The India-U.S. civilian nuclear deal, after becoming operational, is moving satisfactorily, with New Delhi now negotiating with vendors, Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar has said recently in Kolkata.
“To meet high energy needs, India must tap every available resource,” Kakodkar said at the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics in the city’s Salt Lake District.
Earlier, delivering the Raja Ramanna Memorial lecture organized as part of the Foundation Day celebrations of the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre in the city, he emphasized that the country needs to do its own research on development of clean coal technology as it has a unique problem of having coal with high-ash content.
“We have to do our own research on clean coal technology as no other country would do that using coal that is found in only our country,” Kakodkar said.
India must have the technology to harness these resources. “It is important that we create an environment where Indian research and development leads to Indian technology,” he said. Nobody could give the country technology for deriving energy from thorium and high-ash coal, with India abounds in, because such technology did not exist elsewhere, Kakodkar added.
He said India would require 30,000 gigawatts by 2050. To meet this need, the Department of Atomic Energy followed Dr. Homi Bhabha’s vision of a three-stage nuclear power programme: Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors based on uranium in the first phase, followed by Fast Breeder Reactors and ultimately thorium-based reactors. He cautioned against premature introduction of thorium, which, he said, would hamper growth.
Bikash Sinha, Director, Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, recounted the achievements of the institution including the Superconducting Cyclotron, which is available only in four other places in the world and from which the first proton beam emitted in May this year. The accelerator has been designed indigenously, with most parts made in India.
West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi and M.R. Srinivasan, former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, took part in the event.