‘India gaining from N-renaissance in Asia’

October 11th, 2010 - 1:01 am ICT by IANS  

Mahabalipuram (Tani Nadu), Oct 10 (IANS) With over 35 nuclear power reactors under construction across Asia, a nuclear renaissance is sweeping across the continent and India is no exception, said speakers at the Asian Nuclear Prospects 2010 (ANUP 2010) conference Sunday.

The international conferences, designed to foster the growth of nuclear energy in Asia, kick started here - around 60 km from Chennai.

“China has 12 reactors in operation and 23 reactors are under construction. India has 19 reactors in operation four under advanced stage of construction and four have been recently launched,” Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan said while inaugurating the four-day conference.

The share of nuclear power in the total power generation in India is expected to grow over 10 percent in the next 20 years, taking the total nuclear power capacity to around 60 GW (giga watt) from the current 4.5 GW, he said.

“South Korea has 20 reactors in operation and six under construction. Japan has 54 reactors in operation and two under construction,” the minister said.

He said countries like Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Jordon, Malaysia, Philippines, United Arab Emirates, Singaproe, Thailand, Vietnam and others having no reactors are now launching their nuclear programme.

The country has attained leadership position in many areas of nuclear power and its pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR) is competitive with others in the world in terms of installation. He said India can export 220 MW and 500 MW PHWRs to other Asian nations, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, chairman, Indian Atomic Energy Commission, and secretary department of atomic energy Srikumar Banerjee said that the major issue facing the sector was waste management.

R.K. Sinha, vice president, Indian Nuclear Society and director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, said around six new countries are interested to have atomic power plant and many of them will have one by 2030.

According to CMD of Nuclear Power Corporation of India S.K. Jain, by March 2012 India will launch work on 12 reactors including 700 MW PHWRs.

“Beyond 2012, work will begin on 12 reactors consisting of light water reactors (LWR) and two fast breeder reactors. At one time, we will be building around 25 reactors,” he said.

Driving the nuclear renaissance in the Asian continent is the low per capita consumption of power and also the necessity to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, said R. Chidambaram, principal scientific advisor to government of India.

According to Deputy Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Y.A. Sokolov, current expansion remains centred in Asia. Of the twelve constructions started in 2009, ten were in Asia.

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