Bhubaneswar: Describing India as self-reliant in nuclear technology, Atomic Energy Commission on Wednesday said the country has to wait for a few more decades to use thorium as the base for nuclear reactors.
"Using thorium as the base for reactors will take time. We have to wait a few decades to make it possible," Atomic Energy Commission Chairman RK Sinha said.
While the first atomic power station at Tarapur was designed, constructed and commissioned by a US company on a turn-key basis, the second nuclear power station in Rajasthan was taken up as a joint Indo-Canadian venture.
Subsequent to the unilateral action by Canada to terminate the cooperation agreement, completion of the second unit at Rajasthan was accomplished indigenously, Sinha said on the sidelines of the graduating ceremony of National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) here.
The third nuclear power station at Chennai was set up entirely by Indian engineers and scientists.
"This is sufficient to claim that country is self-reliant in nuclear technology," the AEC chairman said.
Replying a question on the possible use of thorium as the base for the nuclear reactors, he said the country needs to wait.
"We have designed a reactor," he said.
On opposition to nuclear installations, Sinha said, "This is a passing phenomenon. This will happen as people have both expectations and apprehensions over nuclear projects."
Expectations are more beneficial for local people while
apprehension remains about what will exactly happen if such a project comes up in their vicinity, Sinha pointed out.
"We are trying best to do it by educating people, expediting CSR activities, imparting education," he said.
Lauding the standard of research and development in the country, Sinha said India had been conducting very high quality research.
"We need to create opportunity for high standard research in India for the people working here and those who are interested to return," he said.
"There is nothing wrong in going abroad for research. But they should return after completion of work," he said.
He blamed it on the "peer pressure" for some researchers staying back in foreign countries after completion of research work.