India--Thorium Leader, Plans Dozens of Plants

26 de junio de 2007

    The domestic nuclear energy plans of India rival those of
China. At present, India has 17 operating nuclear power
plants, producing 3,483 megawatts of electricity. Dozens of
new nuclear plants are slated to be deployed over the next two
decades, as India, at the same time, pushes ahead with development
of frontier thorium-based nuclear fuel cycles.
Speaking in Athens, Greece, on April 27, Indian President
Kalem explained: “Thorium, a non-fissile material, is available
in abundance in our country, and energy independence is
    India’s first and highest priority.” India plans to push ahead
with its nuclear power technology development, whether or
not the bilateral agreement negotiated with the United States
is passed into law by both governments.
    India’s drive to expand reliance on nuclear includes the
vital issue of water management; a solution to India’s water
problems demands the extensive desalination of seawater or
brackish water. In the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the
governor is waging a campaign to establish 45 desalination
plants, and urging Federal backing to power them with nuclear
energy. But the same need exists throughout India, and there
is increasing national discussion in this direction.
    India is also involved in discussions with its poorer neighbors,
including Bangladesh, about exporting its highly developed
nuclear capability.