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India, Finland to cooperate in civil nuclear energy; sign 19 agreements

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Helsinki (Oct 15, 2014): India and Finland on Wednesday signed 19 agreements including one for peaceful use of nuclear energy as well as management of radioactive waste from atomic power plants as President Pranab Mukherjee began his two-day visit to the key Scandinavian country. The president, who arrived here last night, began his visit to Finland after inspecting a guard of honour which was followed by a one-to-one meeting with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto and delegation-level talks.

The agreement for nuclear cooperation was signed by Indian Ambassador to Finland Ashok Kumar and Director General of Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland Petteri Tiippana in presence of Mukherjee and Niinisto. The arrangement for cooperation between the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board of India and the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland will ensure cooperation in the field of nuclear and radiation safety regulation concerning exchange of information personnel related to the peaceful use of nuclear energy and radiation related to nuclear installations, radiation and nuclear safety including radioactive waste management, safety related issues and research.

It will also cover radiation safety, emergency preparedness, and radioactive waste management associated with the operation of nuclear power plants. Immediately after the signing ceremony, the Finnish president underlined the importance of India in the world order and said his country was keenly observing the 'Make in India' policy announced recently and also that the two sides had agreed for doubling the trade from existing USD 1.5 billion to USD 3 billion in next three years.

While backing India's candidature in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the Finnish president said there was an immediate need for expanding the world body's top organ and it should include countries like India. Talking about the relevance of the UN in present crisis in Syria and West Asia, Finland's president said, "Unfortunately, the UN has not been capable of giving a clear answer to situation in Syria or Ukraine. The Finnish perception is that we consider that veto right in Security Council is one obstacle that makes decision making in the UN very difficult indeed".

"We also see that UNSC should be enlarged by including countries like India," he said.