Thorium-based technology atleast three decades away: BARC

Dona Paula: India's nuclear power plants are safe and built and constructed after meeting necessary safety parameters, says a senior BARC scientist. According to Dr SG Markandeya, Indian nuclear plants are situated away from habitation and maintain a safety zone.

He pointed out that, "Unlike in Japan, Indian nuclear plants are away from the cities and have a no-habitation zone around a radius of eight km."

 Dr Markandeya pointed out, "The country is starving for energy and nuclear energy is an eco- friendly option. But, we need to build confidence in the minds of the people."

Dr Markandeya was speaking at a two-day workshop on 'Nuclear energy: Benefits and safety aspects' organised by Dhempe college of arts and science along with Indian Association of Nuclear Chemists and Allied Scientists.

Elaborating on the four parameters for meeting energy security, Dr Markandeya said that availability, safety and eco-friendliness, resilience and affordability needed to be factored in, while considering alternatives to conventional energy sources.

Dr Markandeya said, "The country will need electric power generation of a minimum of 1,350 Giga Watt electric. We have to meet its energy demands by the year 2050. This will only be possible through greater use of nuclear energy."

Stating that India has the third largest thorium reserves in the world, Dr Markandeya said, "The technology to generate power by using thorium as a fuel is under development in India and will take at least 30 years to be fully functional. If we exploit these reserves, we will be able to meet the energy requirements for the next four to five centuries."