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Develop N-power from thorium: Kalam

The Prez says scientists are working on deriving power from thorium that is abundantly available in India.

india Updated: Feb 06, 2006 23:05 IST

With Indo-US civil nuclear deal yet to be put into effect, President APJ Abdul Kalam on Monday said India should step up efforts for nuclear power based on thorium.

Thorium is abundantly available in the country.

Asked by an accompanying journalist to comment on the agreement, Kalam, who has repeatedly stressed on India's quest for energy independence, said, "You want me to get into a soup?"

He said all nuclear power reactors in India are now running on uranium-based fuel but scientists were working on deriving power from thorium whose deposits are in abundance in the country.

He said while two thorium deposits have been found, four are likely to be unearthed and until then fuel extraction from uranium will continue.

"We are not abandoning uranium-based fuel," the President said.

Kalam's remarks came a day after he said at a gathering in Manila that India, in its quest for energy independence, should look for generating power from thorium.

"Nuclear power generation has been given a thrust by the use of uraninum-based fuel. However, there would be a requirement for ten-fold increase in nuclear power generation even to attain a reasonable degree of energy self-sufficiency for our country," Kalam had said.

The comments assume significance in the wake of the US reportedly moving the goal post farther in negotiating with India to implement the bilateral nuclear deal.

First Published: Feb 06, 2006 23:05 IST