India has received reactors and reactor fuel from the United States through an Agreement for Cooperation. Those reactors (at Tarapur, near Bombay) have produced spent fuel from which India wishes to extract plutonium, a nuclear explosive. India contends that it has the right to do so, and that nine years from now (in 1993), when the fuel supply under the Agreement ends, it will have the right to use that plutonium for any purposes it wishes, including weapons. Despite India’s contention, the United States has the right to prevent the plutonium from being extracted. Also, despite India’s contention, India will have no such right in 1993 as it asserts, and India’s repudiation of its obligation in 1993 is a present breach of the Agreement for Cooperation. Because of this breach, the United States can suspend, through France, its delegee, fuel deliveries under the Agreement until India assures the United States that India will perform its obligations. If India does not provide these assurances, the United States can terminate the Agreement, accelerate the AID loan on Tarapur, and if India does not pay the balance due, accelerate the principal of all past AID loans to India and suspend disbursements on all current AID loans to India. Because the United States will lose, by 1993, the remedy of suspending fuel deliveries, the United States should act now. If the United States does not act, plutonium made from fuel shipped to Tarapur in the late 1980s will, under India’s view, be free of all restrictions as soon as it leaves the Tarapur reactors.
To read the complete report, click here: Tarapur : A Brief for the United States