Nuclear energy inevitable option for India: Sekhar Basu

Nuclear energy is an inevitable option for India and the world, Sekhar Basu, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy said on the sidelines of an event organised by the Permanent Mission of India at the UN office in Vienna ahead of the annual general conference of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The country’s top nuclear official also cautioned that nuclear power should be harnessed while preventing proliferation.

The event was attended by representatives of 55 countries, including Pakistan. His comments come in the backdrop of North Korea firing a ballistic missile over Japan on August 29 and September 15, in a major escalation of tensions by Pyongyang.

On September 3, North Korea carried out a sixth nuclear test, sending tensions soaring over its weapons ambitions and causing global concern. “India believes that nuclear energy is an inevitable option not only for it but for the world and there is a need for augmenting human resources for sustaining the large-scale deployment of nuclear energy,” Basu said. The current capacity of 21 Indian nuclear power reactors is 6780 MW and this roughly constitutes 3 per cent of total power generated in the country.

Basu, who is the secretary of Department of Atomic Energy, which controls all the nuclear energy establishments in the country, said India has established the Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) to promote “safe, secure, proliferation resistant and sustainable nuclear energy for the service of the mankind” through global partnership. “India also believes that this has to be done not only in a safe and secure manner but should also address the issues of proliferation resistance and sustainability,” he said.