India, IAEA discuss nuke safeguards
The agreement needs to be put in place to allow the international community to resume nuclear trade with New Delhi.india Updated: Jul 08, 2006 18:19 IST
Officials of India and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) met here on Saturday to negotiate the proposed Safeguards Agreement, which is required to be put in place to allow the international community to resume nuclear trade with New Delhi.
The Indian side was headed by Joint Secretary (Disarmament) in the External Affairs ministry Hamid Ali Rao.
Officials of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) also participated in discussions with the IAEA delegation.
Under the Indo-US civil nuclear deal signed in March during the visit of President George W Bush here, New Delhi and the IAEA have to work out an 'India-specific Safeguards Agreement' for supervision of civilian nuclear facilities of this country.
In the civil nuclear agreement, India had classified 14 of its 22 atomic reactors as civilian, which will be covered under the IAEA safeguards agreement.
After the signing of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar had travelled to Vienna to hold preliminary discussions with IAEA officials on the proposed Safeguards agreement.
India is expected to seek an early conclusion of the agreement with IAEA in view of the US Congress' desire to see progress on it before the American Parliament approves a change of law to allow nuclear trade with New Delhi.
International Committees of both US House of Representatives and the Senate recently approved two bills providing for a change of law that will end India's nuclear apartheid.