Ranchi : Nuclear energy has the potential to meet India's energy needs and keep carbon dioxide emissions at the lowest possible level, Anil Kakodkar, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, said here Wednesday.
Addressing the Birla Institute of Technology's (BIT) Mesra convocation, Kakodkar said: "Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission is threatening serious consequences (to the environment) and nuclear energy will be able to keep it at lowest level".
Kakodkar expressed concern over the changing climate due to emission of carbon dioxide. "Nuclear energy will be inevitable when global search for ways to reduce CO2 emission take place," he said.
"India is working for nuclear renaissance. We have succeeded in translating nuclear programme through Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) which is on par or better than global benchmarks," he added.
Talking about the Indian nuclear programme, he said, "Our modest resources and best energy potential of Thorium deposits have necessitated our adoption of three-stage nuclear power programme. First stage is on commercial domain, that is PHWR and we will similarly translate research and development to commercial scale exploitation for the second and third stage as well."
"As a matter of fact, a beginning of commercial activity with the second stage has already been made as the construction of the 500 megawatt energy prototype fast breeder reactor is already in progress. The fast breeder reactor does not need further mining of uranium and enables recycle of uranium that has already been used in PHWR," Kakodkar added.
He also defended the uranium mining taking place in Jadugoda town of Jamshedpur district, pointing out that it does not pose any health problems for the residents. There have been allegations in the past that that uranium mining adversely affected the health of Jadugoda residents.