Nuclear energy only option left for India’s long term energy need, says UCIL Chairman

November 14th, 2007 - 8:11 am ICT by admin  
He said that the existing coal reserves are limited for the next 40 to 50 years and with the mounting energy need and depleting reserves of fossil fuels, the nuclear energy is the only option left for getting clean energy.

“Now in the long run, if they are not going in for nuclear energy we have no other option because we are not having enough. Even fossil fuel is not there with us. So, we are left with no other alternative except to go for nuclear power,” he said.

However, he added that India should have a mix of all energy resources.

The government has set itself the target of producing 20,000 megawatts (MW) of nuclear power by 2020, so that its contribution reaches seven percent of the country’s energy requirements.

At present, nuclear power constitutes approximately 2.5 percent of India’s installed generation capacity of about 100,000 megawatts.

Most of the country’s power needs is met by thermal plants, which supply 72 per cent of electricity, and hydroelectricity provide 24 percent of country’s energy needs.

The UCIL, which was formed with an objective to mine and process uranium ore in the country, is currently operating four underground mines, one opencast mine and two ore processing plants in East Singhbhum district of eastern Jharkhand state.

Gupta, also said the corporation is looking to expand operation by launching projects in Andhra Pradesh and Meghalaya.

“We have invested almost about 700 crore (rupees) in Jharkhand to construct new projects. We are also planning new projects in Andhra Pradesh and Meghalaya. And…mining work is in process in Karnataka. So, you can see that we are going ahead with our programme to develop nuclear power through indigenous resources,” he said.

In August, the Union Cabinet approved the setting up of a uranium mine and a processing plant in south India at a cost of 11.06 billion rupees (269.9 million dollars).

The mine and processing plant will be set up in Cuddapah district in Andhra Pradesh.

While in tiny tribal state of Meghalaya, close to the border with Bangladesh, UCIL is awaiting statutory clearances.

Officials estimate there are up to 10,000 tonnes of uranium in and around Domiasat, the area considered to have the largest and richest deposits in the country. (ANI)

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