Uninterrupted fuel supplies assured under Safeguards agreement

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New Delhi, Jul 12 (UNI) Seeking to remove all apprehensions about the Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), India today made it clear that atomic reactors put under safeguards would have uninterrupted fuel supplies and adequate stockpiles for lifetime operation.

National Security Advisor (NSA) M K Narayanan, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Director Dr Anil Kakodkar and Chief Negotiator for the Safeguards Agreement Dr R B Grover said at a joint press conference here that the Agreement with the IAEA would help proceed further and assured fuel supplies are ''embedded'' when India goes in for agreement with other countries.

Describing it as an ''umbrella agreement,'' Dr Grover said it would make provision for India to have strategic fuel reserves and help us in lifetime operation.

Dr Kakodkar said any agreement between (nuclear fuel) suppliers and India would have to be on strong commitment. In case of any disruption, India culd go to the IAEA. The discontinuation would not happen suddenly and India would have sufficient time and enough stockpiles.

Mr Narayanan said their aim was to ''clarify and explain'' things to remove any doubts in the minds of people about the Safeguards Agreement and ''where we stand.'' Asked what made the Agreement ''India-specific.'' as was being said, Mr Narayanan said there were 66 templates for non-NPT States like India.

''We have tried to include whatever our requirements are applicable to all civilian nclear facilities that we declare. It is a stand-alone document and first time a particular procedure has been followed,'' he added.

Dr Kakodkar said this was an ''umbrella agreement'' which could be applicable to all civilian nuclear facilities as per Article 13 even though India has safeguards agreements with the IAEA in respect of other projects like the Kudunkulum and Tarapur.

''All these made it India-specific,'' he added.

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