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India to boost nuclear fusion technology
July 05, 2007 19:54 IST
With an aim of boosting its capabilities in nuclear fusion technology, India on Thursday decided to join the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project at an estimated cost of Rs 2500 crore.
A meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] approved the country's participation in the project and decided to set up an empowered board by the Governing Council of the Institute for Plasma Research for its effective implementation, Information and Broadcasting Minister P R Dasmunsi said.
The foreign exchange component of the project, to come up at Cadarache in southern France [Images], is calculated at Rs 1129 crore.
"India's joining ITER is recognition of its scientific and technical capability in fusion energy. Considering India's large energy needs in future, our gaining technological capability in fusion energy will be of considerable long term benefit," Dasmunsi said.
He said India's participation in ITER would allow the country to "leapfrog in terms of our national technological capability in fusion energy".
The multi-billion dollar project is aimed at demonstrating the scientific and technological feasibility of controlled nuclear fusion as a future source of energy, which is inherently non-polluting.
The proposed empowered board would have full financial powers, particularly in respect of single limited and restricted tendering process and administrative powers to the total extent of the budgetary sanction of Rs 2500 crore.
It would also have full autonomy in laying down the rules, procedures and guidelines for financial, administrative and any other matter relating to the execution of the project, within the framework of the agreement signed among the ITER parties and ITER International Organisation, Dasmunsi said.
The board would have autonomy to decide on delegation of financial and administrative powers in conformity with the guidelines of the government and the Central Vigilance
Commission, he said, adding it would also have powers to create posts and lay down suitable recruitment norms.