India is looking at ramping up nuclear energy production in a big way with renewed thrust on clean energy resources, Union Minister Piyush Goyal today said.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given nuclear energy a renewed thrust. We got into nuclear engagement with US in 2008 but from 2008 to 2014 we have seen a hiatus… now we are into missile technology regime… The amount of progress done in the last two years is pronounced… we are poised to enter into the nuclear age in a big way,” Power, Coal and Mines Minister Goyal said at Infocom 2016 here.
Goyal said the country is looking at “ramping up its clean energy source significantly” without compromising on safety of people and the government would ensure that power from this source is affordable.
“We will never compromise on safety of our people… we will ensure power is affordable… with these two caveats we are very keen to promote nuclear energy in a big way. we are able to get uranium supplies,” the minister said.
He added the country is close to setting a technology framework and is very close to getting into the nuclear suppliers group.
At the same time he said there was need to do away with fear psychosis and cited example that Kerala does not permit any nuclear station while in Jaitapur in Maharashtra there is an agitation going on.
India at present has a nuclear power capacity of about 6,000 MW.
Goyal said the country has significant resources of thorium in the southern coastline of Tamil Nadu but the technology is still not tested and tried.
He expressed hope that the technology would soon be proven so that the indigenous raw material, important for country’s energy security could be utilised fully.
He added that hydro-power is one sector which is also government’s focus area and Finance Minister Arun Jaitely has convened a meeting tomorrow to discuss the hydro power sector.
Goyal said four or five ministers besides officials will be present in the meeting.