France moots idea of global nuclear fuel bank

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New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) France has mooted the idea of an international mechanism of a nuclear fuel bank to meet the requirements of countries like India that need nuclear energy for development on a long-term basis, sources said here today.

''We are trying to set up an international mechanism that would help countries have access (to nuclear fuel) on a long-term basis,'' the sources said.

The bank would be accessible to the countries approved by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the IAEA. However, the proposal has not been made public as yet.

''The international community should consider the proposal.

So far there has been no discussion on it. This is an idea in principle which should be discussed with other countries,'' the sources added.

They said France also has no objection to granting access to India to Enrichment and Re-Processing (ENR) Technologies but would prefer to wait for NSG clearance.

The sources said India is considering setting up clusters across the country where nuclear power plants could be set up through international cooperation.

''There is no question of banning transfer of ENR technologies (to India). There should be some criteria for such transfers,'' the source said.

The sources said India is considering setting up clusters across the country where nuclear power plants could be set up through international cooperation.

They said France as well as the NSG was going by India's announcement of unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing made in 1998.

UNI RB PD RK2250

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