'Nuclear energy viable solution for power crisis'

Deep in discussion: Director of Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research P B Maithani making a point to University of Mysore Registrar P S Naik, in Mysore on Thursday. Mineralogical Society of India President Prof C Naganna is also seen. DH photo

As the radiation disaster from nuclear facility in Japan looms large, triggering debates over the safety of atomic energy, Prem Ballabh Maithani, Director of Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research has said the country can pursue the nuclear energy with better safety measures in place.

Talking to reporters here on Thursday, he said the present atomic radiation crisis in Japan should not render the nuclear energy an ‘unsafe mode’ as an option for strengthening the power sector in the country.

“The fossil fuel reserves are limited and may be exhausted anytime. Nuclear energy is the only viable option left as there was need for more advancement in the solar energy sector.

Moreover, the burning of fossil fuels (thermal plants) are the causes for environment pollution and the increase in green house gases resulting in bad impact on the earth’s ecology,” he said.

The widespread devastation in Japan because of the earthquake and tsunami is highly unusual. Though, the initial investment into the setting up the infrastructure for the nuclear facility installations is comparatively high, it would only benefit and aid the progress of the country in the long run.

He also dismissed the fears of the sub continent getting exposed to the radiation from Japan.

The radiation will only dissipate and dilute within a few hundred miles, Maithani said.
On the advances made in the country’s endeavour to search for the uranium deposits, the Director said his department has made good progress on this front.

There are indications of good uranium deposits in Rajasthan, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka states. “There is a thrust on the search in Karnataka-Andhra border as the area seems apt for such ventures,” he said.

He also disclosed that the Atomic Minerals Directorate was adopting Heli-bound survey method to carry out a large scale survey of the mainland in about 1000 metre depth.

“The helicopters will be fitted with advanced geophysical instruments to know the mineral resources upto a depth of 1000 metres. The select areas will be drilled to confirm the presence of resources,” he said.

National Seminar

Earlier, Maithani inaugurated a two-day National Seminar on “Recent Advances in Mineral Sciences and Their Applications” and the golden jubilee celebrations of the Mineralogical Society of India, organised by the Department of Earth Sciences of University of Mysore.

In his address, senior geological scientist called upon the researchers and students spend a good time in the field visits along with working in the laboratories.

“The advancement in technology has brought down the frequency of the field visits among the geologists in the country, which is not a healthy sign. The geologists should give equal time on field and lab too,” he said.

Prof C Naganna, President, Mineralogical Society of India, P S Naik, registrar, University of Mysore, K Byrappa, Chairman of departmen of Earth Sciences, conveners C Srikantappa, Prof S Govindaiah, co-convener H T Basavarajappa and others were present.

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