The Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on Nuclear Energy signed between India and Russia goes much beyond any similar agreement signed by New Delhi so far, said highly placed sources involved in the negotiations.

The agreement provides for up-front consent for reprocessing of spent fuel and also includes a provision that any termination will be without prejudice to ongoing contracts and fuel supply obligations, they said. Both aspects were not there in the Indo-U.S. 123 agreement and one of them is incorporated in the Indo-French civil nuclear pact.

The agreement on cooperation in the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes initialled on Monday marks the culmination of expert-level negotiations, which were going on for the past few months.

Explaining the new pact, the sources said the IGA signed in 1988 was for the construction of Kudankulam 1 and Kudankulam 2. The IGA signed last year was for the construction of additional reactors at Kudankulam. In contrast, the IGA initialled on Monday is a broad-based agreement and lists several areas for cooperation, including R&D construction of nuclear power plants, supply of uranium etc.

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