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New Delhi, INDIA- 26 March 2015: The Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS) organised a National Seminar on Nuclear Power at the Conference Hall, Air Force Auditorium, Subroto Park, New Delhi. The Three sessions covered the historical development of Nuclear Power Programme (NPPs), Indian, Pakistan and Chinese NPPs, liability bill, NPP tariffs, costing, safety, need of effective role media and NGO’s in public generating public acceptance on nuclear issues.

Air Marshal Vinod Patney SYSM PVSM AVSM VrC (Retd) Director General, CAPS, made the welcome remarks. and recalled the Fukushima tragedy as a black day and how it has raised questions on safety. He emphasized on the effective use of media to create a conducive environenment for Indian nuclear power to progress.

Amb Sheel Kant Sharma, Former Secretary General SAARC, gave the inaugural address. He spoke on the Nuclear power 2015 and covered the historical development of Indian nuclear enterprise and diplomacy, Indian leadership vision, the early difficult years, bold initiatives, and India’s endeavor to achieve its rightful place in the comity of nations.

The theme of the first session was Nuclear Power Programmes (NPPs) in India & its Neighbourhood and was chaired by Prof RB Grover, Vice Chancellor, Homi Bhabha National Institute. The panelists were Dr Manpreet Sethi, ICSSR Senior Fellow, affiliated to CAPS, Dr Sitakanta Mishra, Research Fellow, CAPS and Dr Shalini Chawla, Senior Fellow, CAPS.

Dr Manpreet Sethi analysed the Chinese NPP and brought out that the driver of Chinese nuclear power growth is its colossal energy requirement. She then covered the environmental problems due to the choices made for electricity production. There is a shift from the initial thrust of ‘moderately develop nuclear power’ to ‘actively promote nuclear power.’ The speaker also elaborated on the modus operandi and the challenges faced by Chinese nuclear power programme post Fukushima. Dr Sitakanta Mishra, analysed the India’s NPP, its growth, challenges, opportunities and future roadmap. Dr Shalini Chawla covered the Pakistan’s NPP. She highlighted Pakistan’s present power crisis, which has resulted into a major drain on its economy, severely hit industrial production, social unrest, shutdown of production, unemployment, attacks on power stations etc. She elaborated on the numerous challenges faced by Pakistan, which included, present financial crisis, slow GDP growth, lack of indigenous technology and security concerns due its nuclear power reactors (risk of terrorist attack on nuclear reactors included).

The theme of the second session was ‘Issues Concerning Indian Nuclear Programme.’ Amb Sheel Kant Sharma chaired the session whose panelists were Prof RB Grover, Vice Chancellor, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Shri BVS Sekhar, Addl Chief Engineer (CP & CC), NPCIL and Shri SK Malhotra , Head, Public Awareness Division, DAE.

Prof RB Grover, spoke on ‘Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010’ and explained the basic principles of liability; liability is strict, based on the principle of no-fault, channeled only to the operator and there is no other legislation dealing with the subject. This was followed by a presentation made by Shri BVS Sekhar, on ‘Cost of Nuclear Power’ who elaborated on factors related to nuclear tariff (which are lower than other forms of power generation), timeframes, regulations, norms, extended costs etc. He also deliberated on the efforts undertaken to further reduce the costing. Shri SK Malhotra, spoke on the’ Management of Public Acceptance Issues about Atomic Energy in India.’ While elaborating on the reason why the common man is confused with the issues related to nuclear power, he opined that high expectations leading to unfulfilled hopes, the fear of atomic energy and the anti nuclear propaganda done by NGO’s and media are responsible for clouding people’s perception.

The theme of the third session was ‘Safety Issues and New Nuclear Technologies.’ Air Marshal Vinod Patney chaired the session whose panelists were Shri SC Chetal and Dr PK Vijayan. Shri SC Chetal, spoke on the ‘Safety of Nuclear Reactors (Fast Breeding Reactors [FBRs]).’ He deliberated on the concept of nuclear fission and breeding, three-stage NPP, international scene of fast reactors, fundamental difference between the safety enhancement of nuclear reactors and thermal plants, features of sodium cooled FBR, characteristics of fast reactors, safety requirement and measures of the FBRs. Dr PK Vijayan, spoke on the ‘Molten Salt Technology.’ He elaborated on the Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs). their history, relevance, advantages, challenges, present state of research and development and future road map. In his opinion, MSR is an attractive option for the third stage of Indian NPP.



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