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

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

This forum has been closed.
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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid