Union Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Prithviraj Chavan on Sunday stressed the importance of developed countries sharing their expertise, research and development and power generation with the developing world.
Delivering the presidential address at the Second International Conference on Asian Nuclear Prospects (ANUP 2010) at Mamallapuram, Mr. Chavan said it was important to continue to carry forward research and development in the domain of advanced nuclear technologies.
“While further enhancing the safety of nuclear power plants, technology development should come out with designs to provide economic competitiveness of nuclear power.
India stands ready to share its experience in nuclear science and technologies on a mutually acceptable basis and that its indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors were available for export to countries within the ambit of international framework, Mr. Chavan said.
Appealing to the international community to move forward to fully recognise the need to meet the tasks for the purpose of meeting the ever-growing demands in energy sector, the Minister said there had to be global cooperation in harnessing the vast potential of nuclear energy in a safe and economical way.
Mr. Chavan said nuclear power had very low greenhouse gas emission footprints and had the “largest climate change mitigation credibility at a competitive cost in the energy supply sector without any subsidy support.”
The Minister said the driving interest in nuclear power was strong performance with respect to economics and safety and that nuclear power was a mature technology with more than 50 years of operating experience.
Dwelling on safety aspects of nuclear power, Mr. Chavan said both the International Atomic Energy Agency and World Association of Nuclear Operators had taken a number of steps to improve safety performance.
Pointing out that in India nuclear power contributed to less than three per cent of total power generation, he said it was expected to grow to 10 per cent in the next 20 years.
Mr. Chavan said that India had emerged as a leader in many domains of nuclear science and technology and the setting up of Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors, the first of India's three-stage nuclear programme, had now reached a state of maturity.
“India is the most competitive country in the world in terms of installation cost of nuclear energy,” the Minister pointed out.
The four-day conference is being organised by Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, and Indian Nuclear Society and supported by IAEA.
The first conference was held in Japan. Baldev Raj, Director, IGCAR, welcomed the gathering. Y.Sokolov, Deputy Director General, IAEA; R.Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to Prime Minister of India; Srikumar Banerjee, Chairman Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy; and S.K. Jain, Chairman and Managing Director, Nuclear Power Corporation, also spoke on the occasion.