India-US-IAEA experts discuss security issues
By Iftikhar Gilani
NEW DELHI: International nuclear experts on Wednesday discussed security issues related to radiological sources and materials and also locating orphan radioactive sources against the backdrop of the Indian police recovering 253.6 grammes of uranium metal from two drug peddlers in Izzatnagar city of Uttar Pradesh state recently.
A delegation of representatives from the US Department of Energy and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held the first India-US-IAEA trilateral meeting on the Regional Radiological Security Partnership (RRSP) programme.
US and IAEA representatives welcomed Indian participation in the RRSP programme as a regional partner and discussions were held to work out the modalities of this cooperation. The three sides acknowledged their shared objectives of globally enhancing the security of dangerous radioactive sources, a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry said.
The statement also said the US and IAEA delegates appreciated India’s offer of providing infrastructure and expertise on a regular basis for conducting international training courses in India under the aegis of the IAEA. The training courses would include the security of radiological sources and materials as also for locating orphan radioactive sources in countries that were unable to effectively deal with them and which sought the IAEA’s assistance.
Cops recently recovered uranium metal plates from two small-time drug peddlers in India. Though India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) said the metal could not have been used for producing a nuclear bomb, the free availability of the metal caused an alarm. AERB officials claimed that the seized metal could at the best be used as a shielding material in imported industrial radiography cameras, radiotherapy units in hospitals or as a counterweight in aircraft.