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India to Extend Cooperation With IAEA, Providing Training Opportunities

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IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano discussing cooperation between the Agency and India's Atomic Energy Commission with Commission Chairman Sekhar Basu. (Photo: Atomic Energy Commission, India)

Nuclear professionals from across Asia will benefit from extended cooperation agreed on by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and Sekhar Basu, Chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission last week.

IAEA-nominated experts in advanced nuclear energy, nuclear security, radiological safety, nuclear material characterisation and applications of radioisotopes and radiation technologies will be able to use the new training facilities of India’s Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP), which are scheduled to open in New Delhi in the near future.

The vision for the Centre is to promote safe, secure and sustainable nuclear energy through global partnership, Mr Basu said. The IAEA will be able to use the facilities at GCNEP to train experts from the region and beyond in assisting building capacity.

Mr Basu underscored that India can also provide access to other research facilities to experts from other countries, facilitated through the IAEA. In the area of cancer care and control, he mentioned that India has donated Bhabhatron radiotherapy machines to several countries in Asia and Africa and would like to work closely with the IAEA to build the associated human resources in these beneficiary countries.

Mr Basu informed the IAEA Director General that India has established a national grid of more than 100 cancer care centres, staffed with top specialists. With IAEA support, India would be ready to extend this network and convert it into a regional or global network, so that cancer care providers from other countries could also access the expertise available.

Mr Amano acknowledged that India has been a reliable partner of the IAEA in fulfilling its mandate. India’s support to developing countries both directly and through the IAEA is extremely important, he said, as the IAEA is receiving an increased number of requests for support from Member States, including small island states, for capacity building.

During his three-day visit to India, 13-15 March, Mr Amano also met Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and visited the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu State. He noted the advanced safety systems maintained in the plant, where two units are operational and another two are under construction.

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