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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