Kalam for accelerating thorium based N-power capacity
Dec 4, 2006, 17:15 GMT
New Delhi, Dec 4 (IANS) President A.P.J Abdul Kalam Monday said India should use its thorium reserves to meet the increased needs of nuclear power generation.
'Nuclear power generation has been given a thrust by the use of uranium based fuel. However, to meet the increased needs of nuclear power generation, it is essential to pursue the development of nuclear power using thorium, reserves of which are higher in the country,' said Kalam.
Addressing the three-day 'India R&D 2006- Mind to Market' conference jointly organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Kalam said: 'Technology development is being accelerated for thorium based power plants.'
The statement is significant as the India-US civilian nuclear deal awaits congressional clearance within the next few days.
India's present nuclear power capacity is 3,900 MW with 14 reactors in operation. The capacity is expected to reach 7,400 MW by 2010 with the completion of nine reactors, which are now in progress.
The share of nuclear power in India's total power generation capacity of 130,000 MW is around three percent.
As per the present plan of the Bhabha Atomic Research Corporation (BARC) and the Nuclear Power Corporation, the capacity by 2020 is expected to be increased to 24,000 MW.
'There is a need to plan right from now to increase this capacity to 50,000 MW by 2030,' said Kalam.
In a presentation to the large gathering of technocrats, innovators, industrialists and overseas delegates, Kalam said, 'Implementation of the advanced heavy water reactor (AHWR) project and development of associated fuel cycle facilities will provide industrial scale experience into the handling of thorium.'
The AHWR is to derive two-thirds of its power from thorium and one-third from plutonium generated from fast breeder reactor (FBR).
The president called for global and national partnerships to focus on energy, agriculture, food processing and knowledge products that has got challenges in research, production and holds potential for world wide marketing.
© 2006 Indo-Asian News Service