India to reflect international n-obligations in national actions

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New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will underline that India will continue to reflect its nuclear obligations to the international community through its national actions at the Fourth Nuclear Security Summit here on Friday.

In the national progress report on the work India has done in terms of nuclear security in the two years since the last summit, Modi would underline the continued priority the country attached to nuclear security at home, Amandeep Singh Gill, joint secretary (disarmament and international security affairs) at the ministry of external affairs, said at a media briefing here as the summit started.

This, Gill said, would be done “by strengthening the institutional framework, by strengthening the independence of our regulator, by devoting resources for training people in nuclear security, and by continuing to reflect our international obligations in our national actions”.

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“Second, the prime minister will underline the continued priority we attach to the technology direction of nuclear security,” he said.

“This means that we will advance the technologies to reprocess to reuse philosophy, the development proliferation-resistant cycles, and the shift away from vulnerabilities associated with radioactive sources.”

As an example, Gill said that India has stopped using Cesium 137.

“It is a highly radioactive source in powdered form or in liquid form and we will only be vitrified forms of Cesium 137 in medical applications,” he said.

Apart from this, he said India would make another contribution of $1 million to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) nuclear security fund.

India had made a similar contribution in the Seoul nuclear security summit in 2012.

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“Significantly, we will engage with the IAEA on its nuclear security advisory service called IPPAS,” Gill said.

India would also join the Trilateral Initiative which is the joint statement of the previous three co-chairs of the nuclear security summit which has been circulated in the form of a document.

“So, this group of countries which India is joining are committed to holding the bar high on nuclear security,” the joint secretary said.

“We will also be joining three other ‘gift baskets’ in priority areas like counter nuclear smuggling, the sharing of best practices through centres of excellence such as GCNEP (Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership), and finally NSS follow-up through contact group in Vienna,” he said.

India also intends to hold some meetings in the coming days to strengthen international cooperation in this area.

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“One is with Interpol on counter nuclear smuggling. Another is hosting a meeting of Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism in 2017,” Gill said.

This year’s summit is the fourth and final of the biennial affairs.

The first summit was held in Washington in April 2010 followed by the summits in Seoul in March 2012 and The Hague in March 2014.

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