Can’t give up N-energy despite Japan disaster: PM

PM Manmohan Singh said the present "nervousness" in the world over nuclear power would end when the issue is discussed in a "cool-headed" manner.

On Board PM`s Special Plane: Despite the nuclear crisis in Japan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday night batted for nuclear power as an essential option of energy and
said the present "nervousness" in the world would end when the
issue is discussed in a "cool-headed" manner.

"We are too close to Japanese disaster," he told
accompanying journalists while returning from his two-nation
tour of China and Kazakhstan when asked why he continued to
pursue nuclear cooperation with various countries despite the
experience in Fukushima in Japan where the crisis was
triggered by radiation leak after tsunami hit nuclear plants.

Singh noted that in the aftermath of the disaster,
"there is certain amount of nervousness over extensive use of
nuclear power".

He, however, said that he was "convinced that all said
and done, when cool-headed discussions take place on the
future of energy, what are the problems with coal (reserves),
what are the problems of other hydrocarbons in terms of impact
on climate change, there would be reconsideration of the role
of nuclear energy as one of the essential options which all
countries must keep to deal with problems like climate
change and energy security."

The Prime Minister`s comments came in the backdrop of
India signing a civil nuclear agreement with Kazakhstan
earlier in the day during his visit there.

The broad-based agreement provides for supply of
uranium, construction of reactors, research and development
and joint mining of uranium.

Asked about Kazakhstan`s keenness that India should
build small nuclear reactors there, Singh said, "it takes two
to strike a deal...There have been some discussions but no
concrete decision has been taken".

At the same time, he said India has capabilities to
produce small reactors using natural uranium.