'Modi Govt supportive of three-stage indigenous nuclear programme'

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on November 07, 2014 Published on November 07, 2014

A file picture of Turbine Generator Erection at the Koodankulam plant.

The Modi Government is supportive of the three-stage indigenous nuclear programme and has fully backed India's nuclear establishment, said R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.

He was interacting with media on the sidelines of Indian Nuclear Energy Summit organised by UBM India and Department of Atomic Energy.

Chidambaram, who is the eyes and the ears of the Central Government on matters of civilian and strategic uses of nuclear materials, said that the country has adequate supply of Uranium from Indian and as well as imported sources. A change in the guidelines by the Nuclear Supply Group has ensured steady supply of Uranium to the nuclear power plants in the country, he said.

On the long-delayed, 500-MW prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR) plant, which is under construction for over a decade at Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu, he said that the plant would get commissioned by mid-2015.

A senior DAE official said that the success of the Rs 5,800-crore demonstration plant would help India's nuclear programme immensely as such a plant can produce more nuclear fuel than it is uses up during its operations.

India has a fourth of all the Thorium discovered on earth but Thorium cannot be directly used as a fuel until it is converted into Uranium-233, for which FBR plants are essential, the official said.

Chidambaram added that India's nuclear power plants produce power at competitive rates, as fuel costs are low but the capital costs are high due to high rate of interest. The fuelling costs are recurring but over the 60 years lifetime of a plant, the power rates become very competitive.

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Published on November 07, 2014
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