Manmohan invokes 'power of the atom'

Indian N-industry poised for major expansion

 
Inaugurating the International Conference on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy here, Singh also stressed the moral obligation on nations to draw down and eventually do away with destructive use of nuclear energy, and regretted that the global non-proliferation regime had not succeeded in preventing nuclear proliferation.

Repeatedly underscoring the importance of harnessing nuclear power to create energy, Singh said: “In our country, we see nuclear energy as a vital component of our global energy mix. The vast energy potential of the three-stage programme allows us really to think big.

“Our nuclear industry is poised for a major expansion and there will be huge opportunities for the global nuclear industry to participate in the expansion of India’s nuclear energy programme. If we can manage our programme well, our three-stage strategy could yield potentially 470,000 MW of power by 2050,” he said.

This will sharply reduce India’s dependence on fossil fuels and be a major contribution to global efforts to combat climate change. Going beyond power generation, nuclear energy had other peaceful usage, too, such as in areas of agriculture, food production and preservation, medicine and water desalination.

“In India, we have successfully developed 37 mutant varieties of seeds for commercial cultivation using nuclear techniques. Use of radiation technology for food preservation is growing. We have built a nuclear desalination plant at Kalpakkam and are working on the use of isotope hydrology techniques for rejuvenation of springs, which is an important source of drinking water. I see a growing role for nuclear energy in these areas,” he said.
On the agreements India has entered in recent times with other countries on resumption of full civil nuclear cooperation, Singh said: “We look forward to their full and effective implementation in the coming months and years.”

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