Amid worldwide alarm over a radiation scare in Japan following the tsunami, India and other BRICS nations on Thursday pressed for strict adherence to safety norms in nuclear facilities and a proposal was floated for mutual assistance in similar incidents.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and South African President Jacob Zuma, who held a Summit here, however, felt that despite the incident in Japan, nuclear energy was required to be developed.

“Nuclear energy will continue to be an important element in future energy mix of BRICS countries,” said a Declaration issued after the meet.

At the same time, the leaders said “International cooperation in the development of safe nuclear energy for peaceful purposes should proceed under conditions of strict observance of relevant safety standards and requirements concerning design, construction and operation of nuclear power plants”.

Addressing the Summit, Dr. Singh said, “Nuclear safety has emerged as a major source of concern the world over after the tragedy in Japan. We should cooperate in this area, as well as in disaster relief and management“.

Mr. Medvedev later told the media that Russia proposed for provision of mutual assistance in case of similar disasters as happened in Japan.

While referring to the importance of clean energy, Dr. Singh told the Summit: “We have the opportunity to give concrete meaning to the concept of sustainable and balanced development, and produce innovative models of development”.

He said the BRICS countries could cooperate in clean and alternative sources of energy and technologies.

The Declaration said the leaders were of the view that climate change is one of the global threats challenging the livelihood of communities and countries and the member countries support the Cancun Agreements.

They expressed readiness to make concerted efforts with the rest of the international community to bring a successful conclusion to the negotiations at the Durban Conference applying the mandate of the Bali Roadmap and in line with the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities.

“We commit ourselves to work towards a comprehensive, balanced and binding outcome to strengthen the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol,” it said.

The BRICS will intensify cooperation on the Durban conference, the Declaration said, adding “We will enhance our practical cooperation in adapting our economy and society to climate change”.