An independent US report has declared the Indian nuclear programme not only unsafe but also called for a satisfactory international oversight.
The recently released report by the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School identified problems arising from the gaps in the commitments that India made after the nuclear deal, and focused on India’s separation plan, its Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol.
The report observes that India is currently running three streams that include: civilian safeguarded, civilian un-safeguarded, and military.
The Separation Plan did not extend safeguards to a number of nuclear facilities that serve civilian functions, and consequently these facilities may also be used in India’s military programme.
The safeguards agreement also allows India to store, use, or process nuclear material subject to safeguards at a facility that is not under continuous safeguards. In addition, the agreement contains provisions for the substitution of unsafeguarded material for safeguarded material.
India negotiated with the IAEA a much more limited additional protocol: the reporting and access provisions of India’s additional protocol are effectively restricted to India’s export activities. Consequently, India’s safeguards agreement and its additional protocol do not have any practical application to its uranium and thorium mines, heavy water production facilities, nuclear fuel cycle-related research activities, or plants where it manufactures equipment for its nuclear facilities.