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Nuclear authorities endorse India-US N-deal
March 10, 2006 01:40 IST
The country's nuclear authorities on Thursday endorsed India-US nuclear deal, saying that without compromising her national security the deal opens the gateway to securing India's energy independence to power her economic growth in a big way.
Assuring that there would be no reduction in India's strategic nuclear programme, Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Dr Anil Kakodkar said the deal while raising the comfort level of the international community would pave the way for the country to enhance her nuclear power generation capacity through external cooperation in a big way.
India has offered to place 14 of the 22 thermal power reactors under IAEA safeguards in a phased manner between 2006-14, Dr Kakodkar told a media conference, adding the agreement would not affect the country's strategic programme in any respect.
"No constraint has been placed on our right to construct new facilities for strategic purposes. The integrity of our nuclear doctrine and our ability to sustain a credible minimal nuclear deterrent is adequately protected," he maintained.
At the same time, the AEC Chairman said Nuclear Power Corporation of India was going very fast in constructing nuclear thermal power plants, adding it would be more than doubling India's nuclear power generation from the current 3300 MW to 7200 MW in the next two to three years.
NPCIL was now constructing eight nuclear power plants, the largest by any country in the world at present, he said, adding the Corporation was now taking just about five years to build a plant which, he added, was commendable by global standards.
But Dr Kakodar said India's energy requirement was rising in a big way and the country would require 12-fold increase by 2052.Presently there was a shortfall of 29 per cent and entering into civil nuclear agreements with supplier nations could bridge this. Companies from US, France, Russia and Britain had already made offers to set up nuclear power plants in India. Dr Kakodkar said if the India-US agreement, a "win-win" deal for the country, was approved by the US Congress it would accelerate the growth in nuclear power sector, paving the way for energy independence.