Nuclear power is most viable alternative: scientists
Kolkata, Apr 3: To meet the demand supply mismatch of energy in the coming years, nuclear power is the most viable energy source as all the other energy reserves are being depleted, scientists said at a programme in Kolkata on Monday.
"We urgently need nuclear power to bridge the gap between huge demand and actual supply of energy in the coming years," senior official of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Anutosh Chakraborty said.
Currently, a total of 6780 MW nuclear power is being generated in India, he told PTI at the sidelines of the programme organised by NPCIL.
"To get 1 MW electricity through alternative energy sources, you have to think of many things," Chakraborty said.
"For solar power, the area requirement is high and there are maintenance issues. Windmills can only be installed in coastal areas and there are issues like wind speed," the senior scientist said.
For conventional energy, he said that coal needed for thermal power would be finished in two-three decades while hydro energy was possible only in hill areas. On nuclear power's perceived threat to environment, he said that a recent avian study at Narora Atomic Power Station in Uttar Pradesh had shown that nuclear energy was non -polluting and did not cause any threat to environment.
"If pollution increases birds just leave the place. But our study shows that avian biodiversity has gone up steadily there," he said.
Chakraborty said an avian survey was also done along coastal region of West Bengal including Haripur in East Midnapore district where a proposal of setting up of a nuclear power plant in 2000 ran into a wall of protests by then opposition and present ruling party, the Trinamool Congress.
Director of the School of Nuclear Studies and Applications, Dr Amitava Gupta said, "Nuclear reactors have fantastic safety standards and we have to take into account industrial scenario, the power scenario as well as the socio-economic scenario."
Stating that per capita consumption of power in West Bengal is low, Chakraborty said, "Bengal is consuming 600 MW per year as against 1100 MW by Odisha. So nuclear power is the alternative."