Kalam for thorium-based nuclear power reactors

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New Delhi, Sep 23 (UNI) Underlining the urgency for India to develop alternative sources of energy to reduce its carbon footprints and also its oil bills, Former President APJ Abdul Kalam today called for developing thorium-based reactors for producing nuclear energy.

He said India has vast reserves of thorium, so it would be wise to focus research and development activities on nuclear reactors which use thorium as fuel.

Dr Kalam was delivering the valedictory address at the 14th Annual Sustainable Development Research Conference here.

He said nuclear energy was expected to contribute 18,000 MW power by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan when the nine new reactors would start functioning. At present, nuclear energy sector had 3,900 MW capacity.

Dr Kalam counted solar energy as the vital area on which the government and the industry should focus. Sun is abundant throughout the year, so developing technology to harness its energy for agriculture, domestic and other needs should be given top priority, he added.

The former President also made a strong case for developing wind energy whose potential has been estimated to be 45,000 MW. He was for subsidising the wind energy farms.

He also underscored the importance of developing alternative sources of fuel like bio-fuel and pointed out that the vast tracts of waste land could be used for planting jatropha plants.

India's wasteland area is 60 million hectares, and research is needed to determine what kind of seeds are to be planted on such land to give the maximum yield, he said.

The two-day conference saw the participation of a large number of experts from various countries.

The issues deliberated at the meeting included methodology and theory of sustainability science, strategic sustainability management, partnersips for sustainable development, sustainable agriculture and corporate responsibilty and others.

UNI NAZ SR BD20228

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