India’s nuclear power program: a critical review
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Global carbon emissions have been rising sharply since the start of the 20th century, and countries have adopted various policies in recent years to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in different sectors. Nuclear energy is one energy source that is least polluting with minimum GHG emissions. India’s nuclear power programme started with Heavy water reactors in the first stage followed by Fast Reactors in the second stage. Third stage of Thorium utilisation is yet to start. The deployment of Pu/depleted U from Heavy water reactors infast reactors would help in the effective utilisation of the indigenous uranium resources to a large extent besides reducing the waste. The thorium technology to obtain uranium 233 is equally important as India possesses large amounts of thorium deposits. With sufficient U233 we can provide a significant long-term solution to fuel our nuclear reactors to produce electricity needed for its development. Linked to the nuclear programme is the availability of fuel, ability to reprocess the spent fuel and manage the wastes. India’s waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group and its agreement with the global atomic energy body, IAEA, have resulted in limited breakthroughs in the nuclear sector in the last decade and allowed the import of fuel. This paper undertakes a review of the different steps taken by India in the nuclear arena and makes a realistic assessment of its current nuclear power programme.
Volume 48, 2023
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