NAPS units to go under IAEA safeguards by end of 2014

Putting its 14 civilian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards is part of a commitment made under India-U.S. nuclear deal.

June 29, 2014 12:35 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:14 pm IST - New Delhi

India will complete the process of putting its 14 civilian nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards by the end of 2014 as part of a commitment made under the India-U.S. nuclear deal.

The Narora Atomic Power Station (NAPS) Unit I and II are thus set to go under IAEA safeguards.

The 220MW Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR) are in Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh. NAPS I was commissioned in January 1991, while NAPS II became operational in July 1992.

“NAPS I and II will be brought under IAEA safeguards by the end of the year. This is India’s commitment to becoming a responsible nuclear-weapon state.

“More importantly, by complying with all the norms under the India-U.S. nuclear deal, we will also push our case for becoming a member of the coveted 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group,” said a government source.

In its July 2008 communication to IAEA entitled, “Implementation of the India-United States Joint Statement of July 18, 2005: India’s Separation Plan”, it had listed the 14 reactors which would be brought under IAEA safeguards from 2006 to 2014. The separation plan clearly demarcated facilities for civilian and military purpose.

The Additional Protocol, signed between India and IAEA on March 15, 2009, involves a high degree of scrutiny of nuclear facilities, including its reactors and fuel cycle sites, by the inspectors of the atomic energy body.

India has already listed its sites as agreed between the two countries. These includes six facilities — two Uranium Oxide Plants, Ceramic Fuel Fabrication Plant, Enriched Uranium Oxide Plant, enriched fuel fabrication plant and Gadolinia facility — in the Nuclear Fuel Complex in Hyderabad, which were put under safeguards in October, 2009.

Units I and II and two more facilities — the Away-From-Reactor fuel storage (December, 2012) and Nuclear Material Store (March, 2014) — in Tarapur in Maharashtra, units I-VI of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS), units I and II of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu and Kakrapar Atomic Power Station in Gujarat are also under IAEA safeguards. All these reactors were placed under safeguards in October 2009.

Interestingly, India conveyed to the international atomic watchdog last week that it had ratified the Additional Protocol, mandatory under the India-U.S. civilian nuclear cooperation deal. With this, India has become more open to international checks.

The move will help facilitate multiple entries for IAEA inspectors for conducting the necessary inspections.

Information about nuclear exports would also be given to IAEA so that cross verification becomes easier.

From the archives:

>Civilian nuclear deal: India-U.S. joint statement

>Prime Minister's statement on civil nuclear energy co-operation (full text)

>India-U.S. nuclear agreement: text of statements, articles and editorials

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