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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 19, October 1997

India to Allow Inspections of Two Reactors

On 16 September, India announced that it would allow inspections of two of its nuclear reactors. The World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), based in Tokyo, will inspect two reactors at Kakrapar, in the state of Gujarat, in November. According to reports, India recently decided to allow IAEA inspection of its new, 500 MW, type of reactor; but no inspections of older reactor types has previously been countenanced.

India's traditional opposition to inspections has led to speculation about inadequate safety procedures. Speaking in New Delhi, the head of India's Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC), Yeelleswarapu Sivaram Prasad, stated:

"What we are doing is voluntary and a confidence-building measure... We know our nuclear plants are good but [now] let the world community find out themselves how safe they are and how safe they are run."

Prasad added: "We are not afraid of criticism and we do not have a closed mind."

Reports: India opens door for nuclear inspection, United Press International, 16 September; India to allow inspection at Kakrapar N-plant, The Hindu, 16 September.

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