India's Prime Minister: Nuclear power? Yes please!

We need it, PM Manmohan Singh tells Parliament.
Written by Mark Halper, Contributor
Keep splitting atoms, says India's PM Manmohan Singh.

The prime minister of India has told Parliament in New Delhi that India would damage itself if it did not continue embracing nuclear power as an energy source.

"It would be harmful for the country's interest to pass an Ordinance of self-denial that we shall give up the option of having nuclear power as an additional source," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said during Question Hour at the Lok Sabha - India's lower house of Parliament.

His remarks, reported by The Economic Times, came in response to a query as to whether India would give up nuclear power in the way Japan has. Japan has shut down all of its nuclear reactors for the time being, following the meltdowns triggered last year at reactors in Fukushima when a tsunami knocked out emergency cooling systems.

"We are not in a situation in which Japan is," he said.

Singh also said India will not compromise on nuclear safety, the Economic Times wrote.

As noted on SmartPlanet last week, India's nuclear future will include reactors based on thorium, a fuel that many experts believe is safer and less weapons prone than uranium. India is also building uranium reactors, which represent most if not all of its new builds for now (depending on how you count).

Nuclear is  currently India's fourth largest source of electricity. It operates around 20 reactors at 6 plants, and is building more.

Asia's other giant, China, is counting on nuclear. China could build as many as 100 new reactors by 2030, nearly a quarter of the number of commercial reactors generating electricity in the world today.

Watch for a nuclear exclusive on SmartPlanet tomorrow (Friday).

Photo from World Economic Forum via Wikimedia.

A chain of nuclear posts on SmartPlanet:

And a handy guide to alternative nuclear:

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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