Washington: Demonstrating India's
responsible behaviour, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today
announced setting up of a 'Global Centre for Nuclear Energy
Partnership' for conducting research and development of design
systems that are secure, proliferation resistant and
sustainable. With Pakistan obviously on his mind, he also warned of the dangers posed by nuclear explosives falling into the hands of non-state actors posing danger to India and other countries.
Addressing the Summit convened by Obama here, Singh
said the Centre will consist of four Schools dealing with
Advanced Nuclear Energy System Studies, Nuclear Security,
Radiation Safety and application of Radioisotopes and
Radiation Technology in areas of healthcare, agriculture and
The Centre is visualised to be a state-of-the-art
facility based on international participation from IAEA and
other interested foreign partners.
It will conduct research and development of design
systems that are intrinsically safe, secure, proliferation
resistant and sustainable, the Prime Minister told leaders
from 47 countries.
Singh invited participation in the venture by other
countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency to make
the Centre's work a success.
As soon as Singh made the announcement at the Nuclear
Security Summit, US President Barack Obama intervened to
welcome it, saying "this will be one more tool to establish
best practises" in the quest for nuclear safety.
India is continually upgrading technology to develop
nuclear systems that are intrinsically safe, secure and
proliferation resistant. It recently developed an Advanced
Heavy Water Reactor based on Low Enriched Uranium and thorium
with new safety and proliferation-resistant features.
As a founder member of the IAEA, India has
consistently supported the central role of the UN nuclear
watchdog in facilitating national efforts to strengthen
nuclear security and in fostering effective international
India has so far conducted nine Regional Training
Courses on Nuclear Security in cooperation with the IAEA.
The objective of the School of Advanced Nuclear Energy
Systems Studies would be to pursue design studies and analysis
of advanced nuclear energy systems with features to achieve
intrinsically enhanced safety, security, proliferation
resistance and sustainability.
The programme modules will encompass reactor systems
and applications, fuel cycle studies, accelerator driven
systems, risk assessment studies, emergency planning and
management and sustainability parameters assessment.
The School of Nuclear Security Studies aims at
imparting training to security forces on application of
physical protection systems and response procedures, to
enhance physical security of nuclear facilities by developing
and deploying most modern technological tools including
information security and to provide facilities for test and
evaluation of sensors and systems used for physical security.
India welcomes US, Russia move
Welcoming the recent pact between the US and Russia to cut nuclear arsenals, India Tuesday asked the world's nuclear powers to make "deeper cuts" in their atomic weapons and pitched for universal nuclear disarmament.
"We welcome the agreement between the United States and Russia to cut their nuclear arsenals as a step in the right direction," Minister Manmohan Singh told world leaders at the Nuclear Security Summit.
"I call upon all states with substantial nuclear arsenals to further accelerate this process by making deeper cuts that will lead to meaningful disarmament," said Manmohan Singh.
Last week, US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev agreed to the deepest-ever cuts in their countries' nuclear arsenals by about 30 percent of their warhead stockpiles. The 10-year accord would limit the sides, within seven years, to 1,550 deployed strategic warheads each.
PM for "zero tolerance" against N-weapons
With Pakistan obviously on his mind, Manmohan warned of the dangers posed by nuclear explosives falling into the hands of non-state actors posing danger to India and other countries.
Commending US President Barack Obama for his initiative in convening the Summit, he said India would like the Summit to lead to concrete outcomes which help make our world a safer place.
"The danger of nuclear explosives or fissile material and technical know-how falling in to the hands of non-state actors continues to haunt our world," Singh said, adding India is deeply concerned about the danger it faces, as do other States, from this threat.
He regretted that the global non-proliferation regime has failed to prevent nuclear proliferation as clandestine proliferation networks have flourished and led to insecurity for all, including and especially for India.
"We must learn from past mistakes and institute effective measures to prevent their recurrence," Singh said.
He underlined that the world community should join hands to eliminate the risk of sensitive and valuable materials and technologies falling into hands of terrorists and illicit traffickers.
Supporting the universalisation of the policy of 'no-first use', he said the salience of nuclear weapons in national defence and security doctrines must be reduced as a matter of priority.
Singh said India has been in the forefront of the call for global and complete nuclear disarmament, starting with Jawaharlal Nehru over five decades ago.
Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had put forward a concrete Action Plan in 1988 for the universal and non-discriminatory elimination of nuclear weapons leading to global nuclear disarmament in a time-bound framework, he said, adding, "I once again reiterate India's call to the world community to work towards the realisation of this vision."
In 2006, India proposed the negotiation of a Nuclear Weapons Convention. India has also expressed readiness to participate in the negotiation of an internationally verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament.
Since 2002, India has piloted a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly on measures to deny terrorists access to Weapons of Mass Destruction. "We fully support the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 and the United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy," Singh said.
The Indian Atomic Energy Act provides the legal framework for securing nuclear materials and facilities, and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board ensures independent oversight of nuclear safety and security. India is also a party to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 amendment.
He said India would continue to work with the IAEA and partners in the United Nations as well as other forums such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism to upgrade standards, share experiences and ensure effective implementation of international benchmarks on nuclear security.
"India has maintained an impeccable non-proliferation record, of which we are proud of," Singh said, adding that India, as a responsible nuclear power, has not been and will not be the source of proliferation of sensitive technologies.
First Published: Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 00:25