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Kakodkar camps in Vienna for IAEA meeting

world Updated: Jul 30, 2008 14:54 IST

Ahead of a crucial IAEA meeting on Friday, India's top nuclear official arrived in Vienna on Wednesday for negotiations on the safeguards agreement and an Additional Protocol to be cleared by the UN atomic watchdog and to convince NSG members to give New Delhi a "clean" waiver for implementation of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar will begin his talks a day after the US circulated a draft note prepared by it for the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group that has left New Delhi unhappy as it did not make a mention of either testing or Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), sources said.

After the Board of Governors meeting on August one, the US is planning to circulate the final note to the NSG members to consider India's demands.

Kakodkar will have a series of meetings to ensure a smooth sailing at the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors and Nuclear Suppliers Group, the sources said.

He is expected to hold talks with all NSG members during his stay to bring them on board for giving India a "clean and unconditional waiver" ahead of the group's first meeting early next month. India is a member of IAEA but not the NSG.

Kakodkar told PTI he would take part in all discussions including the negotiations that are underway on an Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

India began consultations with the IAEA this week to draft a template of an India-specific 'Additional Protocol' for inspection of its civilian nuclear power plants as per the Indo-US statement on civil nuclear cooperation of July 2005.

There is a possibility that Board of Governors might insist that the India-specific "An Additional Protocol" is also signed along with the safeguards agreement to enable inspection of those nuclear units declared by New Delhi as civil, according to the experts.

The India-specific safeguards agreement is an umbrella accord and the Additional Protocol, which New Delhi will be negotiating in detail, will be specific to the country.

The IAEA agreement will form the basis for approaching the NSG for a waiver to India which will allow the country civil nuclear trade for the first time in 34 years.

As per a separation plan unveiled by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in March 2006, 14 out of 22 of the country's nuclear power plants will be under IAEA safeguards and eligible for inspection.