India may exceed 2020 nuclear power target: Kakodkar

December 4th, 2008 - 5:00 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 4 (IANS) India is expected to exceed the nuclear power target of 20,000 MW by 2020, thanks to the removal of curbs on the import of technology and fuels by the international community, says a top scientist in India’s nuclear establishment.”We can well exceed the 2020 target,” said Anil Kakodkar, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, a state-run agency that overseas fundamental research in nuclear energy, as also the development of applications for average citizens.

“At least two-three units could be connected with the capacity of 1,400 MW to 1,500 MW in 2009,” Kakodkar told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on nuclear power organised by the India Power Forum.

The country’s first fast-breeder reactor was under construction and on schedule for commissioning in 2010-11, he said, adding that the India’s nuclear power programme would, thereafter, see sustained and committed activity.

India, the nuclear scientist said, was currently in talks with several foreign vendors in this area and felt that in a year or so the full programme will start rolling.

“But we also have to evolve our own model valid under Indian conditions.”

A crucial guarantee India was seeking from vendors was uninterrupted and lifetime supply of fuel and the right to re-process spent fuel that was necessary to deliver a sustained growth of 8 percent till 2031.

According to him, India will need to expand its primary energy supplies by at least 3-4 times and electricity generation by 5-7 times to meet the growing appetite for energy and sustain a high overall economic growth.

Power Secretary Anil Razdan said there was an urgent need to ensure that India’s nuclear power programme was put on fast track to what he described as the second stage to address concerns about energy security.

One route suggested he suggested was to ensuring synergies between the state-run Nuclear Power Corp that has domain experience, with NTPC, which had the required organisational and construction experience.

He said it was necessary to develop 2-3 players in the area since companies like NTPC cannot do it alone, despite gaining immense capabilities over the years.

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