Modi govt agrees to give greater access to nuclear watchdog

Signalling the continuity of policy, the new government has ratified the Additional Protocol, a commitment given under Indo-US nuclear deal by the previous dispensation to grant greater access to the IAEA.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 23, 2014, 09:10 AM IST

New Delhi: Signalling the continuity of policy, the new government has ratified the Additional Protocol, a commitment given under Indo-US nuclear deal by the previous dispensation to grant greater access to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to monitor India`s civilian atomic programme.
The Additional Protocol was ratified last week and this has been conveyed to the Vienna-based IAEA, the global watchdog of nuclear activities, sources said.

The IAEA had in March 2009 approved an additional protocol to India`s safeguards agreement consequent to a pact reached with the agency the previous year to place its civilian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.

That agreement had paved the way for the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to grant India-specific waiver for it to have commercial relations with other countries in the civilian atomic field.

The waiver was necessary as India, despite being a nuclear-armed state, is not a signatory to the NPT.

The ratification is a signal by the Narendra Modi government to the world, particularly the US, that it is serious in continuing to implement the Indo-US nuclear deal.

This assumes significance since Modi is scheduled to travel to Washington to meet President Barack Obama in September.

The sources pointed out that 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 Nuclear Suppliers Group or NSG.