NEW DELHI: India has announced that a nuclear power plant not covered by international safeguards and inspections has begun functioning since March 16. “This is another milestone in our plans to harness nuclear energy for economic development and the welfare of our people,” KR. Narayanan, the Minister of State for Science and Technology told Parliament on Monday. He said the event was another example of India’s ability to harness “nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.”

Only two of India’s seven nuclear plants are under safeguards and those covered by inspections are American and Canadian built.

India, despite detonating an atomic device in 1974 has maintained that it does not have a nuclear weapons development program, although officials acknowledge that it has the ability to produce several bombs. India has refused to sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, saying it is discriminatory because it does not apply to the major powers.

The plant at Narora, about 90 miles east of here is on the banks of, the Ganges River in rich farming country. When complete it will be capable of generating 470 megawatts of power.

Article extracted from this publication >>  March 31, 1989