Strongly backing international efforts in improving nuclear security, New Delhi has said the spectre of nuclear terrorism was a “formidable challenge” facing the global community.
Addressing the three-day International Conference on ‘Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy-2009”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India had an “updated, effective and comprehensive export controls system” and was “committed to not transferring sensitive technologies and equipment to other countries that do not possess them”.
“The specter of nuclear terrorism is a formidable challenge facing the entire global community. At the United Nations General Assembly India has been sponsoring a resolution calling for measures to address this threat,” the PM said.
The comments assume importance in the wake of a recent statement by US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke that al-Qaeda was trying to seek nuclear secrets from Pakistan and the revelation by Pakistani atomic scientist A Q. Khan on his country’s nexus with the controversial nuclear programmes of Iran, North Korea and Libya.
Singh said that 470,000 megawatts of energy could come from Indian nuclear power stations by 2050 — a giant leap from just 4,120 megawatts currently produced by its 17 reactors. “This will sharply reduce our dependence on fossil fuels...” he said.
Addressing the conference, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohammad ElBaradei hailed India as a leading advocate for nuclear disarmament. ElBaradei, who will be conferred the 2008 Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development on Wednesday, said there was an increasing global recognition that nuclear weapons were a threat to all.