Feb 3, 2009

India - India inks crucial safeguards agreement with IAEA

Vienna, Feb 2 (PTI) India today signed a key safeguards agreement with IAEA to allow inspection of additional civilian reactors, clearing the decks for supply of atomic fuel and technology by the international community after a 34-year-old nuke trade embargo was lifted last year. The pact between the government of India and the UN atomic watchdog for the 'Application of Safeguards to Civilian Nuclear Facilities' was inked here by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei and Indian Amabassador Saurabh Kumar.

India currently applies inspection by the IAEA in six civilian nuclear reactors under safeguards agreements concluded between 1971 and 1994. In future, additional reactors are expected to be brought under IAEA safeguards under the newly-signed agreement.

"The safeguards agreement, which is the result of several rounds of consultations conducted between India and the IAEA since November 2007, was approved by the IAEA Board of Governors in August 2008," the IAEA said in a statement. The agreement will enter into force once it was ratified by India, it said.

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