This was mooted by Dr Anil Kakodkar, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, while charing a plenary session on energy on the concluding day of the 97th Indian Science Congress here on Thursday. “A lot of thinking needs to be done before embarking on it but there is an urgent need for focussed activity in these areas,” he said.
According to him, thorium, solar power and hydrogen were the energy sources of the future and there was need for multidisciplinary research to bring down the high cost of harnessing them. Coal being the primary source of energy in the country there were ticklish issues to be resolved in this sector like development of new mines clashing with the forest cover.
“Sourcing good quality coal, developing thorium-based nuclear reactors, developing smart grids and fluid fuels are some of the technology challenges confronting us,” Kakodkar said. Kakodkar also pointed out that coal production were areas which India should have led the world but instead others had overtaken us. “Challenges in energy sector are particularly Indian, nobody is going to solve them for us,” he said.
Dr H S Brahma, secretary, Union Ministry of Power, said the government was confident of meeting the targeted 2.40 lakh MW of power production in the public sector by 2012. Change in energy mix, use of supercritical technologies and smart grids were new strategies to ensure proper utilisation of power.
Dr R K Sinha, director, Reactor Design and Development BARC, argued for plutonium-based metallic fuel obtained from pressurised heavy water reactor as fuel in fast breed reactors.
DH News Service