HYDERABAD: Foreign NGOs are unnecessarily spreading fears about nuclear power plants in the country, Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Station (BARC) Sekhar Basu said here Tuesday.
Asserting that nuclear power plants are completely safe and sustainable, he pointed out, ‘’With coal reserves fast depleting, nuclear power will emerge as the inevitable option to meet India’s energy needs.” Speaking at a workshop on nuclear power, he said the country was gearing up to take up nuclear power generation in a big way.
“Right now, there 21 nuclear reactors with an installed capacity of 5780 MW. After reactors, which are under construction, are ready, the capacity will go up to 10,080 MW by 2017,’’ he explained.
The nuclear reactors that are operational currently are mostly small and medium pressurised heavy water reactors, he said and added that nuclear power accounts for just about five per cent of the total energy in the country at present.
“We are confident that by 2020, we will achieve the target of 14,600 MW nuclear capacity,” Basu said.
While all-round efforts are being made by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and BARC among other organisations, the BARC Director feels negative perception about nuclear power plants was a major bottleneck.
“The apprehensions about nuclear power plants are completely baseless. Certain NGOs are spreading fear among the public.
There have been no reports relating to hazards due to nuclear power plants till now. We have to accept that nuclear energy is a safe and sustainable option,” stressed Basu.
Negative perception about nuclear power plants is being addressed by scientific community by reaching out to the public through various fora and creating awareness about nuclear power plants, he said.
He further said BARC’s Visakhapatnam campus would play a crucial role in the next 10 years.
Engineering Staff College of India director U Chandrasekhar, Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam ltd (BHAVINI) chairman and managing director P Chellapandi, C Ganguly, senior scientist, Indian National Science Academy and others were also present at the workshop.