“Nuclear power remains an important option not only for countries with existing nuclear programs, but also for developing countries with growing energy requirements,” visiting Bharatiya Janata Party parliamentarian Shatrughan Sinha said in his statement to the UN General Assembly on the
2012 annual report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). India has co-sponsored the draft resolution on the IAEA report. Sinha said India is committed to implementing the “highest standards for the safety of Indian nuclear power plants and the associated fuel cycle facilities.”
Sinha stressed that India is committed to harnessing the benefits of nuclear energy for electricity production while ensuring that highest priority is given to nuclear safety and security.
“India will need to rapidly raise the energy production to meet its growing energy requirements to achieve its developmental goals. The energy resources at our disposal make it imperative for us to consider all energy options,” he said at the UNGA on Nov 5.
He said nuclear energy has a crucial role to play in achieving objectives of India’s sustainable economic growth.
The country is also extensively engaged in development of nuclear technologies in fields extending beyond nuclear power, including isotope applications for improved crop varieties, crop protection and post-harvest technologies, radio-isotope applications for diagnostic and theraupetic uses in healthcare and technologies for safe drinking water.
He pointed out that currently there are 21 Nuclear Power Plant units operating in India and construction of four units of 700 MWe pressurized heavy-water reactors (PHWRs) is under progress at the Kakrapar and Rawatbhata sites in Rajasthan.
India has also setup two Voda Voda Energo Reactor (VVER) based NPPs at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, with the co-operation of Russia.
The power would be further raised to 1000 MWe in stages, increasing the nuclear power contribution in the country to about 5800 MWe. India is also setting-up 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor at Kalpakkam.
He underscored that the nuclear power program in India is oriented towards maximizing the energy potential of available uranium resources and the utilization of its large Thorium reserve.
Sinha pointed out that the threat of nuclear terrorism is one of the pressing challenges facing the international community.
“Responsible national action and effective international cooperation are therefore required for strengthening nuclear security to prevent vulnerable nuclear material falling into hands of non-state actors,” he added.