Wrap up Indo-US nuclear deal early: Kakodkar

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Mumbai, Jul 9 (UNI) Asserting that India was addressing the nuclear power deal with the United States as an equal partner, Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chairman Anil Kakodkar today underscored the need for the country to wrap up the deal at the earliest keeping in mind the energy security.

Participating in a panel discussion on ''Indo-US nuclear deal-India advantage'' at the Indian Merchants' Chamber (IMC) here, Dr Kakodkar said there was an urgent need for the country to optimise all options, including nuclear power, to meet the widening energy deficit that was expected to cross over 400 gigawatt by 2050. By operationalising the deal, the country could be in a position to import nuclear power plants or fuel to the tune of 40 gigawatt between 2012 and 2020, that would enable the deficit to be a nominal seven gigawatt. Even if the imports come a decade later, the deficit would widen to over 180 gigawatt.

He said with the Indian nuclear capability, both civilian and strategic, recognised worldover ''India is tackling the deal not in a weak position but as an equal partner.'' Referring to India related safeguards being discussed with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), he said the country had taken care of all its requirements while negotiating with the IAEA and ''now we are in a position to move forward''.

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