PM unveils new Power Reactor Reprocessing Plant

January 7th, 2011 - 2:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Thane, Jan 7 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday dedicated the second Power Reactor Reprocessing Plant at Tarapur here, calling it “a significant milestone in India’s three-stage indigenous nuclear programme”.”I am delighted to be present at the historic occasion of the commissioning,” Manmohan Singh said at a function in Tarapur, around 100 km north of Mumbai.

Recalling the vision of the founding fathers of India’s nuclear programme, the prime minister said that the recycling and optimal utilization of uranium was essential to meet India’s current and future energy security needs.

“We have come a long way since the first reprocessing of spent fuel in India in 1964 at Trombay, thus enabling India to use our vast and abundant thorium resources in advanced nuclear power reactors,” he said.

Terming the reprocessing of spent fuel as the key to India’s three-stage indigenous nuclear power programme, Singh said that reprocessing was essential in the transition to the second stage of fast breeder reactors that India has begun.

In the third stage, thorium would be used in advanced reactors.

The spent fuel will also ensure that India was better enabled to manage the waste that are by-products of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Manmohan Singh said that the Tarapur site was an outstanding example of nuclear energy’s capacity to provide clean, safe and economical energy that India needed for development and growth.

“It is home to the oldest boiling water reactors in the world. Here we have built our own reactors as well. And we have subsequently added the entire range of facilities covering the entire fuel cycle from fuel fabrication to reprocessing and waste immobilization,” said Singh.

Taken together, the atomic energy programme of India represented a very important and significant step towards technological and energy self-reliance and security.

“That we have done so by the efforts of our own scientists and engineers is tribute to the vision of the founders of our atomic energy programme,” he added.

He said that given the advanced status of India’s indigenous programme and the capabilities of its technocrats, the country can now confidently utilize the new opportunities created with the opening up of international cooperation in the field of nuclear energy.

Present on the occasion were Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Srikumar Banerjee, chairman of Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).

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