government to be more forthcoming about any deal on nuclear policy,” the cable said…..”
“…In another cable, the embassy’s then Charge d’affaires Peter Burleigh wrote after a meeting with L K Advani in May 2009, just before the Lok Sabha poll results were out, the BJP veteran “downplayed” any move by his party to reopen the nuclear deal noting that BJP “does not take international agreements lightly….”
Former BJP President and Icon of Ramjanambhoomi Movement – L.K Advani acknowledged that the BJP’s public position in July 2008 was that the deal constrained the country’s strategic autonomy and that the party would reexamine if it returned to power, but connected that stance to “domestic political developments” then at play in India.
The BJP leader ( L.K Advani ), the diplomat wrote, was clear that there would be
“..no imminent BJP move to reopen the (nuclear) deal. In his view, the government is a continuity, particularly in matters of foreign policy and international agreements cannot be taken lightly….”
Asked about the diplomatic cables quoting him, Seshadri Chari, BJP National Executive member and RSS points man declined to comment saying he has not seen the report. He said he did not remember if he had talked to Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Blake in December 2005.
“..I don’t remember the name. I don’t remember the names. I don’t remember whom I met in 2005…,”Seshadri Chari, BJP National Executive member and RSS points man said, adding the party will officially comment if required.
BJP Leaders who colluded with Congress / UPA Cash For Votes Scam
CASH FOR VOTES Scam was orchestrated by Senior BJP Leaders to enable UPA Government survive Vote of Confidence on the floor of the parliament, after opposition parties led by Left Parties pulled out support for Congress/ UPA Government on Indo-U.S. Nuclear Deal.
While BJP Leaders publically opposed India–United States Civil Nuclear Agreement, behind the scenes they were helping UPA Government ( under Sonia Gandhi ) survive the crucial Vote of Confidence and allow her government to sign India–United States Civil Nuclear Agreement. BJP’s DOUBLE SPEAK on India–United States Civil Nuclear Agreement, was exposed by Wikileaks.
While in opposition, the BJP was not keen on the pact.
“…US President Barack Obama’s recently-concluded three-day visit to India has been touted as a resounding success by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance. Its leaders are particularly euphoric about the finalisation of the long-pending Indo-US civil nuclear deal.The breakthrough in the six-year-old impasse, which had held up the implementation of the deal, has predictably been credited to the personal chemistry between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Obama…”
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The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh followed an unwritten policy of severely downsizing both the Fast Breeder Reactor (FBT) as well as the thorium-based technology programme, thereby making India dependent on foreign countries for advanced nuclear technology, key scientists claim on the condition of anonymity. The scientists say that by 2003, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) — which comes directly under the Prime Minister — was within four years of mastering the 1 Gigawatt nuclear power plant technology now being supplied by China to Pakistan.
However, “from 2005 onwards, the PM turned his attention towards signing a nuclear deal, which would make India one of the top three global markets for nuclear power companies in the US and Europe rather than a competitor of companies based in these locations” in the lucrative nuclear power technology market. At the same time, “no serious effort was made to clear the legal and other obstacles to mining extra quantities of uranium in Andhra Pradesh and the Northeast”.
Instead, the (foreign-funded) NGOs behind the agitation against uranium mining “were given privileged access, including in the Ministry of Environment”. According to them, “The attention given to the Fast Breeder Reactor and Thorium programmes were reduced still further by 2008, when discussions began with international companies about supply of reactors to India”. If this had not been done, scientists say that by 2013 at the latest, India may have been able to develop the technology for 1 Gigawatt reactors, thereby creating an export market with a potential for sales of $4 billion initially. This advantage was handed over to China “because of the lack of interest and attention given by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to indigenous nuclear technology”. Incidentally, scientists warn that China is now on the cusp of mastering the technology of 2 Gigawatt reactors, while India is now forced to rely on overseas suppliers for 1 Gigawatt (or 1,000 Megawatt) nuclear power plants.
