Nuclear Power - a Reliable Energy Source for the Future

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Nuclear power -
A reliable energy source for the future
India is on the move. Indeed, one of the primary reasons why we are even having this competition is a result of the 8% plus annual GDP growth over the last 8 years. This growth has been driven by strong domestic demand, and with that electricity consumption per capita has doubled from 355KWh in 2000 to 720kWh by 2009. This is a huge increase, but in absolute terms is puny when compared to other countries globally, being only 20% and 3% of the figures for China and America respectively. Juxtapose this with the deplorable fact that about 400 million people are yet to be connected to the electricity grid and the writing is on the wall. In this regard it’s best to compare ourselves to
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Sure, solar cells are a tremendously active research area and there are improvements being made every day. But even taking this into account, it is not conceivable that solar cells, even when pushed to the limit, will replace conventional sources of energy in even the medium term. Compare the ambitious 20,000 MW goal for 2020 with the overall target of 62,500 MW for 2012 and the scales are clear. While solar energy could prove to be significant locally to states like Gujarat and Rajasthan, on a national level, solar energy cannot be our main source of energy for the next 20 years or so.

This basically leaves two options for policy makers in India; continue with our traditional reliance on thermal power (with a new emphasis on gas based plants) or consider taking a bolder move and placing more emphasis on nuclear power, despite the much larger initial barriers. In my view, there are strong reasons for opting for the latter, which I will detail in the paragraphs below.

India abounds with coal. Indeed, this is the only fossil fuel we have a huge supply of. Beneath the ground in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa lies about 10% of the known reserves, making India the 3rd largest coal producer in the world. With reserves enough to last for at least another 100 years, it is no surprise then that post-Independence a huge emphasis was placed on enhanced production and
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