Nuclear deal balanced, India’s interests safe: Kakodkar

July 10th, 2008 - 11:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, July 10 (IANS) Atomic Energy Commission chief Anil Kakodkar Thursday termed the safeguards accord being worked out with the IAEA as “a balanced agreement which protects India’s interests”. Addressing a hurriedly called press conference at his Trombay office here Thursday evening, Kakodkar said that without the India-US civil nuclear deal, the contribution of nuclear energy to the country’s power generation would not go beyond 5-6 percent although India’s own nuclear energy programme was well on course.

After the deal is through, the share of nuclear energy would go up to 12-14 percent by 2020 and up to 50 percent by 2050, Kakodkar asserted.

He further emphasized that the non-hindrance clause in the agreement recognizes the existence of India’s atomic energy and weapons programme, which the country can continue to carry out autonomously.

Kakodkar, who is also the secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy, pointed out that the agreement also follows “the standard template of IAEA agreements,” that have been signed in the case of other Indian civilian nuclear reactors like the Tarapur Atomic Power Station-I & II and the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station-I & II.

The eminent nuclear scientist further said that under the agreement, India would voluntarily declare its civilian nuclear facilities. Also, issues related to availability of fuel supplies and the stockpile of nuclear fuel have been taken into account in the agreement itself.

Kakodkar added that all those reactors involving the use of either imported technology or material would come under IAEA ambit as has been the case in the past.

He said that after a civilian nuclear facility has been brought under the safeguards agreement, India would use the Testing Clause to see if it was getting the required technological and fuel support.

“It is for the first time that an agreement has a provision of declaring the civilian nuclear facilities voluntarily while keeping the rest of the domestic programme intact,” Kakodkar said, emphasisising the India-specific nature of the agreement.

He clarified that the text of the safeguards agreement would now be approved and discussed at a meeting of the IAEA board of directors.

Stressing on the urgent need of nuclear energy for India’s growing economy, Kakodkar said that all the other energy sources would be insufficient to take of the energy deficits that the country would encounter in the future.

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