Transforming nuclear waste into wealth

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Published on Feb 15, 2020 08:50 PM IST
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PUNE Nuclear waste is wealth, as long as its management and regulation are given utmost importance by the states, said CP Kaushik, associate, director, Nuclear Recycle Group, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).

He was speaking during the international conference on nuclear waste management conducted at Symbiosis Law College on Saturday. Experts from across the globe gave inputs as to how India and the world need to focus on nuclear energy since its applications are increasing.

Kaushik, who was invited to give the inaugural address, said, “India being a developing country needs to bridge the gap between supply and demand of electricity to meet the growth. Nuclear waste is wealth, as long as its management and regulation are given utmost importance by the states.

“Nuclear energy’s importance cannot be denied since its applications are increasing. For example, it has become indispensable in the medical field. India is in the “international driver-seat” for utilisation of nuclear technology for power production and societal benefits,” he said.

The conference also showcased lecturers from Germany wherein experts spoke on how the country is now looking towards alternative sources of energy which are considered to be less risky than nuclear sources of energy.

Thomas Schomerus, professor in energy and environmental law, Leuphone University, Germany, spoke on ‘German Nuclear Energy Law and the final disposal of Radioactive Waste’. He spoke about the Atomic Energy Act in Germany that is phasing out the mechanism and preventing distribution of further nuclear plant permits. In the final part of his address, Schomerus spoke of the final disposal of radioactive waste and how Germany lacks a viable repository to dispose of high-level nuclear waste.

The international conference is aimed at making the participants aware of status and need of nuclear waste management, spreading awareness among legal practitioners, research institutes, industry, authorities, students, academics and non-governmental organisation and most importantly, promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and exchange of ideas with the aim of creating a well-rounded position paper on nuclear waste disposal.

The conference saw dignitaries including convenor of the conference, Shashikala Gurpur, Fulbright scholar, director, Symbiosis Law School, Pune; Yogesh Patil, head research and publication, Symbiosis Centre for Research and Innovation; Anupam Saraph, professor, Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research; Thomas Schomerus, professor in energy and environment law, Leuphone University, Germany and Dörte Fouquet, partner, Becker Buttner Held (Specialised Energy and Infrastructure Law Firm) Brussels, Belgium.

The conference consisted of two plenary sessions. The first plenary session was on the topic of legal regime of energy and nuclear waste management in India with J Koley, head, directorate of regulatory inspection, AERB and Thomas Schomerus as the honourable panellists followed by the second plenary session, focusing on the topic of ‘Integrated waste management system’ by Dörte Fouquet, CP Kaushik, associate director, nuclear recycling group, BARC.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021