India to add 4000 MW to nuclear-power by 2008

NEW DELHI, Feb. 16 (Xinhuanet) - India's nuclear power program, which has lagged way behind its intended target, will add 4,000 mega-watts by early 2008, taking the total nuclear power generation to 6,700 mega-watts.

Atomic Energy Commission chairman Dr Anil Kakodkar said Sunday that eight nuclear power reactors, six pressurized heavy water reactors and two light water reactors are under simultaneous construction at present and will step up the nuclear power generation by 4,000 mega-watts.

He made these marks while delivering the "Swatantraveer Savarkar Memorial Lecture" organized at the behest of the University of Pune's Department of Defense and Strategic Studies in south India, according to the Press Trust of India.

While acknowledging that nuclear power generation in the country has suffered, Dr Kakodkar, however, expressed confidence that 10,000 mega-watts of nuclear power generation would be attained by the year 2010 and this would be stepped up to 20,000 mega-watts by the year 2020.

Notwithstanding the opposition to nuclear power generation, Dr Kakodkar emphasized that this was not only the best option, but anunavoidable option if the country was to become self-reliant in energy requirements.

Dr Kakodkar sought to convey that the environmental concerns associated with nuclear power reactors were grossly exaggerated.

The carbon dioxide emission from nuclear reactors is less than even solar and wind generation facilities, he said.