India could go ahead with its nuclear energy expansion plan, after being satisfied with the safety aspects in ‘worst case scenario' at the existing and proposed nuclear plants, said the former Director of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) Baldev Raj.

Replying to queries from journalists after delivering the A.S. Rao Memorial Lecture on ‘Ethics, Energy and Equity,' organised by the A.P. Akademi of Sciences as part of ‘National Technology Day' celebrations here on Wednesday, he said that following the nuclear accident at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant in Japan, independent committees in each of the operating nuclear plants and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) were already looking into such ‘worst case scenarios.”

The national policy would be formulated, he said, after the on-going review into various issues. These issues include whether to have a large number of reactors at one place, and what the emergency response should be in such cases.

Touching upon the lessons learnt from past accidents at the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and the recent one in Japan, he said the Japanese did not factor in a tsunami of the magnitude that was experienced and, as a result, the cooling system failed. Another problem faced in the aftermath of the Fukushima-Daiichi incident was the absence of a command line for the first three days.

Earlier, he said a portfolio of energy solutions and energy technology was needed for sustainable energy development in the future. Stressing need for the energy policy to be pro-needy and pro-rural, he said India could leapfrog while skipping some intermediary steps. It could altogether opt out of the race for fossil energy by deciding to go in for a suitable mix of renewable and nuclear in a big way.

  • ‘Worst case scenarios' being examined
  • Need for energy policy to be pro-needy and pro-rural