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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 17, 1978

TELEGRAM NO. 115, EMBASSY OF HUNGARY IN INDIA TO THE HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

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    Discussion with the chair of the Atomic Energy Commission of India, Homi Sethna. The United States is no longer supplying India with nuclear fuel or supporting its nuclear energy program, creating an opportunity for cooperation between Hungary and India.
    "Telegram No. 115, Embassy of Hungary in India to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry," May 17, 1978, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Hungarian National Archives (Magyar Országos Levéltár, MOL). XIX-J-1-j India, 1978, 62. doboz, 60-5, 003496/1978. Obtained and translated for NPIHP by Balazs Szalontai. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110532
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During my stay in Bombay, I visited [Homi] Sethna, the chair of the Atomic Energy Commission. He told me that he no longer expected the delivery of American nuclear fuel to occur, though Indian government circles still attach hopes to that. Sethna described their action as a typically American measure that is devoid of any moral or other basis.

He remarked with particular bitterness that before the implementation of the supply ban, the Americans had ensured that their partners – including the FRG – received a quantity [of nuclear fuel] which was sufficient to meet their needs. In the case of India, however, they enforced the ban. He is convinced that Israel and South Africa obtained sufficient quantities from American sources. He is of the opinion that within 2-3 years, India will be able to develop its own production of nuclear fuel to ensure the operation of its power plants. He considers it likely that [India] will be able to pursue a more open nuclear energy policy in the future, and this will be true for research activity, too.

There are good opportunities for Hungarian-Indian cooperation in the field of atomic energy [emphasis in the original], but in this respect he considers it necessary that the Hungarian side take the initiative. If we want to supplement or broaden the agreement, we should take the initiative. He might travel to Hungary on the occasion of the international atomic energy session to be held in Vienna. If we have a stake in that, I propose a Hungarian initiative, because Sethna and some of his colleagues might assist it. Some people do not regard his position as stable, and thus one could take good advantage of this seemingly temporary period.

– 115 – V. –