'Cost-effective nuclear safeguards essential'

Kakodkar says that safeguards should provide the necessary assurances in terms of verification.

india Updated: Sep 21, 2006 05:05 IST

With the anticipated rapid demand for atomic power, especially in developing countries, it is essential to have cost-effective safeguards that will provide necessary assurances for inspection of nuclear facilities, Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar on Wednesday said.

"Cost-effective safeguards are essential so that the safeguard system of the International Atomic Energy Agency itself does not become an hindrance to the development of nuclear power," Kakodkar said in his address at the General Meeting of the IAEA in Vienna.

"At the same time safeguards should provide the necessary assurances in terms of verification," Kakodkar said.

"India, therefore, feels it is necessary to look for institutional as well as technological solutions with enhanced proliferation resistance along with an assured fuel supply, without adversely affecting long-term sustainability of nuclear fuel resources," Kakodkar said, according to a Department of Atomic Energy release in Mumbai.

He said since thorium offered an important solution from this perspective, the IAEA and its members should give "serious consideration to possibilities offered by the thorium route".

"Out of the current fleet of 443 nuclear power reactors operating in the world, less than half are under IAEA safeguards.

"Even in this scenario and with a very slow growth of nuclear power in the last two decades, the volume of human and financial resources needed for implementation of IAEA safeguards constitute a large fraction of the resources available to the Agency," Kakodkar said.

India's long-term nuclear programme is based on extensive use of thorium.

First Published: Sep 21, 2006 05:05 IST