|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Energy security does not come from N-reactors: Scientist
November 21, 2007 18:10 IST
Factors like energy security and development, highlighted in support of the Indo-US nuclear deal are misleading, a top nuclear scientist claimed on Wednesday.
"Reasons like development and energy security are misleading. In my opinion, development can be through imports or indigenous programmes. Energy security does not come from nuclear or few reactors imported unless we ultimately reach the thorium technology," Placid Rodriguez, president of Indian Nuclear Society and former director of Indira Gandhi [Images] Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, told reporters in Hyderabad.
However, the deal has some advantages to India, he said.
"There is a shortage of uranium fuel required for our existing reactors. So they are all running at low capacity. Secondly, even if we get over this temporary situation in another three years, the opening of new mines near Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh and in Meghalaya, our PHWR capacity can only go up to 10,000 MW with the 60,000 tonnes of uranium we have.
If we are able to import uranium from outside, this base level can be increased and it gives more opportunity for our fast breeder programme to double," he said.
The third benefit, Rodriguez said, is the light water reactors will be additional to the country's indigenous programme.
"That is we will have more installed capacity. You can have an addition to imported reactors and that imported reactors will give us plutonium as well as uranium," he said.
Another advantage is that the country can become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and eventually become a seller, he added.
Rodriguez was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 18th annual conference of the Indian Nuclear Society.
P Rama Rao, member, Atomic Energy Commission said India should be part of the global technology development endeavour as no single country can muster all the resources.
The Indian Nuclear Society gave away awards to several scientists, engineers, communicators and industry on the occasion in recognition of their outstanding contribution in the advancement of nuclear science and technology.
K A Dinshaw, director, Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, was felicitated with Life Time Achievement Award.