Nuclear energy inevitable for India’s rapid growth: scientist

July 9th, 2008 - 10:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, July 9 (IANS) India has to tap nuclear energy if it wants rapid growth, according to R. Chidambaram, principal scientific advisor to the government. “If you have to grow big, you have to go thermal, nuclear or hydro. That’s why nuclear becomes an inevitable option to satisfy the future needs of India,” Chidambaram said here late Tuesday.

“If one has to grow to a quality of life anywhere near that is prevailing in the developed world, one has to go nuclear in a big way,” he said at a China-India-US science, technology and innovation workshop.

India can produce up to 200,000 MW nuclear power by 2050 but much would depend on clearing misconceptions over proliferation, Chidambaram said.

India’s nuclear energy producing capacity is expected to go up to 20,000 MW by 2020. “Thereafter, it would grow very rapidly with more and more fast-breeder reactors being introduced in the system. It can grow to as much as 200,000 MW by the year 2050,” he said.

But “it will depend upon how the international situation changes.”

“It depends on how quickly proliferation misconceptions are removed from the system,” he said.

Chidambaram did not refer to the much debated India-US nuclear deal in his talk though he said, without elaborating, that India needs the US in the short-term while the US needs India in the long-term.

“There is not enough fossil fuel in the world. Its depletion is reflected in the ridiculous prices of crude partly fuelled by speculation. In this context, nuclear energy becomes an inevitable option,” he said.

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