Indian n-facilities under IAEA safety umbrella

File photo of Tarapur Nuclear Power Plant.

File photo of Tarapur Nuclear Power Plant.

Paving the way for import of fuel for its nuclear reactors, India will complete the process of placing its civilian reactors under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards in the next two days.

Sources said the last two reactors — units 1 and 2 of the Narora Atomic Power Station in Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh — will come under the safeguards of the international atomic energy body in the next two days and the necessary paper work is under way.

So far 20 facilities have been placed under IAEA safeguards. These reactors are now eligible to use imported uranium.

This includes unit 1 and 2 of the Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS), units 1 to 6 of Rajasthan Atomic Power Station, units 1 and 2 of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, and units 1 and 2 of Kakrapar Atomic Power Station.

In addition to the reactors, the Nuclear Material Store, Away from Reactor (AFR) fuel storage facility, both at Tarapur, the Uranium Oxide Plant, the Ceramic Fuel Fabrication Plant, Enriched Uranium Fuel, Enriched Uranium Oxide Plant, Enriched Fuel Fabrication Plant and the Gadolinia Facility and the entire Nuclear Fuel Complex in Hyderabad have been placed under the IAEA safeguards.

Indian nuclear reactors have been running below capacity “due to the mismatch of power and supply demand of uranium.” The development comes ahead of the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to India, completing the mandatory process under the Indo-U.S. Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement. Under the deal Indo-U.S. nuclear cooperation agreement, India was to sign and ratify the Additional Protocol of the IAEA. A separation plan was chalked out after the deal, segregating the military and civilian reactors. The civilian reactors were to be placed under the IAEA safeguards by December 2014, which will enable India to use the much needed international fuel for civilian reactors.

Incidentally, before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the U.S. in September last year, India ratified the Additional Protocol with the IAEA in June this year.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 5:25:21 am |