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Iran Expresses Wish to work with India on Nuclear Safety and Accident Prevention

Iran and India have also signed 12 agreements, including on science and technology, culture and railways and three on the port itself

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One of the gate guards in a hazmat suit, helmet and dual intake respirator, Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, VOA
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– by Sahana Ghosh

Moscow, Nov 24, 2016: Iran, once an international outcast due to its controversial nuclear programme, has expressed hope it can work in tandem with India to enhance nuclear safety and knowledge management in the region to prevent “accidents”.

The country also plans to invite India to participate in the annual VVER Technology Forum next year.

“We have common issues. Both countries use VVER (Water-Water Energetic Reactor) technologies. Both have developed research activities and they could follow that. We have similar interests in the nuclear programme from the safety point of view. Things could be done very easily. We hope things could be extended in a more tangible manner in the future,” Naser Rastkhah, who heads the Iran Nuclear Regulatory Authority, told IANS here.

Rastkhah is participating in the 11th International Public Forum-Dialogue “Nuclear Energy, Environment, Safety”.

[bctt tweet=”Iran plans to invite India to participate in the annual VVER Technology Forum next year. ” username=””]

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“Next year we are going to host the VVER Forum and we will invite the (nuclear) regulatory body of India,” Rastkhah said.

Banking on India’s long-standing experience in nuclear safety, Rastkhah raised concerns over the dearth of knowledge among countries that are foraying into the nuclear energy sector in the region.

“From the regulatory point of view, we belong to the same region and any accident anywhere is an accident everywhere. India has a very good experience long before Iran in this regard and they could probably cooperate with our nuclear regulatory authority to increase safety in the region… to of course prevent accidents.”

“Most of the newcomers in the region have least knowledge in safety of (using) nuclear energy. If people are aware, safety is there. Usually we are influenced by lack of information. If we could extend our collaboration with the Indian regulatory body, we are on the safe side,” he noted.

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Earlier this year, India and Iran took a major step in boosting connectivity and trade with the inking of an agreement on the Chabahar port. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with the Iranian leadership and said that the time has come for both sides to “regain the past glory of the relationship”.

The two sides also signed 12 agreements, including on science and technology, culture and railways and three on the port itself.

India and Iran are not members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Asked about India’s bid for membership and China blocking its entry into the group, Rastkhah clarified he has no information on this.

Iran’s nuclear programme began in the 1950s and has had a chequered past.

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On July 14, 2015, Iran clinched a deal with five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, or P5 1, ending a decade-long dispute over its controversial nuclear programme.

The agreement resulted in the lifting of international and Western nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions on Iran in exchange for wide-scale limitation on the country’s nuclear activities for a specific period of time.

Focusing on the current scenario, Rastkhah flagged issues with countries in the southern part of the Persian Gulf.

“I am very much concerned about the southern part of the Persian Gulf. Clean energy in the region is nice, but there is lack of knowledge and it is very difficult to manage. Our people say ‘never we want another Fukushima’,” he added. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google, Facebook face greater scrutiny in Australia. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?