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Home News Power Sector News N-power plan will turn coastline into disaster zone - Dr. Gopalakrishnan

N-power plan will turn coastline into disaster zone - Dr. Gopalakrishnan

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Dr. Gopalakrishnan AFormer Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) chairman A Gopalakrishnan has raised alarm over the government's nuclear power programme based on imported reactors, saying it would turn India's entire coastline into a disaster zone in waiting. In a statement issued on 03-04-2011, Gopalakrishnan argued that Department of Atomic Energy's projection of 6,55,000 MW nuclear power generation capacity by 2050 - with additional fast-breeder reactors that would use plutonium from the imported plants - would mean 655 nuclear power reactors each of 1,000 MW capacity.

Gopalakrishnan said, "These would be stringed along a total coastline of about 6,000 km the country has - about 109 six-reactor nuclear parks, spaced along the coast every 55 km apart".

He said the reactors being imported were new types, which foreigners had no experience of. "With demonstrated indigenous expertise of having designed, built and operated 17 Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) on our own up to 540 MWe capacity, and with four 700 MWe PHWR construction projects in hand, there's no reason why India must diversify to include new types of foreign reactors, of which neither Indians nor foreigners have experience so far."
Gopalakrishnan tore through the government's plan to import LWRs (light water reactors) for 40,000 MW in the 2012-2020 period. He said the argument forwarded by the PMO, Department of Atomic Energy and NPCIL that this was necessary to avoid a 412,000 MW gap in power generation by 2052 was a "scientific fig leaf" to cover the imports.

The former AERB chief also joined issue with the PM who last Tuesday defended the nuclear power programme citing the safety record of India's nuclear establishments, saying the safety record of Indian nuclear establishment stemmed from the fact that these were PHWRs designed and built with indigenous capabilities.

Source- Times of India


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