Mumbai: Nuclear weapons are "weapons of peace" which act as a deterrent, says former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Anil Kakodkar.
When India tested its nuclear bombs in 1974 and 1998, sanctions were imposed by many countries but for "us it became a real opportunity and our research and development today has reached a robust level" in some of the technologies, Kakodkar said at a function yesterday.
"The philosophical aspect of nuclear weapons can be peaceful and they act as a deterrent. So, I call them weapons of peace," he said replying to questions posed by eminent science writer Bal Phondke and Dr AP Thatte, president of Vijnan Bharati, an NGO dedicated to science.
Kakodkar said Pokhran II in 1998 was "a technological and management challenge for me as a director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and it was a difficult period for my family as well as my office". He did not elaborate.
Replying to a question on spent fuel, he said, "Spent fuel is reprocessed and reused because then they become environment-friendly."
The top nuclear scientist said the nuclear power sector had been unable to reach the projected generation capacity in the last several years because of the sanctions imposed.
When Phondke and Thatte asked Kakodkar whether he had any difficulty during higher studies in English medium after having been educated in Hindi medium and about the use of mother tongue in studying science, the former AEC chief said, "the concepts can be understood clearly in one’s language and transition from mother tongue to English should not be a problem".