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Modi pledges key initiatives for nuclear security

02 April 2016

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said his government has taken several key initiatives in the area of nuclear security and non-proliferation, including countering nuclear smuggling and deployment of technology to deter nuclear terrorism.

Modi also vowed to develop and update technology to defend against newer threats to nuclear safety as President Barack Obama called on global leaders to jointly confront the growing threat of the Islamic State.

Modi made the pledge at the conclusion of a two-day Nuclear Security Summit of 50 world leaders in Washington that discussed ways to prevent terrorists and other non-state actors from gaining access to nuclear materials.

Modi said India will continue to accord a high national priority to nuclear security through strong institutional framework, independent regulatory agency and trained and specialised manpower.

The plan includes development and deployment of technology to deter and defend against nuclear terrorism.

The national plan for nuclear safety includes physical and cyber barriers, technological approaches, setting up a facility for medical grade 'Moly-99' using low enriched Uranium and using vitrified forms of vulnerable radioisotopes such as Ceasium-137.

India will counter nuclear smuggling and strengthen the national detection architecture for nuclear and radioactive material, Modi said, adding that a dedicated team to counter nuclear smuggling is also in place.

Further, India will support IAEA's central role in nuclear security by a further contribution of $1million to the nuclear security fund. A workshop with IAEA experts on International Physical Protection Assessment Service (IPPAS) will also be held in India.

India, he said, will join trilateral initiative of NSS chairs circulated at IAEA by subscribing states as the joint statement on strengthening nuclear security implementation.

India will also join three gift baskets for this summit in priority areas of countering nuclear smuggling, nuclear security contact group in Vienna, and sharing of best practices through centres of excellence such as India's own, he said.

Finally India will host a meeting of Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism in 2017. An international conference on countering nuclear smuggling is also being planned with Interpol.

As per the national plan, India has strengthened its nuclear security architecture and the country has also participated in strengthening security architecture at the global level, he said.

India's export controls list and guidelines have been harmonized with those of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and India looks forward to strengthening its contribution to shared non-proliferation objectives through membership of the export controls regimes, it said.

In 2005, India enacted the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems Act, 2005. This gives effect, inter alia, to India's obligations under the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1540, it said.

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