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US welcomes IAEA approval of India nuclear plan PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 August 2008

Washington, Aug. 2 ( - The Bush administration said on Friday the U.N. nuclear watchdog's approval of an inspection plan for India's civilian atomic power plants would advance its efforts to have Congress consider a U.S.-India nuclear accord this year.

"We appreciate the (IAEA) Board of Governors members' efforts to move expeditiously on this important issue, which will welcome India into the non-proliferation mainstream and assist India in meeting its growing energy needs in an environmentally friendly way," National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

"The next step will be to proceed to the Nuclear Suppliers Group where we hope to move quickly on revising the guidelines that will enable civil nuclear cooperation with India before submitting the agreement for congressional approval later this year."

The plan approved by the International Atomic Energy Agency will permit regular IAEA surveillance of India's declared civilian nuclear energy plants -- 14 of 22 existing or planned reactors.

It clears a hurdle to an accord that would allow sales of atomic materials and technology for civilian use to India. The deal has been criticized because New Delhi has not signed the global Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Washington now needs the approval of the 45-nation nuclear supply cartel to grant India an unprecedented waiver allowing trade with a non-NPT state and ratification by the U.S. Congress for the deal to go into force.

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