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Foreign inputs in n-research must

Based on 37 years of service in nuclear establishment of the country, I think, foreign participation in Indian nuclear programme is a must, if we want to meet our energy requirements. I suggest creation of a new commercial company with participation from government of India, Indian public, corporates and foreign companies.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2006 16:42 IST

It is my considered opinion, based on 37 years of service in nuclear establishment of the country that foreign participation in Indian nuclear programme is a must, if we want to meet the energy requirements of the country.

I further say that the indigenous fast breeder reactors such as FBTR and PFBR, the associated fuel cycle facilities and the reactors that are constructed using the plutonium produced in these along with the PHWRs which at present are outside IAEA safeguards can remain as they are i.e. out of IAEA safeguards.

I suggest that a new beginning be made, which I term as 'Indian Commercial Nuclear Power Mission' by creating a new commercial company (not a subsidy of Nuclear Power Corporation Limited - NPCL) with equity participation from Govt of India (51%), Indian public, Indian companies who are willing to participate in this mission and the foreign companies having capabilities to finance, design, construct and operated nuclear power reactors.

The fast breeder reactors and 'Thermal reactors' of this new Indian company along with their entire fuel cycle facilities that will be constructed by this company may be fully under IAEA safeguards.

In short, I'm asking a new beginning to be made. The present Department of Atomic Energy may be allowed to continue with the indigenous development for defence purpose. A new set up under 'Power Ministry' may be created to look after the 'Indian Commercial Power Mission', which will be fully under IAEA safeguards.

The nuclear regulatory agency i.e. Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) may be made an autonomous agency like CVC and Election Commission, reporting to highest authority of the country. At present also the facilities of country's nuclear establishment which are working on military aspect of nuclear power are not regulated by AERB.

This is the out-of-the-box solution, which in my opinion can cover all our national and international interests.