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India committed to moratorium on N-tests: PM

IANS
Sep 29, 2009 at 07:33pm IST

New Delhi: India can generate 470,000 MW of power by 2050 if "we manage three stages of our nuclear programme well", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

"If we can manage our programme well, our three-stage strategy could yield potentially 470,000 MW of power by the year 2050," Singh said in his inaugural address at the international conference on peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

"This will sharply reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and will be a major contribution to global efforts to combat climate change," he said.

ON THE SAME PLANE: Manmohan Singh with IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei in New Delhi.

He said it was a matter of regret that the global non-proliferation regime had not succeeded in preventing nuclear proliferation. "Its deficiencies in fact have had an adverse impact on our security."

According to the Prime Minister, global non-proliferation to be successful should be universal, comprehensive and non-discriminatory and linked to the goal of complete nuclear disarmament. "We believe that there is growing international acceptance for this viewpoint," he said.

He said India feels encouraged by some positive signs especially, as the US plans to reduce its dependence on nuclear weapons in its national security strategy.

"We feel encouraged by some recent positive signs. President Barack Obama indicated in a significant speech at Prague in April this year the willingness of the United States to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in its national security strategy and work towards a vision of a world free of nuclear weapons," he said.

"The United States and Russia are also negotiating further cuts in their nuclear arsenals. States with substantial nuclear arsenals should take meaningful steps on nuclear disarmament."

The Prime Minister said India is proud of its non-proliferation record and is committed to global efforts for preventing the proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction.

"We are committed to a voluntary, unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing. As a nuclear weapon state and a responsible member of the international community we will participate constructively in the negotiations of an FMCT (Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty) in the Conference on Disarmament," Singh said.

The Prime Minister also talked about the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and how international cooperation can multiply the benefits of nuclear energy. He said India is willing to be a supplier for a proposed nuclear fuel bank.

The International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles is an example of such international cooperation, he said.

"India is a participant in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or ITER Project. We are ready to contribute to global research and development into new proliferation-resistant fuel cycles," Singh said adding, "there are proposals for an international fuel bank and we would support efforts in this direction as a supplier nation."

He spoke about nuclear safety and how the technology should be improved or upgraded continuously.

"Just as we seek to enhance peaceful uses of nuclear energy, we have a pressing and immediate moral obligation to draw down and eventually do away with its destructive use of nuclear energy," he said.

The Prime Minister said India supports all efforts in improving nuclear security and welcomes President Obama's initiative to convene a Global Summit on Nuclear Security in 2010.

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