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India, US extend nuclear energy partnership by another decade

Call for actions to address continuing and evolving nuclear security challenges

India and the US have extended the memorandum of understanding for cooperation on nuclear energy by another decade. This was announced in a joint statement issued to mark 10 years of cooperation of the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) between the two countries.

The joint statement recognised India’s commitment in November 2010 to establish the GCNEP with a vision to promote safe, secure, and sustainable nuclear energy for the service of mankind through global partnership.

It also acknowledged the importance of nuclear security, including the security of radioactive sources, and called for actions to address continuing and evolving nuclear security challenges. This is with the objectives of advancing implementation of nuclear security commitments and building a strengthened, sustainable and comprehensive global nuclear security architecture.

Nuclear materials, facilities

The importance of security of nuclear materials and facilities was highlighted in the joint statement. This includes protection of radioactive sources including during transportation, combating illicit trafficking, nuclear forensics, nuclear security culture, information security, international cooperation, and synergy between nuclear safety and security. The central role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in strengthening the nuclear security framework globally was also emphasised upon.

Over the next 10 years, the two countries have committed to promote cooperation on initiatives aimed at giving an impetus to nuclear safety and security, research and development in nuclear science and technology under various schools of GCNEP.

They will also deepen the dialogue on nuclear and other radioactive material security by collaborating on advanced projects in the field (such as future technology), with the goal of sharing the outcomes in the international arena.

There will be wider inclusion of agencies of both Governments and relevant entities, as appropriate, involved in nuclear and radioactive material security. This is in order to ensure that the full spectrum of perspectives are shared.

The two nations will also build on the international recognition of the GCNEP, and reinforce that the two countries are partners for nuclear and radioactive material security by jointly developing and /or delivering trainings and other capacity-building opportunities for regional and international partners, including online content.

Source: The Hindu BusinessLine