Nuclear power is the only source of energy with a low carbon footprint that countries can purchase of which the world has witnessed a phenomenal expansion in the last few years, a leading expert said on Monday.
Agneta Rising, Director General of the UK-based World Nuclear Association (WNA), told IANS in an interview on the sidelines of the 10th Atomexpo conference here organised by Russian state-run atomic energy corporation Rosatom that the progress in this area in the last few years has meant that 55 new reactors will be connected to the grid in course of time, which is more than a doubling of the results obtained during the previous 25 years.
"The nuclear industry is going forward very strongly because of the realisation that it is the only form of low carbon energy that one can buy," Rising said, pointing out that other forms like hydropower have, instead, to be physically available in a country for its exploitation.
"With the efforts of the last three years, there will be 55 new reactors of 19 different reactor designs that will get connected to the grid signifying 15 per cent increase in capacity," she said.
"These developments involve 12 countries, including two newcomers, and means more than doubling of the nuclear capacity compared to the previous 25 years," she said, adding that among the latter is Bangladesh where work has started on construction of its first nuclear power plant at Ruppur being made in collaboration with Rosatom.
Rosatom is also the equipment suppliers and technical consultants for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in Tamil Nadu, the first two units of which have already been commissioned.
Besides its low carbon footprint, nuclear energy offers reliable power at cost-competitive rates and provides lots of skilled job opportunities, Rising said.
"The trend in the industry is now more for international partnerships and many new countries seeking civilian nuclear energy," she said, adding that with the new global needs, especially from emerging economies like India and China, nuclear capacity needed to go up to 25 per cent in future.
(Biswajit Choudhury is in Sochi at the invitation of Rosatom. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)