India committed to harnessing nuclear energy: PM | delhi | Hindustan Times
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India committed to harnessing nuclear energy: PM

delhi Updated: May 22, 2011 20:48 IST

India on Sunday said it was committed to harness nuclear power and ensure highest levels of safety even as some countries have put their atomic energy plans under review after the Fukushima nuclear accident.

In his annual 'Report to the People', Prime Minister Manmohan Singh underlined the committment to ensure highest levels of safety at nuclear installations and rolled out plans to strengthen the nuclear regulator by imparting it greater autonomy.

"We are committed to the highest levels of safety in the nuclear programme, and have initiated the process of strengthening the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and making it an autonomous and independent regulatory authority," he said.

"The government is committed to harnessing nuclear energy for sustainable economic growth while ensuring the highest levels of safety of the nuclear power programme," the report said.

Some countries, including Germany and China had ordered a review of the nuclear programme in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.

In the light of the nuclear accident in Fukushima in Japan, technical review teams for assessing safety systems of nuclear plants in India have been setup, the report said.

With the commissioning of the fourth unit of the Kaiga generating station in Karnataka in January, India now has 20 nuclear power reactors with a total installed nuclear power generating capacity of 4,780 MWe.

An additional 22,500 tonnes of additional uranium resources have been established in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Meghalaya taking the country's uranium resources to about 1,62,000 tonnes, the report said.

It said a new nuclear Power Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant (PREFRE-2) was dedicated to the nation in January at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Tarapur which has been designed to process spent fuel from 220 MW PHWRs.

Scientists have also achieved the successful closing of the fast reactor fuel cycle at the Compact Reprocessing facility for advanced fuels in lead cells at Kalpakkam.

The spent fuel subassembly from Fast Breeder Test Reactor was reprocessed and the fissile material was re-fabricated as fuel and loaded back into the reactor, it said.

The report noted that the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act 2010 was passed in September last year which provides for prompt compensation to the victims of a nuclear accident.