Officials say the International Atomic Energy Agency has adopted an inspections plan with India crucial to a landmark nuclear deal between New Delhi and Washington.

The so-called safeguards agreement will effectively allow U.N. monitors access to 14 existing or planned nuclear reactors by 2014. The facilities are not listed.

Approval of the safeguards deal is key to India's efforts to gain access to legal imports of nuclear fuel and technology from the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Without IAEA safeguards, India cannot import nuclear technology from the group that includes the United States.

India first conducted a nuclear test explosion 34 years ago after it broke out of its foreign-supplied civilian program to develop atomic arms.