Nuclear energy key to India delivering on Paris summit commitments: Kakodkar

Mumbai: Asserting that switching to non-fossil sources of energy was vital to lower the carbon footprint, ace nuclear scientist and former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission Dr. Anil Kakodkar on Wednesday said nuclear energy is key to India delivering on the commitments made at last year’s Paris Climate Summit.

Speaking to ANI, the former BARC director said among non-fossil sources of energy, nuclear is the only source which can ensure bulk production of electricity.

“Lot of things were agreed upon in the Paris Climate Summit. Even if all of them are fulfilled the temperature rise will not be limited to two degrees. Paris summit has taken a big step forward, but it is not adequate,” Dr. Kakodkar said.

“In non-fossil sources there are renewable sources and there in nuclear. If you really want bulk production on a 24/7 basis, then among non-fossil sources, nuclear is the only source,” he added.

He said the problem with other non-fossil and renewable sources of energy like wind and solar is that a massive investment on energy storage is required.

“Then you have to make massive investments in huge storages. For example, in wind and solar, there are limitations; there are fluctuations like cloud passing by. Grid management under these situations become very difficult. So, the 24/7 operation or the base load operations become very difficult,” he said.

“You want large fraction from non-fossil energy and still operate the grid in a stable way, then you require a sizeable fraction of base load generation also through non-fossil sources, and that non-fossil source is nuclear. Nuclear has to be an inevitable part of movement towards non-fossil electricity,” he added.

The major roadblock for India to access nuclear fuel comes from China, which is blocking India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

New Delhi has firmly signaled its displeasure at the tactics used by Beijing, which firmly maintains that being a nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatory was a must for joining the NSG.

Meanwhile, the NSG will meet yet again this year to discuss the process of inclusion of countries like India, who have not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A special plenary session of the NSG can be called by the year end. (ANI)