NEW DELHI  - India defended Saturday a safeguards agreement with the UN atomic energy agency for a sensitive deal on its nuclear reactors, saying it guaranteed uninterrupted fuel supplies for its plants. Government officials said the safeguards agreement " submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) this week " ensured there would be no abrupt disruption of fuel supplies for its civilian nuclear power plants. "Discontinuity in the operation of a reactor cannot happen suddenly," Anil Kakodkar, the chief of India's Atomic Energy Commission told reporters. Under the agreement, India will open its civilian nuclear facilities to international inspection, a condition it must meet to help seal a controversial pact to share nuclear technology with the United States. The Indian government faces a confidence vote in parliament on July 22 following a political crisis sparked by its decision to push ahead with the deal. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh argues the pact is crucial for India's energy security and continued strong economic growth. But left-wing parties, who withdrew crucial support for the ruling coalition over the pact, insist the deal would bind India too closely to the United States and runs counter to India's non-aligned status. They also believe that allowing UN inspections of the country's civil nuclear programme " as demanded by the Americans " would harm India's strategic weapons programme. The safeguards agreement is expected to be approved by the IAEA's 35-member board at the end of July or early August. Once it gets the green light, India must also get approval from the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group that exports nuclear fuel and technology, and from the US Congress to conclude the nuclear deal. Kakodkar said India could take "corrective measures" if there was a disruption to fuel supplies for its civilian plants, but did not specify what those measures would be. "Corrective measures that India would take would depend on what is the threat to continued operation of reactors," Kakodkar said. Critics have expressed concerns over a clause in the safeguard agreement's preamble that appears to make it possible for India to end IAEA inspections of sites, potentially allowing them to be used for making fissile material for nuclear weapons instead of nuclear fuel for power. The clause says India "may take corrective measures to ensure uninterrupted operation of its civilian nuclear reactors in the event of disruption of foreign fuel supplies." Kakodkar said that any agreement between India and a nuclear fuel supplier will be built on strong commitment and that New Delhi could report any disruption of fuel supplies to the IAEA.