The Current

Critics fear Canada-India uranium deal will service weapons, not energy

India's Narendra Modi has made a deal with Canada that allows his country to buy five year's worth of uranium from Saskatchewan for nuclear energy. But those who track nuclear activity point out that India and Pakistan are in a slow-motion arms race, one largely ignored by the west and one that Canada may be enabling.
"The agreement on procurement of uranium from Canada for our civilian nuclear power plants launches a new era of bilateral cooperation", says Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

The leader of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi found a warm welcome waiting for our own Prime Minister. Stephen Harper wasn't just on hand to greet Mr. Modi in Ottawa, he's accompanying him on his other Canadian stops as well... in Toronto last night, and on to Vancouver today.

And Mr. Modi has already secured a substantial souvenir of his trip to Canada — 3,000 tonnes of Saskatchewan uranium, to be purchased over the course of the next five years.

In the troubled world of today, our cooperation will help advance our shared values, and peace in the world.- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The deal, announced yesterday, is to provide fuel for India's nuclear power reactors. But sending Canadian uranium to India is also raising fears. Southern Asia, after all, is currently the site of a nuclear arms race.

Greg Koblentz is an Associate Professor at the School of Policy Government and International Affairs at George Mason Univeristy. He was in Chevy Chase, Maryland. 

Canada's new nuclear deal with India will have reverberations around the world and is likely to raise some concerns with those tracking nuclear proliferation.

Trevor Findlay is a Canadian academic, affiliated with Carleton University in Ottawa and a visiting Senior Research Fellow at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Since 2013, he's served on the U.N. Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. Trevor Findlay was in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Despite the concerns over this deal for uranium between Canada and India, it does have its backers, who say it's bound to be beneficial for both countries involved.

Malcolm Bernard is director of communications for the Canadian Nuclear Association in Ottawa.

We contacted the Prime Minister's Office to ask about the uranium deal with India but have yet to hear back.

This segment was produced by The Current's Lara O'Brien and Sujata Berry.