This Article is From Jun 23, 2014

Indo-US N-deal: Modi Government Allows Greater Access to Nuclear Watchdog

Indo-US N-deal: Modi Government Allows Greater Access to Nuclear Watchdog

File photo: Nuclear reactor at Rawatbhata, Rajasthan

New Delhi: Ahead of the crucial meeting of nuclear suppliers in Argentina today, the Narendra Modi government has reportedly made it clear that it will press ahead on the Indo-US nuclear deal sealed by the previous UPA regime.

The government has reportedly ratified easier inspections by the global nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency or IAEA.

India will now also inform the watchdog about its nuclear exports.

Before coming to power, the BJP had expressed its unease over the deal. The government has, however, reportedly cleared the India-specific Additional Protocol - a commitment given under Indo-US nuclear deal by the previous government to grant greater access to the nuclear watchdog. This will facilitate India's entry as a full member of the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group or NSG which meets today.

India has already placed several nuclear facilities under the IAEA's watch. This includes a part of the nuclear fuel complex in Hyderabad, the nuclear reactors in Rajasthan, the older reactors at Tarapur, and India's largest nuclear reactors at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.

Sources say India wants to send a strong signal to the international community that it is a "serious and responsible" nuclear weapon state amid its keenness to become a member of the NSG and increase its share of nuclear energy.

India's Nuclear Liability Bill, which asserts that the onus of damages in case of a nuclear accident is also on the supplier, remains a sticking point. Concerns from France and America continue even though Russia has found a way out as it has signed the agreement for the third and fourth units to come up at Kudankulam.

Top sources say when Mr Modi goes to the US he will try and allay some of these concerns.