People world over are badly in need of power and nuclear power is a must for sustainable supply of energy in the country, Head of the Public Awareness Division of BARC (Mumbai) S.K. Malhotra observed at a seminar held here on Wednesday.

Dependence on coal was necessary for many more years to come but due to diminishing coal reserves and the pollution caused in thermal power production, nuclear power should be gradually increased while exploiting renewable energy sources to the optimum, Dr. Malhotra said in his keynote address at a seminar on energy alternatives conducted by the Department of Geology of Andhra University.

He said N-power plants had the best safety record among major energy sources. They would also not emit green house gases and were virtually pollution-free.

The cost was competitive and declining while the nuclear waste could be securely managed over a long period of time by ensuring that it was not exposed to the public.

Dr. Malhotra said countries like India and Australia meeting their power requirements mostly through thermal power plants had more carbon dioxide emissions than those producing hydro power (Norway and Brazil) and nuclear (France) or the combination of both (Switzerland and Sweden).

He dispelled the claim that nuclear power spread nuclear power race. Nuclear power was cheaper than thermal power, though it was slightly costlier in the beginning.

Imported coal would boost the price of thermal power and using diesel generators in the absence of power supply would further increase the cost for an organisation.

It was not true that only India was keen on establishing N-power stations while others stopped. Many N-power stations were coming up in many countries.

Principal of AU College of Science and Technology released the logo of Science India, an in house journal being brought out by the department. Convenor of the seminar K. Viswanath said that it was going to be the first journal on science and technology being published by a department in AU. The first edition would be released during January next. HoD of Geology T. Vinoda Kumar said a PG diploma in mineral exploration was being planned with the support of BARC. Environmentalist T. Sivaji Rao also spoke.

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