India reiterates its commitment to promote nuclear programme

India reiterates its commitment to promote nuclear programme
Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh. (Photo: IANS/PIB). Source: IANS

New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) Calling for greater Indo-US cooperation in the field of clean and green energy, India on Tuesday reiterated its commitment to promote atomic/nuclear programme for providing not only a major source of clean energy, but also as a major tool of application in areas like healthcare and agriculture sector.

A high level US delegation led by Deputy Secretary of Energy, David M. Turk, called on Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh, on Tuesday.

Singh informed the delegation that in the next 10 years, India will produce more than three times the nuclear power and it is expected to reach 22,480 MW by the year 2031, from the current 6,780 MW as more nuclear power plants are planned for the future.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's idea for joint ventures in the nuclear energy sector, the minister pointed out that Gamma irradiation technology for food preservation has already been shared with the private players and presently 26 Gamma radiation processing plants are operational in the country in private, semi-government and government sectors for irradiation of various products, a release from the Science and Technology Ministry said.

The minister also underlined the proposal for establishing a research reactor in PPP mode for production of medical isotopes to promote welfare of humanity through affordable treatment for cancer and other diseases.

Turk assured Singh that the US will deepen its collaboration with India in nuclear energy as there is a lot of complementarity there. Turk also promised deeper engagement with India in the green hydrogen sector as recently announced by Prime Minister Modi in his Independence Day speech.

The two countries have also signed up for the transformation of the US-India gas task force.

"This will entail emphasis on the intersectionality between bioenergy, hydrogen and renewable fuels with natural gas," the release said.

Singh said with the rapid introduction of biofuels, renewable energy and green hydrogen, India is well poised to play an important role towards carbon neutrality.

He informed that the government is already encouraging adaptation of hydrogen fuels and technology for the mobility sector and many industries like steel, cement and glass manufacturing industries have already started using hydrogen for heating requirements.