Nuclear Energy

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  • Bharath asked: In what way does importing light water reactors (LWR) from US and France mesh with India's three-stage nuclear programme aimed at utilising its thorium reserves?

    G. Balachandran replies: The third stage of India's nuclear power programme envisages the use of thorium, which India has in abundance, and plutonium, which is a man-made metal not available in nature.

    Plutonium is obtained from the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power reactors using either natural uranium or low enriched uranium (LEU). Light Water Reactors (LWRs) use LEU.

    India and China – Time for a dialogue on nuclear security?

    It may be time for India and China to discuss nuclear issues bilaterally with a view to mediating the uncertainties borne of their differing perspectives and postures.

    April 19, 2018

    Karthik S.P. asked : What was the difference between the two nuclear tests that India conducted vide Operation Shakti and Operation Smiling Buddha?

    A. Vinod Kumar replies: On May 18, 1974, India conducted its first nuclear explosive test (of a plutonium implosion device) in Pokhran desert in Rajasthan, which the government described as a ‘peaceful nuclear explosion’ or PNE. The use of PNE technology was in vogue during the 1950s and 1960s with the superpowers using nuclear explosive technology for developmental and industrial applications like civil engineering projects, deep sea mining and so on.

    Compact Fusion: Are the Energy Equations About to Change?

    Advanced technologies and supercomputing have accelerated the pace of research and development in the field of nuclear fusion.

    January 10, 2018

    Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant: How Safe is Safe Enough?

    The Koondankulam plant has finally attained criticality but doubts will continue to be raised about the safety of the reactors. What do nuclear risk assessment methods tell us about the possibility of future accidents at KKNPP?

    August 02, 2013

    Fukushima Impact: A New Nuclear Safety Regulations in Japan

    The new nuclear regulation calls for installing additional safety measures and imposes strict conditions for re-starting nuclear reactors to avoid the recurrence of Fukushima like nuclear meltdown.

    July 22, 2013

    India-Japan Strategic Partnership

    Japan’s endorsement of India’s candidature for the four major multilateral export controls regimes seems to be the principal achievement of the Indian PM visit to Japan.

    June 11, 2013

    The Challenges Before Shinzo Abe

    Rebuilding Japan’s foreign policy will be another challenge for the Abe Administration, especially in view of the rising tension between Japan and its neighbouring states - China and South Korea – over territorial disputes.

    December 20, 2012

    Japan's (un)clear nuclear ambition

    Japan’s amendment of its atomic energy law with the inclusion of a “national security” clause is being viewed within the country as a ploy to pave the way for the acquisition of nuclear weapons.

    July 11, 2012

    Sivanandan MS asked: Why do some countries favour nuclear energy, while others do not?

    Reshmi Kazi replies:

    Some countries favour nuclear energy due to following reasons:

    • Nuclear energy is a viable, clean and green gas free solution to the ever increasing demand for electricity;
    • It is one of the economically most attractive sources of energy;
    • Its sustainability can be assured for a long period of time;
    • Though the capital and operational cost is high but in the long run the fuel cost is low;
    • Even if the uranium cost from which nuclear fuel is to be produced rises, it will not affect the cost of nuclear energy;
    • Nuclear fuels can be stored for a long period in a compact space; and
    • Nuclear fuel can be transported easily

    If other countries do not favour nuclear energy, it is because of following reasons:

    • There are huge capital and operational costs involved;
    • Nuclear energy generation involves several risks including those of a reactor accident, nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism;
    • Opponents believe that there are other alternative sources of renewable energy like wind power and solar energy which are developing fast;
    • Nuclear power poses many threats to people and the environment including health risks and environmental damage from uranium mining and processing and transport; and
    • There also exists the unsolved problem of radioactive nuclear waste