Release of Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) Task Force Report, ‘Role of Nuclear Power in India’s Development’, by Hon’ble Minister Sh Suresh P Prabhu, 12 Feb 2019
Welcome Remarks by Dr Arvind Gupta, Director VIF

It gives me a great pleasure to welcome the Hon’ble Minister of Commerce and Industry & Civil Aviation Sh Suresh P Prabhu to the Vivekananda International Foundation for the release of the VIF Task Force report on the Role of Nuclear Power: India’s Development Imperative. Sh Suresh Prabhu is one of the most experienced, forward-looking and reform-minded ministers in the Cabinet, having handled in the past several ministries including the Railway, Environment, Power and heavy industry. He is well-versed with the problems of the Indian power sector. Therefore, we are grateful that he has agreed to release the Task Force report on the prospects of nuclear power in the country.

I am grateful to Dr. Anil Kakodkar, the former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), for agreeing to chair the Task Force. The Task Force had several intense discussions spread over several months. Our thanks are to the other members of the task force who contributed to the work of the Task Force.

The triple tragedy of an earthquake, a tsunami and the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan in 2011 created massive apprehensions in the minds of the public with regard to the safety of nuclear reactors. Several countries reviewed their nuclear energy programmes. But the fact is that nuclear energy is a source of clean energy and the record of the safety of nuclear reactors, despite Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents, remains reasonably good. Nuclear energy is also a source of base load power which is not the case with solar and wind energy which are at best intermittent sources of energy. Reliable base load power is needed for grid stability. Presently, it is provided mostly by coal. Nuclear energy can substitute the thermal power to some extent. To meet its rising requirements of energy, India needs energy from all sources including the nuclear. Nuclear energy remains important for India’s efforts to achieve energy self-sufficiency. The Government has an ambitious programme of generating 63 GW of nuclear energy by 2032; this target must be met at all cost.

India has a long experience of producing nuclear energy. The country has an ambitious 3-stage nuclear energy programme. Recently the Government has announced its plans to set up a fleet of 10 Pressurised Heavy Water Nuclear Reactors (PHWRs). Investment in nuclear energy can generate large number of high-skilled jobs. India can also potentially tap into global nuclear energy market as an exporter of nuclear technologies and equipments. Therefore, nuclear energy will remain indispensable to India’s growth strategy.

The VIF decided to set up a task force of experts under Dr. Anil Kakodkar to examine closely the prospects of nuclear energy in India in the context of energy self-sufficiency, the need for clean sources of energy, building of nuclear power infrastructure, and the rise of solar and wind energy as substantial renewable sources of energy. The task force also looked at the global nuclear energy environment, particularly, in the context of the need for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. In this report, the task force has identified opportunities and challenges to the development of nuclear energy in India, the prevailing nuclear industry eco- system in the country, the viability of nuclear energy. The report makes several important recommendations for the consideration of policymakers.

I would also like to thank Ambassador DP Srivastava, Senior Fellow at the VIF, for coordinating the work of the task force. We hope that the report will generate informed debate in the public on nuclear energy.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
8 + 7 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.
Contact Us