News / Asia

India Opens Civilian Nuclear Facilities to IAEA Oversight

The flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) flies in front of its headquarters during a board of governors meeting in Vienna, Nov. 28, 2013.
The flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) flies in front of its headquarters during a board of governors meeting in Vienna, Nov. 28, 2013.
Anjana Pasricha
— As India seeks to increase nuclear power generation, it has decided to open its civilian nuclear facilities to greater oversight by the International Atomic Energy Agency. This is a key step toward boosting nuclear commerce with countries such as the United States and Japan.
 
India Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin says the agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency underlines the country’s commitment to the responsible use of nuclear power.

“The government has decided to ratify the additional protocol to the India specific safeguards agreement… This is a signal of our commitment to abide by our international obligations,” said Akbaruddin.

Confidence-building measure

Ratification of the protocol will give the nuclear watchdog easier access to scrutinize India’s civilian nuclear facilities.
 
Rajiv Nayan, at the Indian Institute of Defense Studies and Analysis in New Delhi, says the protocol being ratified is in addition to an earlier agreement with the IAEA.
 
“This is basically a confidence-building measure that, Ok, here is an agreement which is generally considered in the world not adequate. So we will give you some additional, additional assurance,” said Nayan.
 
The United States has called this an important step in bringing India into the international non-proliferation mainstream.

In New Delhi, analysts see it as a signal that India’s new government wants to facilitate nuclear trade with countries such as the United States and Japan.

Addressing energy shortage

In his first policy speech to parliament this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to develop nuclear power projects for civilian purposes - an indication that nuclear energy will be a priority as India seeks to address its massive energy shortages.

Modi is expected to travel to Japan in August and the United States in September. Cooperation in the civil nuclear field is likely to be high on the agenda for a country seeking billions of dollars in investment in nuclear power plants.

Washington said Monday that it is committed to expanding civil nuclear cooperation with India. Tokyo has also said that it wants to step up nuclear commerce with India.
 
It was a 2008 deal with the United States that gave India access to international nuclear commerce. It was earlier barred from nuclear trade because is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.

But investment in the area has come in slowly, partly because of a tough nuclear liability law that has deterred some foreign investors. While India has struck deals with Russia and France, the first commercial agreement with a U.S. company (Westinghouse) for nuclear reactors was only signed last year.
 
Closer ties with Washington

Analysts say changing the slow pace of civil nuclear cooperation with the United States is an important signal that the new government wants to boost ties with Washington.
 
Analyst Nayan says several large new nuclear plants are expected to come on stream over the coming decade, as India remains committed to scaling up nuclear power to meet is massive energy needs.
 
“Even after the tragic accident of Fukushima, we went ahead, we still reposed our faith in nuclear energy. We are going to take several measures to ensure nuclear safety and to assure people that there will be no problem with nuclear energy or nuclear plants,” said Nayan.

India aims to meet a quarter of its electricity requirements from nuclear power by 2050.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid