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PM to meet nuke scientists
August 25, 2006 23:35 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will seek to allay scientists' fears over the Indo-US nuclear deal when he meets a group of nuclear scientists and members of the Atomic Energy Commission in New Delhi on Saturday.
The meeting with the scientists is taking place at a time when the agreement with the United States on civil nuclear cooperation has come under attack from political parties and the scientific community.
Former AEC chairmen H N Sethna, M R Srinivasan and P K Iyengar, former Atomic Energy Regulatory Board chairman A Gopalkrishnan, former Nuclear Power Corporation managing directors S L Kati and Y S R Prasad, former Bhabha Atomic Research Centre director A N Prasad, and former Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research chief Placid Rodriguez are among those who have been called by the prime minister for the deliberations.
He will also have a meeting with AEC members. The AEC is chaired by Anil Kakodkar and has as members Minister of State in PMO Prithviraj Chavan, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan, Principal Secretary to PM T K A Nair, Cabinet Secretary B K Chaturvedi, Department of Economic Affairs Secretary A K Jha, eminent scientist C N R Rao, former AEC chairman M R Srinivasan, former Atomic Energy Regulatory Board chairman P Rama Rao, BARC Director Srikumar Banerjee and Head of the Management Service Group of Department of Atomic Energy, K Muralidhar.
With the Left parties, Samajwadi Party, opposition BJP and a group of nuclear scientists expressing reservations about the Indo-US nuclear deal, the prime minister told Parliament that the bilateral pact will not put a cap on the country's military nuclear programme.
Singh had assured the House that his government would work for "broad national consensus" on the issue.
As a part of the process, the prime minister is meeting a group of eight nuclear scientists who had raised doubts about the perpetuity of nuclear restraint and safeguards at nuclear facilities among other issues.