Manmohan Singh wants public to develop faith in nuclear safety

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New Delhi, Sep 30 (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged the international community to work hand in hand to strengthen public trust and confidence about nuclear safety and security.

Addressing the Indira Gandhi International Peace prize presentation ceremony, here on Wednesday Singh said: "The growth of nuclear energy must go hand in hand with measures to reduce and eliminate risks of its misuse. We should work to strengthen public trust and confidence in issues related to nuclear safety and security."

"The international community has a vital stake in strengthening global energy security through the use of nuclear energy as a clean, safe and sustainable energy source. So we should spare no effort in providing the necessary support to the IAEA to perform its functions as provided in its Statute," Singh added.

President Pratibha Patil presented the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development - 2008 to Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General, and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Underling in the importance of peaceful use of Nuclear energy for development Singh said: "Nuclear energy is vital to meeting our energy and developmental needs, particularly those of large developing countries like India. The applications of nuclear energy in agriculture, medicine and industry have also enormous potential."

"We need the concerted and collective efforts of the world community to promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy as widely as possible. Its benefits should not remain confined to a privileged few," Singh added.

Recalling India's long-standing relationship with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Singh said: " We are committed to providing all the necessary support for the Agency to perform its designated role and functions to facilitate the expansion of nuclear energy."

Singh informed that it is ElBaradei's vision, integrity and leadership with which Agency has emerged stronger over the years and is now seen as an indispensable international institution.

"The role of the IAEA is bound to grow in the years ahead not just in the traditional areas of nuclear energy and applications, but also in helping nations secure themselves against other nuclear dangers, such as those posed by terrorists gaining access to nuclear materials, Singh added.

In his speech Singh mentioned that India is now poised for a major expansion of its nuclear programme in which international cooperation will be an important component.

"A major milestone in this process was the conclusion of India's safeguards agreement and its Additional Protocol with the IAEA. his gives India the possibility of additionally accessing a whole range of technologies and resources from the rest of the world. It also enables the global nuclear industry to benefit from India's technical and industrial expertise," Singh said

Singh also appreciated ElBaradei's role in generating the positive momentum in the ongoing international debate on nuclear isarmament. (ANI)

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