NEW DELHI: Batting for upcoming nuclear power plants in the country, Principal Scientific Advisor to the union cabinet R. Chidambaram Friday said that nuclear energy will play a key role in India becoming a developed nation.
“If you want to raise the quality of life of the people, you have to have nuclear power. The per capita consumption of electricity has to go up six to eight times before India can become a developed country,” said Chidambaram on the sidelines of a function here.
The former Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) chairman said that according to him the definition of a developed India is where “quality of life in rural India is equivalent to quality of life of non-urban people of already developed countries.”
“And for that the production of electricity has to increase from the present 180,000 MW to a 10,000,00 MW, and that is possible only by nuclear power making an important contribution,” he said.
Despite massive protests by locals against the Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has announced it would set up as many as 20 nuclear reactors in different states of the country.
Chidambaram said that protests would not affect India’s nuclear ambition.
Nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar said the Kudankulam plant will be commissioned soon.
“We are getting ready to commission the Kudankulam plant. A very significant amount of work needs to be completed but I am sure they (scientists) will work very hard and do it in as shorter time as possible,” said Kakodkar.
He said the government has learnt a lesson following anti-nuclear protests that we cannot allow siege of nuclear power stations like this.