US officials visited Indian nuclear sites
Daily Times Monitor
LAHORE: American officials were given a tour of India’s nuclear installations under the guise of mutual concern over nuclear security and expanded “civilian nuclear activities,” said the news website The Asian Age.
The website said that Manmohan Singh’s government facilitated the visit of a five-member US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) delegation to Indian nuclear installations for a first-hand assessment of India’s nuclear safeguards in February 2005.
The USNRC delegation was led by commissioner Jeffrey S Merrifield and visited the Dhruva reactor, some engineering research and development facilities at Barc, the Tarapur site where two US-designed boiling water reactor units are operational and two units of 540 MW each of pressurised heavy water reactors are under construction, as well as the Kota site where four PHWR units are operating and two are under construction. Sources told The Asian Age that a visit by commissioner Merrifield to the military nuclear installations was also organised, although this could not be independently confirmed.
The US embassy in New Delhi arranged for a select meeting of a few Indian security experts with commissioner Merrifield, said the website, adding that he was particularly enthusiastic about Indian nuclear safeguards, saying he was “very impressed”.
The visit’s significance escaped local attention at the time, unusual because it was the first time that a foreign delegation had been allowed full access to Indian nuclear sites.