The IAEA Board of Governors today approved by consensus a nuclear Safeguards Agreement with India, calling for application of IAEA safeguards to Indian civilian nuclear facilities. During the one day meeting, the 35-member Board deliberated on the Agreement Between the Government of India and the IAEA for the Application of Safeguards to Civilian Nuclear Facilities, a 22-page framework that requests the IAEA to verify that certain declared Indian nuclear material and facilities are used only for peaceful purposes.
Termed an "umbrella" arrangement, it will allow India to add facilities over time to be placed under IAEA safeguards. The agreement is set to enter into force once the IAEA receives notification that India´s statutory and/or constitutional requirements have been met.
In his address to the Board, Dr. ElBaradei stated that the IAEA would begin to implement the new Safeguards Agreement in 2009, with the aim of bringing a total of 14 Indian reactors under Agency safeguards by 2014. The IAEA currently applies safeguards to six Indian nuclear reactors under safeguards agreements concluded between 1971 and 1994.
The text of the safeguards agreement was finalized after several rounds of consultations conducted between India and the IAEA which began in November 2007, and the draft agreement was circulated to Board Members last month.
Dr. ElBaradei also announced that the IAEA and India are currently in dialogue concerning an Additional Protocol Agreement.
The Board is scheduled to convene its next meeting on 22 September 2008.