Bhubaneshwar, May 10 : Former President Dr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam has favoured the Indo-US civil nuclear deal to boost country's nuclear energy programme. He rejected suggestions that the deal would undermine country's sovereignty.
Speaking at the convocation ceremony of Revenshaw University in Bhubaneshwar, Dr. Kalam said, "India required more uranium to carry forward its peaceful nuclear activities. A growing nation needed clean fuel to meet its energy demands."
He also said the country had plenty of thorium but very small reserve of uranium.
"We have thorium resources in abundance. But thorium is not fissile material and has to be converted into a fissile material using plutonium. Our scientists are working hard to realize this mission. It may take five to seven years time to achieve this goal. Hence, it is essential to have uranium for running our nuclear reactors," Dr. Kalam said, adding that "getting uranium from these countries will not stop us from doing indigenous research and development in thorium-based nuclear reactors".
Hence, we should go ahead with the civilian nuclear deal with US. It does not compromise India's sovereignty. We can at any time withdraw, if any national security need arises in future," he said.
Asked whether India needed a Pokharan-III, he said that there was no need to keep "re-proving" ourselves unless newer technology demanded.
Expressing satisfaction at the growth trajectory taken by India's nuclear programme, Kalam said the country had made the right decision in the nuclear area in continuation of economic reforms in 1991.
Dr. Kalam further said that our scientists in multiple scientific departments have worked for self-reliance and have succeeded in making the cryogenic engine, flight control system for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), the latest Agni-III missile system and carbide nuclear fuel development and closing the fuel cycle.