‘Nuclear power generation should be under public sector’ (Lead)

July 23rd, 2008 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Kalpakkam, July 23 (IANS) Private sector power companies should first gain all round expertise in operating thermal, gas and other fuel-based power stations before venturing into the field of nuclear power, a top atomic scientist said here Wednesday. Interacting with reporters after attending the silver jubilee celebrations of Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) unit I, M.R. Srinivasan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, said: “World over, nuclear power generation is under public sector. The French nuclear power sector is under the government. So will be the Indian nuclear power generation which will be under Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) for many more years to come.”

On the benefits of the India-US nuclear deal, he said: “The deal enables India to join the global nuclear business. The country has sufficient technical pool which can service the global nuclear industry.”

According to him, India can import uranium and meet the fuel shortfall, which is a major challenge before the country’s nuclear power plants.

“The domestically available uranium can power generation of 10,000 MW of power,” he said.

Asked about the possibilities of India exporting nuclear technologies, S.A. Bhardwaj, technical director of NPCIL, said: “We are getting enquiries for 220 MW- capacity pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR) from countries like Canada and Thailand as if only India has the capability now for such reactors.”

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