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India should move ahead with nuclear energy plan: IEA

Global energy advisory body, the International Energy Agency (IEA), says that India should not get influenced by countries that have announced changes in their nuclear energy plans in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

business Updated: Oct 31, 2011 20:14 IST
Anupama Airy

Global energy advisory body, the International Energy Agency (IEA), says that India should not get influenced by countries that have announced changes in their nuclear energy plans in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

“India should go ahead and implement its civil nuclear power plans,” Richard Jones, American diplomat and the deputy executive director of IEA told the Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview. “Of the countries like Germany, Italy and few others that have announced changes in their nuclear policy, we were not expecting them to do much in nuclear anyway.”

Jones said while India must “take a lesson from the Fukushima nuclear disaster and adequately address its security and safety concerns,” but should not slow down its nuclear capacity addition plans as switching to alternate fuels like gas for power generation.

“China has decided to go ahead with its nuclear power plans but there still seem to be concerns in India over adding nuclear capacities using large imported reactors,” said Jones.

Sharing Jones views, IEA’s former executive director, Nabuo Tanaka also said that implementing its nuclear power programme will help India balance against the impact of high oil and gas that are denting economies worldwide.

India plans to set up 40,000-megawatt of nuclear power plants by 2030, but these has been slowed down following the tsunami hit Japanese coastal areas, extensively damaging properties and assets, and causing lives.

Tanaka also highlighted that the Japanese have learned lessons from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster and are now working on much safer approach.

Tanaka said he expected Japan to restart its idle nuclear plants next year as its option of non-nuclear energy would be too costly.

He also noted that the Japanese have become much more conscious of their nuclear plant safety, having suffered the worst. He also saw a possible regulatory backing for a safer nuclear energy in Japan.

(The writer’s travel and stay were sponsored by the Energy Market Authority of Singapore.)