DAE to amend Atomic Act to rope in pvt players
In a bid to encourage private investment, including from abroad, in the country's ambitious nuclear power programme, the Department of Atomic Energy is amending a law which prohibits such activities.
"We have been working on the possible amendments to the Indian Atomic Energy Act 1962 for the last five years and now we are trying to speed up the process," Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Anil Kakodkar, said.
The amendments would enable and encourage private participation in the country's nuclear programme in the form of investment, both from India and abroad, to generate 20,000 Mega Watts of power by 2020, he said.
"We are also trying different elements (instruments) which would help in enhancing the statutory status of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) which is very vital when we go in for private participation," he said. "This is to further strengthen the hands of AERB in their regulatory and safety functions."
"Since we are also part of the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM), the amendments in that regard will also be taken into account," he said.
The private investors will have no right on nuclear material and it is only the DAE that will have the right to protect the nuclear material.
"Amending the Atomic Energy Act is a process and is a complex issue and even after amending it has to be cleared on the floor of both the Houses of Parliament," Kakodkar said adding "we have not fixed any timeframe for it."