India offers help in search of orphan radioactive sources

India offers help in search of orphan radioactive sources

 Offering assistance through the global nuclear watchdog IAEA, India today said that it can help in search and recovery of orphan radioactive sources in countries that were unable to effectively deal with them.

"India offered assistance through the IAEA for search and recovery of orphan radioactive sources in countries which were unable to effectively deal with them and had sought such assistance," said the National Progress Report, presented by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the second Nuclear Security Summit here.

The report also stresses on minimisation of use of civilian Highly Enriched Uranium, which was the base for the fuel in the Apsara reactor located inside the Bhahba Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai.

"...the enriched uranium based fuel in the APSARA reactor was placed in a safeguarded facility in December 2010. APSARA will use indigenous fuel which is not high enriched uranium," the report said.

However, it noted the growing demand for large-scale production of isotopes for a range of applications -- healthcare, industry, food and agriculture.

"India's three-stage nuclear programme is based on a closed nuclear fuel cycle, the principle of 'reprocess-to-reuse' and ensuring control over nuclear material at all stages," it said.

The report lists steps taken by India to secure it nuclear material under eight heads, including signing international legal instruments, support to the International Atomic Energy Agency, UN and other mechanisms, the national legal framework, reduction of nuclear material and international cooperation.

On Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP), being set up on the outskirts of Delhi near Bahadurgarh in Haryana, the report said the Centre is envisioned as an international facility for research and development of systems that are intrinsically safe, secure, proliferation resistant and sustainable.

"The Centre will carry out research and development in radiation monitoring, including development of detectors and nuclear emergency management," the report said.
It will also have state of the art training facilities for Indian and international participants and research by Indian and visiting international scientists.

On initiatives in this regard, the report states that India had recently developed an Advance Heavy Water Reactor based in low enriched uranium and thorium with new safety and proliferation-resistant features.

"India is party to all the 13 universal instruments accepted as benchmarks for a State's commitment to combat international terrorism," the report said.

It said that India was party to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and was amongst the few countries which have also ratified the 2005 amendment to the Convention.

"India looks forward to early entry into force of the 2005 Amendment." the report said.
India is also Party to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, it said, adding the country supported efforts for promoting the universality of these two Conventions.

On UN efforts, the report said that since 2002, India has piloted a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly on measures to prevent terrorists gaining access to Weapons of Mass Destruction.

"This resolution has been adopted by the General Assembly by consensus," it noted.
It said India was also a party to Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and has participated in its working groups on nuclear detection, nuclear forensics and response and mitigation.

"While nuclear security is being addressed at different fora, there is need to ensure that these efforts are mutually complementary and reinforce the related activities of the IAEA," it said.

"We also cooperate with the Interpol's Radiological and Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Unit and the World Customs Organisation. India participated in the High Level Meeting called by the UN Secretary General on Nuclear Safety and Security on 22 September 2011," the report said.

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