India should import uranium to boost generation: Kakodkar

July 25th, 2008 - 6:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Kharagpur (West Bengal), July 25 (IANS) India can boost its nuclear energy production by accessing additional uranium and solve the crisis perpetually, Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar said here Friday. “Here is a technology (nuclear) in which we are one of the world leaders and which can help us close the demand supply gap without the need to acquire external fuel perpetually, provided we can access some additional uranium to start with over and above what we already have in our country,” Kakodkar said at the 54th annual convocation function of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)- Kharagpur.

He said the path of civil nuclear empowerment can be achieved with uranium import but “without any compromise on India’s strategic programmes in the process”.

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) central government is pushing to operationalise the India-US nuclear deal, after winning a crucial trust vote in parliament Tuesday, that will open the doors of global civil nuclear commerce with India after a gap of three decades.

“Nuclear energy with its several million-fold higher calorific value and negligible greenhouse gas emissions can make a paradigm change for the better. Fortunately, the five decades of domestic research and development have brought us to the level of being a potent technology powerhouse of global recognition in this area.

“Today our self-reliant capabilities provide us sufficient strength to pursue an autonomous path that is best suited for us.

“We have realised this capability despite the embargo that has been around us. There is no issue that we would pursue the three stage domestic programme leading to unleashing of vast energy potential in our thorium resources on high priority,” he said.

“The demand supply gap in electricity would progressively widen over the next few decades in spite of our best efforts to deploy all available indigenous energy resources, including nuclear.

“Nuclear power plants, while they produce electricity, also produce nuclear fuel, and in Fast Breeder Reactors they, in fact, produce more fuel than what they consume.

“This would thus enable growth of electricity generation capacity without the need for additional external fuel,” he said.

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