ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
-A A +A

Whither Nuclear Power?

India is targeting an ambitious GDP growth rate of 8 per cent and for that the power sector needs to grow in tandem. At this rate, Indiaâ??s present installed generation capacity of 123 GW would need to increase by 90-120 GW in the coming decade. This paper makes an assessment of the potential for capacity addition from various energy sources such as coal, natural gas, hydro, wind and biomass and concludes that these sources will be found wanting in closing the gap between desired growth and business as usual growth. In this background, the recent India-US declaration on cooperation in nuclear power provides an opportunity for accelerated growth. India stands to benefit from imported nuclear fuels and reactors to augment its indigenous capabilities. We critically examine the oft-stated criticisms regarding the economics of nuclear power and its role in CO2 mitigation, and find these to be issues worthy of further analysis but not â??deal-breakersâ?. The recent US-India declaration should be viewed not with suspicion or alarm but rather as an opportunity for India to increase its power generation from nuclear sources and also as recognition for its outstanding nuclear non-proliferation practices. This agreement will also provide the much-needed breathing space the Indian atomic energy establishment needs for enabling the plutonium fast breeder and thorium reactors to come on stream.

Subscribers please login to access full text of the article.

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

826for India

$50for overseas users

Get instant access to the complete EPW archives

Subscribe now

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top