Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday visited Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai and told the scientific fraternity that societal benefits and applications should be the face of the nuclear energy programme in India. While backing India’s growing international collaborations in nuclear energy, Modi said that technology transfer to India was a vital element of his vision for international partnership.
“He (Modi) said that international relations should be pursued and asked Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) to pay special attention to local communities in planning and implementing nuclear power projects. He exhorted DAE to present the human face of India’s capabilities in nuclear science globally and suggested we enlarge our outreach programme so that people know about it,” said a senior DAE official.
Reiterating that energy security was critical to India’s rapid and long-term development, Modi underlined the importance of ensuring nuclear energy as commercially viable and competitive with other sources of clean energy in the long run.
Modi assured his full support in the implementation of DAE’s expansion programme and expressed hope that DAE would meet the target of increasing the capacity by three times from the present level of 5,780 MW by 2023-24 within the projected cost.
“The PM told DAE that nuclear safety and security were his highest priority and asked DAE to ensure that India’s standards and practices were the most advanced in the world. He hoped that the role of industry in providing equipment and systems for the nuclear programme would continue to grow and recognised that adequate incentive structure should exist to facilitate that. He said we would need to tap additional sources of investments for our ambitious expansion programme,” said a government release.
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During the four-hour long interaction, Modi was briefed by Dr R K Sinha, chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission and DAE secretary, and other top officials and scientists at BARC. Modi also visited various facilities at BARC and the Dhruva reactor and saw an exhibition on societal applications.