India must join fuel management convention says IAEA

Friday, 16 March 2007, 05:00 Hrs
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Mumbai: India must join the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) joint convention on spent fuel and waste management, the international nuclear watchdog said here.

"India must join the IAEA's joint convention on the safety of spent fuel management and safety of radioactive waste management. It is the only committee of the IAEA that India does not belong to," IAEA's deputy director general of nuclear safety and security T. Taniguchi told reporters at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) at Trombay, on the outskirts of Mumbai.

"We would appreciate if India joins the 43 other nations, including new entrants like Brazil, China and Iran. India will set a good example with its implacable record of nuclear non-proliferation," said Taniguchi after a daylong Trombay colloquium on International Cooperation in Development of Nuclear Energy through Fission and Fusion conducted by the International Nuclear Safety Group (INSAG).

Clarifying India's stance, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) chairman S.K. Sharma said: "As it is a political decision to be taken by the Indian government on whether to join the joint convention of safety in spent fuel and radioactive waste or not, I can clarify one main aspect. That is, India does not treat spent fuel as radioactive waste."

INSAG chairman R.A. Meserve said: "INSAG's main concern is to ensure that nuclear power plants across the globe follow stringent safety and security norms."

India, which became a full partner of the International Thermonuclear Experiment Reactor (ITER) project in December shortly after signing the nuclear treaty with the US, will play a major role in the ambitious multi-million dollar project aimed at demonstrating the scientific and technological feasibility of controlled nuclear fusion as a future source of energy.

"India will play a major role in setting up the ITER plant at Cadarache in France. Not only will India contribute in the construction of all the major infrastructure of the plant, the project's workforce will comprise of 10 percent of Indian nuclear scientists," said deputy director general of the ITER project Carlos Alejaldre.

He said that one of the six deputy director generals of the ITER project would be an Indian. India will also construct the vital power supply system at the Cadarache plant.
Source: IANS
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