Baldev Raj, director of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research at Kalapakkam, has said that share of nuclear energy in the total power generation in the country would increase to 25 per cent in coming decades.
Delivering the graduation day address at Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (SJCE) in the city on Sunday, Mr. Baldev said that out of the projected capacity by 2052, the share of the nuclear energy was expected to be 25 per cent and the contribution of the fossil energy would also comedown.Taking a comprehensive view of the energy requirements of the country, Mr. Baldev said that presently fossil-based resources, especially coal, helps meet major portion of India's electricity generation in addition to hydroelectric generation. India is aiming at reaching at least the per capita energy consumption of the present world average of 2200 kWh/a by 2030 from the current position and this calls for electricity generation capacity of about 600 GWe by 2030, assuming a population of 1.4 billion, he added.
Thought the coal-based generation capacity would increase in the next 20 years, the focus would be on clean coal technologies with emphasis on super critical power systems. At a suitable juncture after two decades the fossil energy contribution would decline, according to Mr. Baldev. He said that fossil, nuclear and renewable energy resources are treated in complementary and not in competitive manner in India and for the nuclear share to increase to 25 per cent, it called for a monumental nuclear power growth rate.
“A few of the issues requiring careful consideration and planning are the optimal exploitation of the available energy resources; diversity of energy supply resources; energy technologies; power generation and distribution policies; robust infrastructure; local; regional and global environments and a multi-disciplined human resources at all levels,” Mr. Baldev added.
He said that the Indian nuclear energy programme has been so devised to suit its domestic resources of moderate uranium to meet the needs with minimal dependence on external imports. Mr. Baldev said that the country has been embarking upon development of Fast Breeder Technology with advanced features and enhanced safety. He said the key ingredients for the successful pursuit of the FBR programme are well-planned science-based technologies undertaken by India covering the domains of structural mechanics, thermal hydraulics, fluid dynamics testing and evaluation, precision manufacturing, material science and engineering, chemistry of fuels and sodium, computer modelling etc.