No compromise on nuclear programme : Kakodkar

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{image-Anil Kakodkar_26072008.jpg}Kharagpur, West Bengal, Jul 26: Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar on Friday, July 25, ruled out any compromise on the country's nuclear programme.

Addressing the 54th convocation of IIT, Kharagpur, Mr Kakodkar stated that the country's strategic nuclear programme, which was already in the process, could never be compromised. He emphasised that this process had become a matter of global survival as a result of the threat to climate change. '' Nuclear energy with its several million-fold higher calorific value and negligible green house effect can make a paradigm change for the better. The last five decades of domestic research and development have brought us to the level of being a potent technology powerhouse of global recognition in this area, '' he stated.

'' Today our self-reliant capabilities provide us sufficient strength to pursue and autonomous path that is best suited for us.

We have realised this capability despite the embargo that has been around us. There is no issue that we would pursue the three stage domestic development programme leading to unleashing of vast energy potential in our thorium resources on high priority, '' Mr Kakodkar averred.

'' However, a simple back of the envelop assessment would reveal that the electricity demand supply gap would progressively widen over next few decades in spite of our best efforts to deploy all available indigenous energy resources including nuclear. Nuclear power plants, while they produce electricity, they also produce nuclear fuel, and in Fast Breeder Reactors they in fact produce more fuel than what they consume, '' he asserted.

'' This would thus enable growth of electricity generation capacity without the need for additional external fuel. Here is thus a technology in which we are one of the world leaders and which can help us close the demand supply gap without the need to acquire external fuel perpetually provided we can access some additional Uranium to start with over and above what we area, '' Mr Kakodkar, also Secretary to the Department of Atomic Energy, said.


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