India opens nuclear energy space to private players but for cancer research and other consumer applications only
Using the Covid-19 crisis as an opportunity, India is opening up the atomic energy sector for private sector participation.
While the private sector participation in the highly sensitive atomic energy sector might seem risky, the announcements made by finance minister Sitharaman relate to the application of atomic energy in the fields of medicine, agriculture and nuclear research.
Government turns to the private sector and start-up ecosystem for innovation in the atomic energy sector. The Indian government’s atomic energy reforms look to tap into the bustling start-up ecosystem and the private sector for innovation and research in the atomic energy sector
While two of the three reforms related to the consumer application of atomic energy, the third reform relates to innovation and research in this sector.
Here are all the atomic energy reforms announced:-
- Establish a research reactor in public-private partnership (PPP) mode for production of medical isotopes – this will help in developing affordable treatment for cancer and other diseases.
- Establish facilities in PPP mode to use irradiation technology for food preservation – this will compliment agricultural reforms and assist farmers.
- Link the start-up ecosystem to the nuclear sector– technology development cum incubation centres will be set up for developing synergy between research facilities and tech-entrepreneurs.
India needs a 30-fold increase in renewable energy, 30-fold increase in nuclear energy and doubling of thermal energy, making 70% of energy carbon-free: Dr. Anil Kakodkar
On the occasion of National Technology Day, a day which marks the anniversary of Pokhran Nuclear Tests of 1998, Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Chairman, Rajiv Gandhi Science & Technology Commission, Padma Vibhushan Dr. Anil Kakodkar, has conveyed a message to the people of India, about Dealing with energy needs in the Context of Climate Crisis.
With the rising climate issues, a developing country like India faces the challenge where we are caught between energy security on one side and climate security on the other. “The need of the hour is to strike a balance between enhancing the quality of human life as well as keeping a control over the climate crisis.”
To achieve this, the world has to act now by leveraging available/rapidly deployable technologies. This is where the requirement of nuclear energy, which can easily meet the ‘zero emission’ target, arises. With the contribution of nuclear energy, the cost of deep decarbonisation can be reduced. Decarbonising means reducing carbon intensity, i.e. reducing the emissions per unit of electricity generated (often given in grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour).
In order to control CO2 emission, different levels of consumption strategy need to be observed by different countries based on their Human Development Index (HDI). For example, those countries with high Human Development Index, should reduce their energy consumption since it may not affect their HDI, much. In addition to this they should also decarbonise their electricity generation. And the countries with moderate HDI should focus on non-fossil electricity consumption while countries with low HDI should be able to provide subsidised source of cleaner energy to their citizens. This way every country can actively contribute towards low / zero emission.
For a country like India, in order to decarbonise the energy consumption, we need a 30-fold increase in renewable energy, 30-fold increase in nuclear energy and doubling of thermal energy which would make 70% of energy carbon free.