India to produce 20,000 MW nuclear power by 2020: Kakodkar

February 18th, 2009 - 9:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Feb 18 (IANS) Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) chairman Anil Kakodkar Wednesday said that despite the current economic slowdown, India will achieve the production target of 20,000 MW of nuclear power by 2020.
The Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) has started work on four 700 MW nuclear power plants while the plans were also on to set up another 700 MW nuclear plants and fast breeder reactors.

He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a three-day international conference on “characterization and quality control of nuclear fuels” organised by the Nuclear Fuel Complex.

Pointing out that there was a growing energy demand in India, he said that the energy should be clean and not contribute to green house gas emissions.

“There are several drivers for growth of nuclear energy in India. This could in fact be one way of getting out of the economic slowdown,” Kakodkar said.

NPCIL also plans to go in for some light water reactors that have a capacity of over 1,000 MW each. It was in discussion with prospective vendors for constructing the light water plants.

The central government gave in-principle approval for development of sites at Jaithapur in Maharasthra and Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.

The scientist said each MW of nuclear power would cost about Rs.60 million. He said that NPCIL had the necessary capability to execute the new projects and deliver them within the time frame and budget.

The AEC chief said that private sector could also be allowed into nuclear power business provided they had prior experience in Indian conditions.

“It is important that whoever enters into nuclear power business must have prior experience in Indian conditions. It is unlike other businesses because in nuclear business you have to run the facility whether or not you produce power. We have to ensure there is control on nuclear materials and so there are demands on such entities,” Kakodkar said.

The Atomic Energy Act specifies that nuclear energy business could be carried out by a government company in which the central government has a 51 percent stake.

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