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Sarvesh Chaturvedi asked: In the Indian context, what is the implication of ratifying the ‘Additional Protocol’ with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)?

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  • S. Samuel C. Rajiv replies:India decided to place 14 out of 22 thermal power reactors under the IAEA safeguards, as indicated in the ‘Separation Plan’ issued in March 2006, as part of its commitments under the Indo-US nuclear deal of July 2005. One of these 14 reactors, the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station Unit-I (RAPS-1), is under extended shut-down for techno-economic assessment. The 13 remaining reactors, apart from eight other facilities where nuclear material is used/stored, are under IAEA safeguards.

    India signed the comprehensive safeguards agreement (CSA) with the IAEA on February 02, 2009, which entered into force on May 11, 2009. India signed the Additional Protocol (AP) to the IAEA safeguards agreement on May 15, 2009, which entered into force from July 25, 2014.

    The AP is an important tool of the IAEA, over and above the provisions of the CSA’s, to verify the exclusively peaceful nature of a country’s nuclear programme. By ratifying it way back in 2014, India’s non-proliferation credentials have been further strengthened. India has always held that the safeguards system of the IAEA is the “bedrock of the international community's confidence that peaceful uses of nuclear energy and non-proliferation objectives can be pursued in a balanced manner”.

    As on June 21, 2018, the IAEA AP is in force in 132 countries. 16 more countries have signed it but have not yet ratified it. It is pertinent to note that some countries (like Brazil, Argentina, and Pakistan, among others) have not yet signed the AP. As per the IAEA Safeguards Implementation Report 2017, safeguards agreements were in force in 181 countries.

    Posted on August 10, 2018