India and the European Union on Friday signed an agreement in the civil nuclear field to give boost to collaborative research.

The agreement in fusion research was signed here by Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar from the Indian side and European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner from the EU side.

The crucial pact was signed after the India-EU Summit talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt along with European Commission President Jose Manuel Borosso.

Describing the agreement as an “important outcome” of the 10th Summit, Mr. Singh said at a joint press conference later that it “underscores the growing importance of energy security and clean energy in our cooperation.”

The agreement aims at intensifying cooperation to develop scientific understanding and technological capability underlying the fusion system in the long term.

It will develop a specific agenda for fusion research cooperation that goes beyond the ambitious multi-nation International Thermonuclear Experimental Research (ITER) project.

India is already a part of ITER, which is to be based in Cadarache in France at an estimated cost of about Euro 4.6 billion ($5.4 billion or Rs 25,000 crore). The project involves the U.S., EU, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea.

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