New BARC chief to focus on social face of N-energy

Merely calling nuclear energy safe and essential will not suffice at a time when even urban pockets do not have access to healthcare made possible through nuclear technology,said Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Sekhar Basu.

Written by Mihika Basu | Mumbai | Published:June 20, 2012 6:02 am

Merely calling nuclear energy safe and essential will not suffice at a time when even urban pockets do not have access to healthcare made possible through nuclear technology,said Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Sekhar Basu.

Speaking to The Indian Express hours after taking charge on Tuesday,Basu said that there is a need to show people the social face of nuclear energy.

He took over from outgoing director R K Sinha,who was recently appointed as the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.

“One of my top priorities will be pursuing activities in the area of societal outreach. This includes several aspects like healthcare and the detection of diseases,primarily cancer and the treatment of cancer. A lot of facilities are today available in the big cities. But if we make that extra effort,we can both develop and take these technologies to people in the tier-II and tier-III cities. This will require 10 times expansion in the future,” he said.

“Merely saying that nuclear energy is safe will not be enough to remove certain concerns which are there in the minds of the people. Hence,if we can pursue the social outreach activities vigorously and take the benefits to each and every person in this country,people will understand the importance of the work being done by our scientists,which includes the benefits of nuclear energy,” Basu added.

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New BARC chief to focus on social face of N-energy

Besides healthcare,major expansion in the food sector is on the anvil.

“Food security will also be a focus area. We have developed lot of technologies for food preservation and for increasing productivity. We will continue to focus in these areas and further develop them to help increase production. In my opinion,this can also help usher in a second green revolution. Water and related technologies will be another priority,” said Basu.

“Again,in this area we have developed several desalination technologies and will continue to do so as water contamination problems are acute in several parts of India. Consultancy and technology transfer activities in this area will be stepped up,” he said.

Basu,an engineering graduate from VJTI,Mumbai,joined BARC Training School in 1974. He later joined the Reactor Engineering Division of BARC and completed the development of fuel for Boiling Water Reactors. He was shifted to Kalpakkam in 1988.

Subsequently,he was assigned the responsibility of the nuclear recycle programme and constructed reprocessing and waste management plants at Tarapur and Kalpakkam.

He was also involved in fusion reactor programme at ITER,France.

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