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India will add 12 nuclear power stations to its lineup to shore up its power supply situation, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) said on Monday, according to The Times of India.
The “irreplaceable source of clean, pollution-free energy” is expected to be a significant and essential part of India’s energy needs, KN Vyas, DAE secretary said at an industry event in Russia, adding that there is no substitute for nuclear energy as it is particularly reliable.
Vyas highlighted its Kaiga Nuclear Power station which, according to him, has had a streak of 962 uninterrupted days of runtime.
As of 2018, six nuclear reactors were being constructed in India to meet the growing needs of the country. Its nuclear capacity was expected to triple by 2031. India’s Nuclear Power Corporation, tasked with building and operating India’s power plants, had voiced reservations about this ambitious timeline, saying that it would need to lower those expectations, according to a Telegraph report. In 2018, India slashes its nuclear power plant construction plans by two-thirds, an unfortunate reality that was expected to increase its reliance on coal power.
India has long battled pollution problems, with the WHO estimating that at its worst, India can be 70 times dirtier than what the WHO considers safe. Nuclear power could prevent worsening of this pollution problem as its energy needs continue to grow.
India is a signatory to the Paris Climate Agreement, and ranks 14th on the Global Climate Risk Index, according to Business Insider India, yet still it is vulnerable. Plans to be the world’s greatest solar energy success has fallen flat. It is largely dependent—perhaps too much so—on thermal and hydropower plants, both which require water. Nuclear power could add another layer of security for India.
“The founder of Indian nuclear programme, Homi J Bhabha had envisaged that nuclear technology is going to be very essential and not just in the power sector but for other societal uses intended for betterment of life,” Vyas said.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.