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Rediff.com  » News » Fast breeder reactors not up for inspection

Fast breeder reactors not up for inspection

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Last updated on: March 02, 2006 19:09 IST

After hard bargaining on the nuclear deal with the US, India Thursday agreed that 14 of its civilian nuclear reactors will be open to international safeguards while the fast breeder programme will not be subject to outside inspection.

High level official sources said after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George W Bush that India has made it clear that classification of nuclear reactors to be built in the future will be its sole decision and there would be no debate on it.

Details of the separation plan as also the assurances given by the US under the deal will be outlined by the prime minister in Parliament soon, the sources said.

They said the separation of India's 22 nuclear reactors will be undertaken in a phased manner and completed by 2014.

During the negotiations, India insisted on removal of ambiguities to ensure that whatever nuclear reactors were built in the future, did not come to be questioned.

The sources said India had no problem with having permanent safeguards on its civilian nuclear reactors, but wanted perpetuity of supplies considering that there has been unreliability in this regard in the past.

They cited the case of Tarapur plant to which the US has not supplied fuel arguing that it required change of American laws.

The deal is an exception to India only, they said adding, the agreement was a "win-win" situation for both New Delhi and Washington.

Referring to the India-specific safeguards to be worked out with IAEA, about which the prime minister spoke, the sources said that it stemmed from the fact that India's case was unique and the safeguards should be such that are applicable to a non-military nuclear power country.

They explained that though India was a "de-facto" nuclear military power, it was not recognised as such by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty regime.

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