Indian, France to boost civil nuclear cooperation

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New Delhi, Jan 25 : France and India today decided to give a new impetus to their cooperation for the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes as an expression of their strategic partnership.

The joint statement issued after discussions that President Nicholas Sarkozy had in Delhi said that both sides look forward to the finalisation of India-specific safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA) and the adjustment of international civil nuclear cooperation framework. France expressed its support for the same.

"Both sides recognise that as a reliable source of sustainable and non-polluting energy, it (nuclear energy) could make a significant contribution to meeting the global challenge of achieving energy security, sustainable development, economic growth and limiting climate change," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has expressed hope that a safeguard agreement with the IAEA will be concluded successfully without any loss of time.

Replying to questions during a joint press conference with President Sarkozy, Dr. Singh said that international negotiations too take time, but he said that talks are moving forward in right direction.

France and India have also finalised negotiation in regard to reaching a bilateral agreement for civil nuclear cooperation. This agreement will form the basis of wide ranging bilateral cooperation from basic and applied research to full civil nuclear cooperation including reactors, fuel supply and management.

Another agreement was signed today in the field of nuclear research, which is key for preparing for the future.

It relates to the participation of the Indian Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) in the research project, the Jules Horowitz Reactor, which will be built by the Commissariat l'energie atomique (French Atomic Energy Commission) at Cadarache, France.

An MOU that establishes cooperation between the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research on the one hand, and the Grand Accelerateur National d'Ions Lourds (GANIL) on the other on the use of Spiral 2 high intensity beam production system at Caen, France will be signed in Mumbai.

GANIL is a heavy ion accelerator based at Caen.

India and France also agreed to intensify exchanges between the scientists of both countries in the nuclear field, establish structures for training, and undertake nuclear safety research.

In addition, the existing dialogue between respective nuclear safety authorities will also be reinforced, especially in the context of future industrial cooperation.

ANI

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