The reasons why the USA desperately wanted the nuclear deal were clear from the start. It wanted the American companies like GE and Westinghouse to pursue nuclear trade with India worth billions of dollars and prevent India’s emergence as a real nuclear military power.
The nuclear deal, called the 123 Agreement, is subject to US national laws and the Hyde Act of the USA clearly states that if India tests a nuclear device, all further nuclear trade will end and nuclear material already sold should be returned.With no commitment to supply nuclear fuel, the USA has put a cap on India’s strategic programme, subjected the country to the Non-Proliferation Treaty against its stated policy, and inspection of our nuclear installations through the International Atomic Energy Agency. India’s indigenous nuclear programme, which was progressing well, has been put on the backburner.
What you need to know about
India–United States Civil Nuclear Agreement
What you need to know about
“….assault on the nuclear sovereignty and foreign policy options” of India….”
“….In accordance to the agreement, India Nuclear Industry would be governed by the provisions of the Hyde Act of 2006 and the US Atomic Energy Act, 1954…..”
“….US commitment on fuel supplies “vague and futuristic…..”
“….under the provisions of the deal, retain the right of end-use verification of all its supplies….”
“….under the provisions of the deal, as per Hyde Act of 2006, US can recall fuel supplies, reprocessing rights and the right to recall the equipments supplied,….”
“….India had accepted “legally enforceable commitments” in perpetuity….”
“….American inspectors would roam around all Indian nuclear installations….”
“….UPA government for agreeing to set up a new national fuel reprocessing facility under IAEA safeguards ( ..but none of the five big nuclear powers had created such a facility..)
even if the agreement was terminated, the safeguards in perpetuity would continue so long as any material or equipment or any of the by products remained on the Indian soil
Separation plan for India’s civil and military nuclear installations, would be prepared under US surveillance, two thirds of Indian reactors will be put in the civlian category under safeguards.In course of time, 90 per cent of the Indian reactors would be in the civilian category….”
“….When (US) national laws apply, which includes the NPT, provisions of Atomic Energy Act of 1954 and Hyde Act, 2006 which specifically forbid nuclear tests, where is the question of India having the freedom to test once we enter into this agreement? ….”
“…At first glance it may seem that the deal should have had no such impact, because the technology and fuel covered by the deal were meant to be used strictly for civilian purposes, specifically for producing electricity. However, as Charles D. Ferguson, president of the Federation of American Scientists, wrote in Arms Control Today, India was short on uranium. “If the nuclear deal were to fall through, India would be forced to stop running about half of its indigenously fueled reactors or only operate its [nuclear submarine] fleet at approximately 50 percent capacity….”
Indians will PAY from their own pockets, incase of a
Narendra Modi Government fully protected US multinationals like GE , Toshiba-Westinghouse ,GE-Hitachi against DAMAGES in case of another FUKUSHIMA or Chernyboyl, happening in India．In case we Indians suffer from CANCER and other Radiation associated illnesses ( which will be for a life time ), all BIG CORPORATIONS will be completely protected.
During bilateral talks between India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama both leaders announced a deal on commerce that appears to shield US multinationals like GE , Toshiba-Westinghouse ,GE-Hitachi from liability from nuclear accidents.
Second, the Indian Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Act provides for two-part recourse – through Section 17(b) and Section 46 – against nuclear equipment suppliers if the nuclear plant blows up.
In case of a Nuclear Disaster, which could amount to US $235 billion, we Indians will have to pay from our own WALLET．That means we have to pay INSURANCE PREMIUM to private Insurance Companies, which will cover Nuclear Disaster.
