Need to make nuclear power cost effective, say nuclear scientists


Indian Nuclear scientists and policy maker on Friday called for nuclear power more cost effective to make it more competitive vis-a-vis other renewable resources. Emphasis was also put on making India a global nuclear energy hub.

Policymakers and stakeholders in the nuclear industry gathered at the 11th Nuclear Energy Conclave in Delhi on October 18. The Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region, Prime Minister’s Office; Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh inaugurated the event. Dr. Singh expressed satisfaction that the dream of the principal architect of Indian nuclear energy programme – Homi Bhabha, was achieved as the government has diversified the applications of nuclear energy in various social fields.

Underlining the government’s approach towards atomic energy, Dr. Singh said: “For the first time in the last 70 years a cabinet note was brought to allow joint ventures in the field of nuclear energy.”

Secretary of Department of Atomic Energy, Dr. K N Vyas also resonated the government’s long term vision for nuclear energy. The Indian Nuclear Chief said that as climate change scenario is becoming “grimmer”, nuclear energy is undeniable option to fight global warming.

Former chairman of Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), Dr. Anil Kakodkar said that the original target of 63 GW power by 2032 is still achievable. “India should aim to become international nuclear energy hub. The sector has potential to contribute to economy. India should develop export footprint,” Kakodkar said while extrapolating various points from the recent task report convened by Vivekananda Institute Foundation.

Talking about “Nuclear Power India’s Development Imperatives”, Kakodkar said that access to the imported uranium can accelerate the nuclear program size as well as large scale thorium deployment. We have now much lesser constraints to move ahead, he added. He talked about Short term actions on the part of DAE such as early movement on Fast Breeder Reactor deployment and early deployment of indigenous Light Water Reactors. He also spoke about some urgent actions Thorium-LEV fuelled Advanced Heavy Water Reactor for zero impact in the public domain. “The NPCIL should focus on cost competitiveness and short project gestation period to realise low tariffs. Given our large energy endowments in terms of thorium and solar energy, can India become a net exporter of clean and safe energy,” Dr. Kakodkar said.