Just last month, during a speech to the Indian Institute of Technology, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Anil Kakodka, said India must increase its electricity supply by 625% if it is to maintain its economic growth.

The speech was reported by The Economic Times and subsequently covered by World Nuclear News. The quotes that particularly caught my eye were these:

If India is to emerge as an economic power then per capita electricity production has to be brought on par with that in the advanced countries.”

If power has to be supplied on such a magnitude on a sustainable basis, then nuclear and solar are the only two sources to meet the requirement,” Kakodkar stated. “No other source can do it.”

There are currently 20 power reactors in operation in India with a combined capacity of 4385 MWe net. A further seven units are under construction and 39 more have been proposed. At present, India is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels – coal in particular – something that does not bode well from an energy security or environmental perspective.

India has made headlines in recent years with the size of the power blackouts that sections of the country have been forced to endure. Two blackouts that occurred this time last year affected an area that included around 670 million people – that’s about 10% of the world’s population…. Kakodkar estimates that India is some 1400% behind other advanced economies in terms of power generation so it’s no wonder their nuclear program is so aggressive.

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Ted O’Connor, Azincourt Uranium CEO