This is in line with the realisation that damages arising from nuclear accidents can run into billions of dollars, including compensation, relocation and rehabilitation, environmental remediation and lost trade due to contaminated agricultural and marine produce.A study released in 2014 by researchers from Ritsumeikan University and Osaka City University said the Fukushima disaster will cost $105 billion or twice the predicted damage in 2011. This figure does not include the cost of decommissioning of reactors or safe disposal of the contaminated material and wastes. The researchers point out that the increased costs would be passed down to taxpayers and electricity ratepayers through increased tariffs. Belarus, which was worst hit by the Chernobyl disaster, has spent at least US $235 billion over the last 30 years on relief, rehabilitation and clean-up. That is more than twice the size of the Indian nuclear market that American corporations are hoping to tap into.
In a twist of Republic Day irony, Obama and Modi have opted to use backroom deals and executive discretion to bypass the spirit and intent of their respective legislatures.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has suggested that a publicly funded insurance pool will be set up to indemnify foreign suppliers and cover the liability under Section 17(b). Section 46 is sought to be neutralised through a legal opinion offered by the Attorney General.
Details about the insurance pool are not available yet.
But if it is set up, Indian taxpayers will be made to pay to cover risks associated with GE and Westinghouse’s technologies. A Reuters report talks of a kitty of $244 million, with the government-run General Insurance Corporation of India and a few public sector companies contributing one half and the government contributing the other. The Indian taxpayer will have to pay even if the plants do not blow up. If the supplier is asked to contribute to the pooled fund, that increased project and electricity cost would be passed on to Indian consumers. Anyway you cut it, we are screwed.
As Westinghouse Electric filed for bankruptcy this morning, with $9.8 billion in liabilities, the United States reassured India that it will not default on its commitment to building six nuclear reactors in Andhra Pradesh, though it’s not clear if the original deadline of June for finalising the multi-billion dollar deal will be met.Westinghouse was meant to build 6 nuclear reactors in Srikakulam
More than two years ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama set the parameters to implement a historic nuclear cooperation deal signed between India and the US in 2008. Both sides agreed to work on “finalising contractual arrangements by June 2017” for six nuclear reactors, to be built by Westinghouse and the state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) over 2,000 acres in the eastern coastal district of Srikakulam.On liability in case of an accident at a nuclear power plant, India, seared by the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984, made it clear that a plant operator will be responsible for costs and compensation, but will have secondary recourse against a supplier or equipment provider. A state-backed insurance pool to cover liability upto Rs. 1,500 crore would be created by India. Any recourse sought by the operator against a supplier could not exceed this figure.
Pakistani Newspaper – THE DAWN on India–United States Civil Nuclear Agreement
As per the deal, India agreed to separate its civilian and military nuclear activity and open up the civilian part to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. In return, the US offered to resume full nuclear trade with India, ending its nuclear ostracism.A thankful India carved out two large chunks of real estate in Mithi Virdi, Gujarat, and Kovvada, Andhra Pradesh, and offered them to two American multinationals to set up nuclear power plants. Toshiba-Westinghouse was given the Gujarat site for building six AP1000 reactors of 1100 MW each. GE-Hitachi plans to set up six units of 1594 MW each at the Kovvada site. Both projects involve untested technologies. In both instances, public sector Nuclear Power Corporation of India will be the operator.
Quoting from DAWN – A Pakistani Newspaper
Nuclear Energy doesnt come CHEAP, so More expensive electricity
In contrast, the Mithi Virdi project has run into serious opposition from local residents and farmers. If it is ever built, electricity from the Westinghouse reactors will cost Rs 12 per unit.Mithi Virdi power is too expensive for most utilities to afford even without the cost implications of a pooled liability fund. What then are we to make of this pursuit of expensive, untested American reactors? Is the government really serious that Rs 12 per unit electricity will light up indigent Indian homes? Or is all this merely an orchestrated pirouette in a more elaborate Indo-US diplomatic choreography? Is this about India’s electricity future, or its aspiration to be included in the club of nuclear big boys?
Answers to these questions aside, the stalled deal, the subsequent negotiations and the dubious “breakthrough” that the media refers to offer several sobering realisations. Both Obama and Modi consider corporations and not the people of Bhopal to be the real victims of the 1984 Bhopal disaster.
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