* IAEA approves extra India inspections deal
* Some IAEA members wanted stronger safeguards
* Deal key to India's nuclear imports from U.S.
(adds quotes from protocol document, paragraphs 8-10, 19)
By Mark Heinrich
VIENNA, March 3 U.N. nuclear watchdog governors
on Tuesday approved a deal allowing extra inspections of India's
atomic industry, a condition of a U.S.-led deal allowing New
Delhi to import nuclear technology after a 33-year freeze.
Passage of an "Additional Protocol" somewhat expanding the
International Atomic Energy Agency's monitoring rights in India
came a month after New Delhi signed a basic nuclear safeguards
accord opening its civilian nuclear plants to U.N. inspections.
The 31-page protocol would broadly give IAEA inspectors more
information on India's nuclear-related exports, imports and
source material, diplomats familiar with the issue said.
But some members of the 35-nation IAEA Board of Governors
joined the consensus vote only with reluctance, they said.
Sceptics felt that while heightened U.N. safeguards were a
net gain for a country outside the Non-Proliferation Treaty
(NPT), they could have been stronger had there been more time
for negotiations, they added.
"Switzerland, Ireland, Cuba and South Africa protested that
the agreement was handed to the board only two days ago, too
late to thoroughly assess whether it will really contribute to
disarmament," one diplomat in the closed-door meeting said.
"It doesn't because there are no provisions to ensure India
cannot divert into its military nuclear sector nuclear materials
and know-how it obtains abroad for the civilian sector."
The protocol, entitled "Nuclear Verification -- The
Conclusion of Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols" --
would give inspectors wider access to India's programme but not
as much as in countries that have signed the NPT.
"The agency will not mechanistically or systematically seek
to verify information obtained. Verification activities in
question are not linked to quantitative yardsticks like
inventories of nuclear materials," the pact's preamble said.
"The frequency and intensity of (IAEA checks) shall be kept
to the minimum consistent" with the aim of improving safeguards.
SUPPLIERS LIFT NUCLEAR BAN ON INDIA
IAEA oversight was stipulated when the 45-nation Nuclear
Suppliers Group agreed in September to lift a ban on nuclear
trade with India, imposed after its first nuclear test in 1974
and for its refusal to join the NPT.
India, Pakistan and Israel are the only countries never to
have never signed the NPT.
Washington pushed through the NSG "waiver" because this was
indispensable to implementing its own 2005 nuclear cooperation
pact to supply India with nuclear technology.
U.S. officials said the deal, a major plank in former U.S.
President George W. Bush's foreign policy, would forge a
strategic partnership with India, help it meet soaring energy
demand, reduce fossil fuel emissions linked to climate change,
and open up a nuclear market worth billions of dollars.
Disarmament advocates complained that it undercut the NPT,
meant to prevent the spread and production of nuclear weapons.
They fear Indian access to foreign nuclear materials could
allow it to divert more of its limited indigenous supplies to
its bomb programme and drive historical foe Pakistan into
another arms race.
After its first nuclear test in 1974, India conducted a
series of nuclear tests in 1998, prompting rival Pakistan to
follow suit within weeks.
IAEA safeguards require India to open up 14 of 22 reactors
to inspections by 2014. New Delhi must still specify which
reactors will come under inspection, an Indian government
official said last month.
India's Additional Protocol lists some 100 nuclear-use
materials and hardware to come under monitoring including entire
reactors and heavy-water plants, reactor-core graphite, coolant
and vacuum pumps, parts for fuel-producing centrifuges,
spectrometers, uranium metal products and laser systems.
(Editing by Ralph Boulton)