New Delhi: Setting eyes on nuke expansion, India on Tuesday briefed the International Atomic Energy Agency about its plans for forthcoming nuclear strategies and also about the steps taken by the government to review and strengthen nuclear safety at its nuclear power plants.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao met IAEA Director General (DG) Yukiya Amano in Vienna during which the two reviewed cooperation between India and the Agency, a release from the External Affairs Ministry said.

During the meeting, the DG outlined some nuclear safety issues that have arisen after the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi, three months ago in Japan. A report by an International Fact Finding Mission is expected to be submitted to the Agency.

"Rao briefed the DG regarding India's plans for expansion of nuclear energy in the coming decades, as a clean and sustainable energy source, to meet India's developmental needs
and contribute to energy security...India has taken a number of measures to review and strengthen nuclear safety at its nuclear power plants.

"Government was also planning to introduce a bill in the next session of Parliament to establish an independent Nuclear Regulatory Authority of India," the release said.

Agreeing with Rao that nuclear energy would continue to be an important energy source for a number of countries, Amano praised India's excellent nuclear non-proliferation record and said he was deeply impressed with its achievements in peaceful uses of nuclear energy during his visit here.

Rao said India welcomes DG's initiative to host a ministerial conference on nuclear safety which will be held in Vienna next week.

Amano spoke of his efforts in promoting role of IAEA in agriculture, industry and health which was important for developing countries and also thanked India for its generous donation of Bhabhatron to Vietnam and Sri Lanka.

During her talks, Rao mentioned that India would like to cooperate with IAEA on the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership being established in India as a follow-up to the Prime Minister's announcement at Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in April 2010.

Agencies