India on 22 June 2014 ratified the Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The Additional Protocol will cover the facilities which are monitored by the IAEA and will have no bearing on the non-safeguarded facilities which are used for building weapons.
The Additional Protocol’s ratification fulfils India’s commitment anchored in the Indo-U.S. joint statement of July 2005, which stated unambiguously that New Delhi would conclude an additional protocol with the IAEA.
The ratification of additional protocol will boost energy security and will enhance the decks for large imports of nuclear technology.
The ratification of additional protocol will ensure the collection of data of India’s nuclear exports, to guarantee that the material is not diverted for unauthorised use.
The new arrangement would also facilitate regular entry and exit of the IAEA personnel by providing them with multi-entry visas.
The IAEA in March 2009 approved an additional protocol to India’s safeguards agreement. The agreement had paved the way for the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to grant India-specific waiver for it to have commercial relations with other countries in the civilian atomic field. The waiver was necessary as India, despite being a nuclear-armed state, is not a signatory to the NPT.
The safeguards agreement with the IAEA covered 20 facilities that include the Nuclear Fuel Complex in Hyderabad, Tarapur atomic power plant, Rajasthan Atomic Power Station, both units at Kudankulam, and the Kakrapar Atomic Power Station.
With the agreement, India planned to tackle its chronic shortage of energy, and costly reliance on imports of fossil fuels.
India is planning to expand nuclear energy program with 19 working reactors, five under construction and at least 16 more planned. But expansion requires imported uranium as fuel plus foreign capital and expertise to build big reactors of 1000MW or more.
When: 22 June 2014