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India will not accept terms against its sovereignty: scientist

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DISCUSSING ENERGY SECURITY: P. Rodriguez, president, Indian Nuclear Society, (left) with S. Banerjee, Director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, and vice-president, Indian Institute of Metals in Bangalore on Monday . Photo: K Murali Ku mar
DISCUSSING ENERGY SECURITY: P. Rodriguez, president, Indian Nuclear Society, (left) with S. Banerjee, Director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, and vice-president, Indian Institute of Metals in Bangalore on Monday . Photo: K Murali Ku mar

Staff Reporter

Bill passed by U.S. House of Representatives does not emphasise energy security

  • Import of uranium to give `additionality to India's nuclear programme
  • Comprehensive thorium technology work to begin soon

    BANGALORE: The India-U.S. nuclear pact, which was recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, does not emphasise energy security as much as the July 18 framework agreement, said Sreekumar Banerjee, Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, here on Monday.

    To questions by presspersons, Mr. Banerjee said: "The thrust of the deal as far as India is concerned is energy security. In the U.S. Bill (passed by the U.S. House of Representatives) it is not as highlighted as we would like it to be."

    However, Mr. Banerjee emphasised that India would not accept terms that went against its sovereignty. "We are not ready to forego our technology. If we get something, it is good. We have indigenously developed feeders and heavy water reactors, which can be developed to meet our energy needs," he said.

    He added: "The nuclear establishment in India has received approval and appreciation from world powers for our technology. We have exceeded the world record of 91 per cent capacity utilisation in pressurised heavy water reactors. We are a mature nuclear technology."

    Mr. Banerjee said the import of uranium would give "additionality" to India's nuclear programme. "If we import uranium, like many other countries, we can grow very fast soon. But we do not want a situation where we are perennially dependant on the external source," he said.

    He added that a comprehensive thorium technology work, which makes India self-sufficient in nuclear technology in the long run, would begin as soon as financial assessment of project is made.

    Mr. Banerjee was delivering the 22nd Prof. Brahm Prakash Memorial Lecture on "Indian Experience on Fuel and Structural Materials in Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors," organised by the Indian Institute of Metals.

    However, president of the Indian Nuclear Society Placid. Rogriguez, in his presidential speech, said the Indo-U.S. nuclear pact would not benefit the country in the long run though it might bring in some short-term gains.

    "Just by signing the deal it does not mean that we get uranium and can solve our power problem.

    For each Mega Watt of power generation through nuclear route, there is need of Rs. 6 crore, besides the light water reactors need heavy steel products which only Russia or Japan can supply," he said.

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