New Delhi: Prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh today
told parliament that India''s nuclear policy would continue
to guided by restraint and responsibility and there
would be no capping of India''s strategic nuclear programme.
He added that Washington has assured uninterrupted supply
of fuel for Indian reactors under international safeguards.
He said that though India had decided to place under
safeguards all future civilian thermal power reactors
and civilian breeder reactors, but the government of
India retained the sole right to determine such reactors
wish to emphasise that the choice of specific nuclear
reactors and phases in which they would be placed under
safeguards is an Indian decision. We are preparing a
list of 14 reactors that would be offered for safeguards
between 2006-14," the Prime Minister said
added that of the 22 thermal power reactors in operation
or under construction, India would identify and place
under IAEA safeguards 14 thermal power reactors between
2006-14 in a phased manner. Accordingly, the total installed
thermal power capacity under safeguards would rise from
19 per cent at present to 65 per cent by 2014.
to the PM India would not be constrained in any manner
in building future nuclear facilities, whether civilian
or military depending on the country''s requirements.
Dr Singh also announced that India had decided to permanently
shut down the Cirus reactor in 2010. He said that the
fuel core of the Apsara reactor, bought from France,
could be shifted from its present location and placed
under safeguards in 2010. Both Cirus and Apsara are
located at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai.
explained that the government had decided to take these
steps rather than allow "intrusive inspections
in a nuclear facility of high national security importance"
and to prevent any hindrance to on-going research and
said it had been conveyed to the US that India would
not accept any safeguards on the prototype fast breeder
reactor and the fast breeder test reactor, both located
at Kalpakkam. The fast breeder programme is at a research
and development stage.
separation plan does not come in the way of the integrity
of our three-stage nuclear programme, including the
future use of our thorium reserves," Singh said.
said this technology would take time to mature to reach
an advanced stage of development. "We do not wish
to place any encumbrances on our fast breeder programme,
and this has been fully ensured in the separation plan,"
The PM said reprocessing and enrichment capabilities
and other facilities associated with the fuel cycle
for the strategic programme have been kept out of the
of the important issues addressed in the separation
plan was the need to ensure reliability of fuel supplies,
"given our unfortunate past experience with regard
to interruption in supply of fuel for Tarapur,"
Dr Singh said.
Singh said that India had received commitments from
the US for reliable supply of fuel for its reactors
that will be offered for safeguards and that Washington
had also decided to take additional steps like incorporating
assurance regarding fuel supply in a bilateral Indo-US
agreement on peaceful uses of nuclear energy, which
would be negotiated between the two countries, and would
support India''s efforts to develop a strategic reserve
of nuclear fuel to guard against any disruption of supply
over the lifetime of India''s reactors.
PM disclosed that the US had also assured that it would
join India in seeking to negotiate an India-specific
fuel supply agreement with the IAEA.
He said that if despite these measures, a disruption
of fuel supplies to India were to take place, the US
and India would jointly convene a group of friendly
supplier countries to include countries such as Russia,
France and the UK to pursue such measures as would restore
fuel supply to India," he said.
said the proposed India-specific safeguards agreement
with the IAEA in essence would provide safeguards against
withdrawal of safeguarded nuclear material from civilian
use at any time, and also permit India to take corrective
measures to ensure uninterrupted operation of its civilian
nuclear reactors in the event of disruption of foreign
this into account, India will place its civilian nuclear
facilities under "India-specific safeguards in
perpetuity" and negotiate an appropriate agreement
with the IAEA, he said.
Prime Minister emphasised that the autonomy of the research
and development activities in the nuclear field would
remain unaffected. He said the separation plan had been
drawn up after an intensive consultation process overseen
by his office. The department of atomic energy and the
country''s nuclear scientific community have been associated
with the preparation of this plan.
have not permitted information of national security
significance to be compromised in any way during the
negotiations," he said.
ending India''s nuclear isolation, the nuclear deal opened
up prospects for cooperation not only with the US but
with countries like Russia, France and others with advanced
nuclear capabilities, Singh said.
PM highlighted the "reciprocity" of the deal
saying, "steps to be taken by India will be contingent
upon actions taken by the US."
said India will not accept any provisions that go "beyond"
parameters of the July 18, 2005 joint statement and
the separation plan, he said.