It’s final: India, France to sign nuclear pact Tuesday

September 30th, 2008 - 4:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghParis, Sep 30 (IANS) In a major step marking New Delhi’s re-entry into global nuclear trade, India and France have finalized an agreement that will enable full civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries, covering supply of reactors and fuel.The agreement will be signed later Tuesday after talks between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace.

The agreement on the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy will form the basis of wide-ranging bilateral civil nuclear cooperation. The cooperation will span the entire gamut from basic and applied research to reactors, nuclear fuel supply, nuclear safety, radiation and environment, protection and nuclear fuel cycle management.

The two countries are also set to expand their cooperation in space as the French firm Astrium signed a long-term agreement with Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation.

The nuclear pact with France will come three weeks after the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) adjusted its guidelines to allow India to resume global nuclear trade after a gap of 34 years.

With the US Senate yet to clear the 123 bilateral agreement with India, France will become the first country to sign a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with India after the NSG waiver.

India and France will also sign a social security agreement that will benefit Indian nationals working in France and French nationals working in India.

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