S.B. Congresswoman Lois Capps offered one of the few dissenting votes last week when the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that will allow the U.S. to sell nuclear technology to India for the first time since the mid 1970s. The last time the U.S. sold civilian nuclear technology to India, India diverted the technology to a secret nuclear weapons program. (The country successfully tested its first nuclear bomb in 1998.) According to her press secretary, Capps opposes the bill in part because she is concerned about the use of nuclear power and its resultant waste, but also because India refuses to promise to use the American technology for purely civilian purposes. In addition, India is one of the few major democratic nations that has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Capps and other critics of the bill point out that such refusals raise the specter of a new arms race, with Pakistan increasing its nuclear weapons production in response to a real or perceived expansion of India’s nuclear arsenal. Legislation HR5682, which was initiated by the Bush administration, now goes to the Senate.

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