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					  Nuclear Energy and climate change


                       R. Chidambaram

Luncheon Talk at the meeting organised by the US-India Business
         Council & CII, New Delhi, 7th December, 2009

I used to tell my American friends during
the period of negotiations for the Indo-US
nuclear agreement:

“We need you in the short term, you are
going to need us in the long term.”
                 The Nuclear Path
            I have been saying for 2 decades now:
“Nuclear Energy is an inevitable option to satisfy India’s future
energy needs”

Homi Bhabha, Founder of the Indian Nuclear Programme
                  He said it more succinctly:
          “There is no power as costly as no-power.”

Accelerator Driven System: Spallation
Reaction and Sub-Critical Reactor

Thermonuclear (Tokamak) System ITER:
Magnetic Confinement Fusion

LIFE – Livermore: Laser-Induced Fusion
       The mitigation technologies to counter the
Climate Change Threat (nuclear, renewables, hydro
(both large and micro) and efficiency), coincide with
the technologies we need to counter the depletion of
fossil fuels.

     The drive towards nuclear in India (and
China) is because of surging energy demand while
the nuclear renaissance in the already-developed
countries is also driven substantially by the climate
change threat.
                        International Conference on "Fifty
                        Years of Nuclear Power – the next
                        Fifty years"
                        Moscow & Obninsk 27 June – 2 July
BARC, India             In Celebration of the golden jubilee of
Date of Criticality,
August 4, 1956.
                        going into operation of the first
First Nuclear Reactor   electric power generating reactor in
in Asia                 the world on June 27, 1954 at
                        Obninsk. This reactor AM-1 was a
                        5MW graphite-moderated and water
                        cooled reactor.
                        India commissioned its first research
                        reactor Apsara in 1956
            Three Stage Indian Nuclear
                         First Stage:
PHWRs:                        Natural UO2 fuels
Imported water
cooled reactors:              SEU/MOX fuels
                     Second Stage:
FBRs:                                                           FBTR
                              (U-Pu) MOX / MC /
                              Metallic Fuels
                              (U-Pu Closed Cycle)

                         Third Stage:                         AHWR

                             (Th-Pu/233U MOX/
Thorium Utilisation          Metallic Fuels
(Th-U233) closed cycle       Molten salt fuels
   Fast reactors used in the closed fuel cycle mode provide
    the option for the full exploitation of the natural
    resources.   This is further enhanced by inclusion of
    Thorium in the closed nuclear fuel cycle.

   The closed fuel cycle, in comparison to the once-through
    cycle, reduces the volumes of waste requiring treatment
    and disposal.

   With the closed fuel cycle, Nuclear is near-Renewable.
  Closing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle in the Context of the Global
                   Climate Change Threat
                                      Fig.1: Nuclear installed capacity with open and closed fuel cycle options


                                                                                                                  Nuclear installed
                                      5000                                                                        capacity derived from
                                                                                                                  nuclear energy
           Installed capacity (GWe)

                                      4500                                                                        growth profile of A1T
                                                                                                                  scenario and
                                                                                                                  achieved by closing
                                      3500                                                                        the fuel cycle


                                      2500                                                                        Growth of installed
                                                                                                                  capacity with
                                                                                                                  uranium used in
                                                                                                                  open fuel cycle to
                                                                                                                  meet target profile of
                                      1000                                                                        A1T scenario


                                         2000     2010     2020     2030     2040     2050     2060    2070

                                                            from Chidambaram, Sinha & Patwardhan, Nuclear Energy Review 2007

Closing the nuclear fuel cycle is essential if nuclear is to be a sustainable
mitigating technology in the context of the climate change threat. This is in
coherence with India’s three-stage nuclear programme.
         Italian nuclear moved forward at summit
                 24 February 2009, World Nuclear News

The 27th Franco-Italian summit
saw delegations of ministers
from both sides (conclude) a
new agreement on cooperation
in nuclear energy – Electricite`
de    France     and     Enel    -
partnership       to      conduct
feasibility studies towards “at
least four EPRS in Italy”. The
Step is among the biggest that
Italy has so far taken towards a
re-employment        of   nuclear
energy,      ….(after)      Silvio
                                       (from    my       lecture   in
Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party
                                       Confindustria, Italy, 13 March
put a return to nuclear energy in      2009
its manifesto.

Stephen Tindale(who ran the UK branch of Greenpeace from 2000 to 2005
recently told the left-leaning Independent newspaper, New Statesman, “It
was like a kind of religious conversion. Being anti-nuclear was an essential
part of being an environmentalist for a long time. Nuclear power is not
ideal but it’s better than climate change.”
Tindale’s announcements echo that of Patrik Moore, one of the Canadian
founders of Greenpeace. Moore now advocates the use of nuclear power
and large hydro for low-carbon power generation…

                            23 February 2009

James Lovelock, Eminent Environmental Scientist and proponent of the
Gaia Hypothesis, was the earliest to this U-turn in 2004. To reverse a long-
standing (extreme) position requires high-integrity and character.
                              Source: World Nuclear News (WNA, London)
“Expanded use of nuclear technologies offers
immense      potential   to meet    important
development needs. In fact, to satisfy energy
demands and to mitigate the threat of climate
change – two of the 21st century’s greatest
challenges – there are major opportunities for
expansion of nuclear energy in those countries
that choose to have it”.
            from Report on “The Role of the IAEA in 2020 and
            Beyond”, prepared by an independent Commission at the
            request of the Director General of the International
            Atomic Energy Agency – 2008. I was a member of this
Parameters suggested by U.N
for calculating HDI

Per    Capita GDP.,              Life
Expectancy at Birth,            Adult

Parameters suggested by me
for calculating HDI 2 decades

Per      Capita Electricity
Consumption and Female

For India to become a ‘developed’ country, the per capita electricity consumption has to
increase manifold. And nuclear has to play an important role in this increase as India
looks for a low-carbon path for its electricity production growth. India is aiming for an
electricity capacity of over a million MW by 2050, of which about half should be nuclear.

US-India nuclear cooperation has enormous potential
provided we stick to the spirit and the letter of the Indo-US
Nuclear Agreement, arrived at after careful deliberation a
couple of years back. This cooperation should not be
shackled by what I have called “proliferation
misconceptions”, based on obsolete proliferation theology.

And we should also look beyond the short-term
possibilities. I think that India and friendly countries
(including the U.S.) should jointly eye global nuclear
markets, synergising India’s complementary capabilities
with their own, and taking into account-the fact that
Knowledge Management in the nuclear field has not been a
problem for India in recent years.

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