The Indo-US nuclear deal is not about India's strategic interests but aimed at adding 1,000 megawatts of power every year to take it to a level of 20,000 MW by 2020, former President A P J Abdul Kalam has said.
"I feel it is about energy. After all, we have got a vision. The nuclear scientists have got a vision. Every year they want to add a thousand MW of power.
"So, in that continuation, by 2020, they want to have 20,000 MW of power ... Graduating from 7,000 MW. So the whole mission is how do you get 1,000 MW per year," he told the "Walk the Talk" programme on NDTV.
Asked whether the 123 agreement was good for India, he said "my feeling is 'shortage of uranium', since we are having a number of nuclear reactors based on thorium. It looks to me that it is a logical conclusion, but that does not prevent us from self-reliance in thorium-based nuclear reactors."
Since thorium is found in abundance in India, Kalam said "our nuclear scientists started working on thorium based reactor. It is a very tough area in research and development. With thorium not being a fissile material, that means you need a fast-breeder reactor."
He said he belived that India would have thorium-based nuclear reactors for power generation in the "next five to seven years" and these could coexist with the uranium-based ones.