India role model for promoting peaceful utilisation of Atomic energy: IAEA

     IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei on Tuesday praised India for promoting peaceful utilisation of Atomic energy. Addressing International conference on 'Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy' in New Delhi , he said India had successfully harnessed nuclear technology in fields of radiation, nuclear medicine and agriculture and was a role model for developing countries. He said India 's cooperation with the IAEA was set to increase, particularly in the area of de-commissioning of nuclear reactors and their refurbishment. Noting that India had called for elimination of nuclear weapons in 1988, he said "I trust India 's voice will continue to be heard." "Every country has the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy but it has to ensure not only safety and security but also see to it that nuclear material is not diverted to other purposes," said ElBaradei. The IAEA chief said that ageing reactors, under-funding of plant operators and weak regulatory mechanisms were big challenges for the growth of nuclear sector globally. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has released commemorative coins on Homi Bhabha, the architect of the country's nuclear programme. Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar said India is set to play an important role in growth of the nuclear sector after its re-entry in global nuclear trade.

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