India to sign IAEA deal
VIENNA: India is set to sign an inspection agreement with the
United Nations’ nuclear watchdog on Monday, India’s Ambassador to the
The inspection deal with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
is a precondition of a United States-led agreement allowing nuclear
nations to supply India with nuclear material and technology for its
domestic power sector.
“We have set some time aside for this on Monday,” Saurabh Kumar,
India’s ambassador to the Vienna-based IAEA said on Thursday, referring
to the signing of the pact.
He declined to give further details of the agreement, which must be
ratified by Delhi before it can come into effect.
The draft agreement in July said India would be required to make its
declared civilian reactors — 14 out of 22 — subject to regular IAEA
non-proliferation inspections. In August, IAEA Director General Mohamed
ElBaradei hailed the draft as a positive step after it was approved by
the agency’s board of governors.
“I believe the agreement is good for India, is good for the world, is
good for non-proliferation, is good for our collective effort to move
towards a world free from nuclear weapons,” he said.
The 45 nations which make up the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG)
agreed in September to lift a three-decade global ban on nuclear trade
with India, paving the way for the fuel and technology deal. The ban had
been in place since 1974, when India carried out its first nuclear test
Washington said in September the deal would forge a strategic
partnership with the world’s largest democracy, help India meet rising
energy demand and open up a nuclear market worth billions of dollars.
Some nations criticised the deal because India has not signed the
Non-Proliferation Treaty which is meant to stop the spread and
production of nuclear weapons and mandate gradual disarmament, and a
companion test ban pact.