India said to provide home to N-fuel bank
India on Saturday said it would be happy to participate in providing a home to a nuclear fuel bank for supplying fuel to nations interested in renewing their atomic energy programmes.
"We run a full nuclear fuel cycle of our own and we would be happy to participate in providing a home for a nuclear fuel bank," Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said in an interactive session at the India Global Forum in New Delhi.
However, he pointed out that discussions on this issue of setting up a nuclear fuel bank "were a long way away."
The concept of having an international nuclear fuel bank was put forth by International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohammad ElBaradei last year.
It seeks to set up an international uranium enrichment facility where countries can source their nuclear fuel requirements to run atomic power plants.
On the civil nuclear agreement with the US, Menon said India hopes to bring the deal to "fruition" soon.
"We hope civil nuclear cooperation with the US and other countries will become possible soon ... We hope to bring it to fruition soon," he said.
Menon sought to assure that the nuclear deal is "more of an immediate answer" to India's energy security needs and less as a non-proliferation issue.
On the Iran issue, Menon said it was not in India's interest to have another nuclear weapons state in its neighbourhood but Tehran had the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy subject to its international obligations.