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Press Trust Of India
Kolkata, September 17, 2007
As his party continued to oppose the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, West Bengal Chief Minister and CPI-M leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Monday said the country cannot avoid nuclear power and wanted scientists to debate this and come to a conclusion.

"We just cannot avoid nuclear power. We should move ahead taking into account the price of nuclear plant and cost of power," Bhattacharjee told an interactive session with the captains of industry organised by CII. Bhattacharya was however silent on the nuke deal.

On Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's recent statement that India could not miss the bus of nuclear renaissance, Bhattacharjee said, "We have some doubts about the price of nuclear plants, the cost of power etc. Scientists, planners and economists should discuss this."

"Let the scientists debate, we will take a decision after that." Bhattacharjee had on Sunday stated that the state government had not taken a decision on nuclear power yet because of divided opinion on it.

The state, he said, required more power in the coming years because "our growth rate is increasing and FDI is coming." He said that 96 per cent of power in the state was generated by thermal power and "We have to switch over from thermal to solar, wind and other sources of power. In view of the problem of global warming, we need clean power."