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Nuclear projects needed to tackle energy challenges: Kakodkar

PTI | Last Updated: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 00:49

Ahmedabad: Former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Dr Anil Kakodkar today said though Japan`s March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster has dampened the sentiments for nuclear energy in India, the country needs more of these projects.

"Post-Fukushima accident in Japan, the sentiment for nuclear energy has dampened here. But it will grow now," Kakodkar said.

The country needs more nuclear projects, he said, adding, "Many new nuclear reactors must come up in view of India`s energy challenges."

Kakodkar was today honoured with `Dr Vikram Sarabhai Senior Scientist Award - 2012` constituted by Shri Hari Om Ashram. The award was presented to him by Dr U R Rao, Chairman of Council of Management of Physical Research Laboratory.

India is doing well in the solar energy sector, but required new technologies, the eminent
nuclear scientist said.

Stating that India`s energy imports would rise by 60 per cent by 2031-32 and energy import bill by 18 per cent at Compounded Annual Growth Rate during the same period, Kakodkar emphasised the need for greater thrust towards renewable as well as nuclear energy to minimise imports as well as carbon emissions.

Expressing reservations over the Nuclear Liability Act, the Padma Vibhushan awardee scientist said it would push India`s nuclear energy ambitions backwards as it fixes the responsibility of nuclear reactors on the manufacturers.

Section 17(B) of the Act specifically fixes responsibility of the manufacturers of nuclear reactors and provides for their liability in the event of an accident involving design or a manufacturing fault.

"There should be regulation...A strict regulatory regime should be in place. But, if you want to fix the responsibility on manufacturers, nobody would supply nuclear reactors to India," he said.

Kakodkar also said there must be a policy shift to offer
subsidies on renewable energy appliances rather than on natural hydrocarbons.
Lamenting that directions of research in India only get picked up when it becomes "fashionable", he said, "We need to pick up research depending on our demands and priorities. Most of India`s primary energy needs must be met through solar and nuclear energy."

Also, Dr Subrata Pradhan of Institute of Plasma Research, Gandhinagar and Dr Prasad Subramanian of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune were bestowed with BUTI Foundation Award - 2013.

The BUTI foundation was founded in 2003 and awards to young scientists have been constituted by it to encourage them.

Pradhan worked on the first Indian Steady State Tokamak (SST-1), while Subramanian was awarded for his work on viscosity in collisionless plasmas.

First Published: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 00:49

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