Monday, 7 December, 2009

തദ്ദേശീയ ആണവ ഗവേഷണം മുന്നോട്ട്

അമേരിക്കയുമായുള്ള ആണവ കരാറോടെ തദ്ദേശീയ ആണവ ഗവേഷണം പൂട്ടിക്കെട്ടുമെന്ന് വ്യാകുലപ്പെട്ടവര്‍ക്ക് ഇതാ ഒരു സന്തോഷ വാര്‍ത്ത.

India's fast breeder nuclear-reactor achieves second milestone

India’s first indigenously designed 500MW fast breeder nuclear power project at Kalpakkam achieved its second milestone when the huge main vessel was lowered into the safety vessel, an official said on Sunday.

Lowering of the huge stainless steel main vessel - 12.9 metres in diameter and 12.94 metres in height, weighing 206 tonnes - is considered a major step in completing the 500 MW power project by the September 2011 deadline.

Excerpts from an interview with Anil Kakodkar, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), who was retiring on November 30.

Q. You had your doubts about the 123 agreement with the U.S. You opposed the U.S. demand that India should put its breeder reactors under safeguards. Later, you became a supporter of the agreement. When did you change track?

A. The fact is that the energy requirements of our country are very large. As I had mentioned several times at BARC, even with the contribution of different energy sources in the most liberal fashion, you will find that there will be energy deficit in terms of availability. The only way to meet this deficit is to import energy.

It is clear that when you import energy in the form of fossil fuels, you will have to keep importing it for all time to come. On the other hand, if you import that energy in the form of uranium, you can recycle the uranium used in the reactor because it contains a lot of energy value. In fact, you get more and more energy out of the same fuel. So it becomes an extremely valuable additionality to our indigenous programme because we have a significant multiplier of energy production on the basis of our three-stage programme. We have only a limited quantity of uranium and we can set up only 10,000 MWe of PHWRs using this uranium. But when you recycle this uranium and adopt the three-stage strategy, you can go up to 200,000 MWe. Likewise, whatever uranium we import, we can bring in a similar multiplier on that uranium also if we have gone through the development of the three-stage strategy.

So the opening of the civil nuclear cooperation not only brings in that additionality but because of the domestic development of the three-stage programme, we will be able to bring in a multiplier on the imported uranium and bridge the shortage for the future. This is what I call the move towards energy independence. For us to be able to do that, the domestic programme must continue, the way it was planned earlier. There should be no constraints on its implementation.

Another news from The Hindu today

India-Russia civil nuclear agreement practically sealed

NEW DELHI: India and Russia have practically sealed the framework agreement on an omnibus nuclear energy agreement and bridged differences on the price to refurbish aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (formerly Admiral Gorshkov) that will project the country’s naval power in the Indian Ocean for at least two decades, said highly placed government sources.

The pact covered the gamut of nuclear cooperation and was a “significant document” as it went far beyond the 123 Agreement in the civil nuclear energy sector signed with the United States.

The India-Russia pact promises enrichment and reprocessing rights to India and assures the country against termination of ongoing projects and fuel supply arrangements if bilateral nuclear cooperation is ended for some reason.