Nuke energy as an option can not be ignored: IAEA

Nuclear energy was emerging as an option which cannot be ignored in the quest to meet the world`s increasing energy demands while reducing release of greenhouse gases, a top official of IAEA said today.

Kalpakkam: Nuclear energy was emerging
as an option which cannot be ignored in the quest to meet the
world`s increasing energy demands while reducing release of
greenhouse gases, a top official of International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) said today.

Speaking at a function at the Indira Gandhi Centre for
Atomic Research here, IAEA Deputy Director General Y A Sokolov
said the IAEA-installed nuclear capacity across the world was
about 370 GW, contributing about 14 per cent of global power
generation.

"To date, Light Water Reactors are the main types of
reactors used to economically and safely produce nuclear
electricity," he said.

However, only a small fraction of the energy from natural
uranium, about one to three per cent, is used and the rest
left in the spent fuel, he added.

Sokolov said recycling of uranium and plutonium from
spent fuel of LWRs is possible only once in LWRs, which can
provide 20-30 per cent saving of natural uranium consumption.

Praising IGCAR`s FBTR, which has served as an "excellent
R&D facility" for irradiation of fuel and structural materials
for the last 25 years, he said it has generated valuable data
and experience for successful operation of FBR.

"The successful operation of FBTR and experience gained
over 25 years of operation as well as the progress in R&D has
resulted in the decision to construct the 500 MWe Prototype
FBR which I hope will be successfully commissioned in 2011,"
he said.

Chairman of French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies
Commission Bernard Bigot said India, which is fully committed
to the three stage program set up under leadership of Dr Homi
Bhabha, appears all set to become a torch bearer and a world
key player in area of fast reactors.

He said the progress made by Indian scientists in FBR
would shape the future of that technology across the globe.

IGCAR Director Baldev Raj said the 500 MW prototype fast
breeder reactor (PFBR) modelled on FBTR would be completed by
the end of 2011 or in the first quarter of 2012.

Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India R
Chidambaram said closing the fuel cycle assumes greater
importance in the context of climate change.

"A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed
between IGCAR, BHEL and NTPC for joint development of advanced
ultra super critical boiler used in thermal power plants," he
said.

PTI

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