India’s strategic programme insulated from safeguards pact: Atomic energy chief

July 12th, 2008 - 9:22 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) Under attack from critics of the nuclear deal, the government Saturday defended India’s proposed safeguards pact with the IAEA, saying it will assure permanent fuel supplies for nuclear reactors, and underlined that the country’s strategic programme was out of its purview. “The strategic programme is completely insulated (from the safeguards pact),” Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar told reporters.

He was addressing a joint press conference along with Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan and R.B. Grover, India’s chief negotiator for the safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“Any supply agreement has to be between India and the supplier. Fuel guarantees will be embedded with the supply agreement,” Kakodkar said.

He stressed that the safeguards pact, which was unveiled July 10, provides for uninterrupted fuel supplies and freedom to build strategic fuel reserves for the lifetime of nuclear reactors that India will place under the safeguards.

“India can take corrective action in case of disruption in fuel supplies. The response has to be calibrated. The corrective measures will depend upon our perception of the threat to the continuity of the nuclear reactors,” Kakodkar said.

“India will take corrective action when such a situation arises,” he added.

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