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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid